Is god just?

Comparing the 10 commandments (written by god himself) and the new testament.

The 10 commandments of the old testament:

1. I am the Lord your God.  You shall have no other gods before me.

This has nothing to do with morality.  It’s a statement from a bully which reads, “Your ass is mine!  Got it!?”

I’m going to hell because he hasn’t made himself known to me.  What a git!?

2. You shall not make for yourself an idol.

Again, has nothing to do with morality.  It’s the bully speaking again.

Again, I’m going to hell for a disgraceful reason.

3. Do not take the name of the Lord in vain.

Seriously, how can anyone even consider that this list came from a superior intelligence?

4. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.

Collecting sticks on the Sabbath has a penalty of being stoned to death and spending an eternity in hell.  Stoning someone to death for the crime of collecting sticks on the Sabbath is ok with God.  In fact, you’re supposed to.

5. Honor you father and your mother.

Finally.  It took until the half way point for something half intelligent to be said, but it’s still not without its faults.  Should all parents be honored all of the time?  Of course not, some parents are just plain evil.  How many parents beat their kids?  How many parents keep their kids locked up?  How many parents pollute the minds of their children?  Keep in mind that this is the same god that supports slavery and ownership of fellow human beings.

6. You shall not kill/murder.

Kill or murder?  Which one is it?  I do wish the all powerful creator of universe was better at communicating.  He seems to have two weaknesses, communication skills and financial management.  Well, nobody’s perfect…no wait…

7. You shall not commit adultery.

No arguments from me there.  I have a dislike of people who cheat.  If you want to be with someone else, at least have the dignity to end your current relationship first.

I’m an atheist and I condemn adultery, not because I was told to, but because I respect my partner.  If I didn’t respect her, she wouldn’t be my partner.

I should also add at this time, that multiple wives was fine by god.  “If I marry them both, it’s not adultery.”  O_o

8. You shall not steal.

When I was a kid I used to steal chocolate bars from a local shop.  Does that deserve hell?  And how can I ask for forgiveness if I don’t believe in god or Jesus?  (See number 1)

9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Let’s put aside that “neighbor” in the bible does not mean what believers today think it means (i.e. fellow Jews).  I consider this a good one.

10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.  You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.

I have a few things to say about this last one.

    1. Sexist.  What about wives coveting their neighbors husbands?  I know the answer, but few Christians do.  The answer is, drum role please…the bible was written for the eyes of men only.  Shouldn’t come as any surprise, women have had to fight for equality ever since…well, forever.  In 581 AD a church council at Mâcon was even debating whether or not women had souls.  Of course they don’t, but neither do I or anyone else, but that’s not the point.  The point is, the bible, including the 10 commandments, which supposedly were written by god, is sexist and excludes women.  No, god (old testament god at least) is not just!
    2. Wife and property are one and the same in the bible.
    3. Thought crime.  This testament, if broken, will send you straight to hell.  And what have you done?  Have you stolen your neighbors property?  Have you had sex with your neighbors wife?  Have you even planed to commit such acts?  No.  You have looked at you neighbors possessions and said to yourself (not even out loud where someone could hear you), “I like that.”

No, the god of the old testament is not a just god.

The new testament:

How about the new testament?  That god decided that the best thing he could do for his people was to beat and punish and kill his son…and this bits important…because he loves us.  That’s just sick!  He can do anything.  He is restricted by nothing.  And this is what he decides is the best action he could have taken.  I reject his offer of salvation.  He is a cruel, evil being.  If he did exist, I’d hope that I would have the strength to oppose him.

The unforgivable sin:

  • Luke 12:10 “And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.”
  • Mark 3:29 “but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”
  • Matthew 12:31-32 “And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”

What classifies as blasphemy?  I do not believe in the existence of a Holy Spirit.  Does that count?  We’re back to, god the bully again.

Here’s a nice little vid from Christopher Hitchens on the subject of the 10 commandments:

4 responses to “Is god just?”

  1. Lacy de la Garza says :

    There are a lot of things in this post that made me interested enough to comment on, but I do want to just point out a major distinction that the ten commandments in themselves don’t address*: the difference between mortal and venial sins. Part of the reason the ten commandments exist is to guide us towards a holier life, and leading that holier life is what allows us to achieve eternal happiness. With that in mind, it becomes a little easier to see how the ten commandments exist for our own benefit, whether we realize it or not. The issue of stealing is what brought this to my mind; certainly you and I would agree that stealing a paper clip is not the same as stealing someone’s car. It follows from that logic that since the offenses are of different weightedness, so should their punishments be as well. The idea of punishing a paper clip theft the same as a car theft in the legal systems would be met with outrage, and rightly so. Such is the same for God ….

    *This is why it is important to keep in mind that the commandments are to be read and interpreted by the church to which they were given, because scripture in itself is not the end-all-be-all. It is meant to be coupled closely with tradition and with revelations that are not found in the Bible.

    • belfastatheist says :

      The commandments were given to the Jews. Are you a Jew? I doubt it because you speak like a Catholic. The Catholic church, like every other church is full of men. There is nothing special about these men. They have no access to knowledge that is denied to the rest of us. While society moves forward, grows, learns, the Catholic church has to be draged along kicking and screaming. I look forward to the day when society realises that their way of thinking belongs in the bronze age and should be cut loose. I don’t think much better of other churches, but I have a particular distaste for the Vatican. Few institutions have performed/supported such evils and still survive.

      It’s easy to say that not all crimes are equal, but we don’t get that message from the old testament. This is the canon that tells us, “An eye for and eye”. It speaks only of punishment. It tells us to stone people to death for the crime of being raped. It’s only in recent decades that we come to understand that punishment by itself will change nothing. In prisons we encourage inmates to take pride in something beneficial to society. We educate them. We teach them skills so they can contribute to their community when they are released. So they can earn money, and afford a decent life. These principles did not come from the bible, neither the old, or the new testaments. They came from experience, learning and understanding. The “eye for an eye” system wasn’t working so they tried something new. They didn’t find the answers in a dusty old book. The Catholic church didn’t send a letter to the governments of the world and tell them they were doing it wrong. The Catholic church had no answers. The Catholic church has never, and will never have any answers relevant to reality.

      What is a “holier life” and why is it worth while? To me, it means being a better slave to a tyrant. I see nothing appealing in that, no matter how nice the tyrant might be.

      Eternal happiness:
      How do you know?
      How can there be eternal happiness, with knowledge of others suffering? Do you believe in hell?

      “certainly you and I would agree that stealing a paper clip is not the same as stealing someone’s car. It follows from that logic that since the offenses are of different weightedness, so should their punishments be as well. The idea of punishing a paper clip theft the same as a car theft in the legal systems would be met with outrage, and rightly so.” You didn’t get that from your bible, or your church. That’s what you get when you apply reason to the question.

  2. Lacy de la Garza says :

    The driving point we appear to disagree on is that I believe the purpose of our lives on this earth is to impart on the world around us an imprint of holiness, achieved by our striving to lead what I had termed a ‘holier’ life. This may very well be a concept you agree with, but in differing terms.

    However, without agreeing that there is purpose to our existence (achieving and imparting holiness), then all other points are moot and secondary.

    • BelfastAtheist says :

      I don’t think that’s the driving point. Besides, I’m sure your definition of “living a holy life” involves adding benefit to your community. That I do agree with. Of course, I’m sure we’ll disagree as to what would benefit our communities, but that’s another debate.
      Ultimately, what you do, you do for your god. As there are no reasons to think that a god or gods exist, I do good for the sake of being good, which has a lot more moral merit.

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