In P1 I looked at one strand of apologist thought when trying to answer the problem of Yahweh's evil actions in the OT. I showed how some apologists and theologians try to redefine the text, and claim that God's actions were not immoral because it was just exaggerated language - bragging - and not all the Caananites and other peoples were actually killed.
There are two remaining 'explanations' offered by apologists.
Firstly blank denial. God is good, they assert. Therefore nothing bad can come from God, they assert. So bad didn't come from God, they circumlocute. If any supporting evidence is produced it will be self-referential and therefore more circularity - the bible will be offered, with a particular verse stating that God is good and this is offered as evidence that the god described in the bible is good....the numerous verses showing the opposite cannot be God doing evil, because God is good and therefore cannot do evil...and we know because of these other verses which say he is good.....
(and they really don't see the problem).
The second explanation is genuinely chilling. This is the explanation that William Lane Craig proposes. Essentially the reason that drowning every man, woman, child, baby, animal and plant in the world is not immoral is that since God created them he is free to destroy them. Remember that WLC is best known for another argument - that God is the only possible source for absolute morality and that God defines absolute morality by being absolutely good and therefore absolutely moral. Such a being could not act amorally since an amoral action can always be replaced with a moral action, and MUST be, since the deity is absolutely moral. Every action of such a God would, by definition, be absolutely moral. Therefore, by WLC's reasoning, killing anything you created is an absolutely moral act - if it pissed you off and behaves badly.
The argument that God 'can' kill what he gave life to is not sufficient and does not properly express Craig's position. God could be doing something amoral or even immoral - presumably he can? Or is he not omnipotent? If he cannot then, by definition God MUST kill in the circumstances, because anything else would be less than absolutely moral.
In fact WLC argues, soon after this bombshell, that God is bestowing a gift on the innocent victims by taking them to heaven.
Does nobody else find this chilling?
Is this REALLY how we want to see ourselves? Beings who are bound by a moral code in which killing sentient, feeling creatures is the ultimately moral thing to do if they piss you off ? As long as you created them then you are morally required to kill them if you get angry with their behaviour; and don't worry because you are doing them the biggest possible favour imaginable, which just shows how ultimately moral you are....
2 blog comments below
Well, when you present your case that way, looks like belief in God is irrational.
mgeek on Mon May 07, 2012 4:13 pm
I believe it is irrational yes. In fact I'm sure of it. Rational thinking cannot, I believe, lead to the belief in a God, or at least it cannot lead to belief in the Abrahamic Gods unless one is prepared for the probability of an evil God for which a rational case may be possible....
Bikerman on Mon May 07, 2012 5:51 pm