Thursday, July 16, 2009

Old God, New God - What's the Difference?

The original comment:

1. They are printed because the whole Bible gives us a whole view of God and how he has worked through history. Just because a parent handles two kids with two radically different personalities differently does not mean that the parent has changed his character. It means that the parent is wise.
2. The 10 commandments (according to historical Christian understanding) are not negated (except for the one about the Sabbath). How do we know? Because they are commanded in the NT (all except the Sabbath because the celebration of the Lord's day gradually changed to Sunday, the day of Resurrection).

John: We do not accuse Abraham Lincoln of being a bad, bad, immoral President because he ordered the execution of deserters (which no modern President would ever do). Why? Because the culture has changed. You make the mistake of trying to imprint your cultural values on the mores of a culture that is far different from yours and which you do not understand. (Evolved and Rat/i/onal)

The response:

1. Actually, I'm glad they continue to print out the Old Testament along with the New, if for no other reason to show the history of God as being a pretty vindictive and angry guy. But there is a problem with your analogy - this isn't about a couple with different approaches.

It's about getting one parent, then getting the *same* parent, only reformed.

I can see it now:

Social Worker: Ok, Isreal, your new Daddy's going to come to get you!

Israel: Oh, good. I hope my new daddy is nice. My last Daddy said it was OK to kill every male and female who wasn't a virgin then take them the rest of the girls as slaves.

Social Worker: Yes, I know-

Israel: Or there was the time my former daddy killed millions and millions of people by a drowning.

Social Worker: Right-

Israel: Or the whole thing with performing genital mutilations on my pee-pee, or those rules Daddy made up that said if you raped a virgin in a field that was OK they had to marry you, or saying you should kill people if they picked up sticks on a Sabbath day -

Social Worker: I know, I get it. Your old Daddy was a horrible awful person that anyone would label as a psychopath. But now, you get your new daddy!

Israel: Yay! Let's see them!

Social Worker: Here they are!

God: Hi, Israel.

Israel: Wait - that's my old Daddy.

Social Worker: No, this is your new daddy. Well, really, it's your old daddy who gave birth to himself so he could sacrifice himself to himself. But - this is your new daddy!

God: Love they neighbor.

Israel: Hold on. How does this make any sense? My old daddy was someone so awful, he allowed an entire family to be killed and an innocent man to be tortured all so he could win a bet. And now you're giving me back to him?

Social Worker: No, your daddy has seen the light! He's good now! He says we should love each other.

God: Women shouldn't be allowed to preach.

Israel: There is it again! Look, I get this is my old Daddy, and maybe he's gone through some anger management. But he still ordered and demanded horrible things in his name, and now you want me just to admit to this whole "I'm a reformed person", especially when he's still saying some things that are pretty rotten.

God: If you don't hate your mother, sisters, brothers and friends over me, then you're not worthy of me. Slavery is A-OK, and you should submit to it. Women should submit to men, and the men should submit to me.

Social Worker: Well, he has been talking to Paul a lot - he's never been quite the same since that stroke on the way to Damascus - but really, he's much nicer.

God: Come along now, Israel, oh, and the rest of your brothers and sisters called The Rest of Humanity - and if you don't love me and follow my teachings, I'm going to dump you into a place of eternal torment and weeping and wailing. Because I'm a God of Love!

Humanity: Help!

2. We certainly do accuse people in the past of having done horrible things - I think Columbus was a right bastard for taking slaves upon landing in the new word, I think Cortez was a jerk for killing the Aztecs, I think the people involved with the Salem Witch Trials were a bunch of perverts who got off torturing women. I can at least defend Lincoln - he was punishing deserters, and trust me, they still do that today. We might not whip them anymore, but then again, we've evolved. I have the ability now to look back and say "You know what, Lincoln was doing the best he can with what tools he had - but it was still a bad things to do, and we now know an even better way, so we don't do that."

But isn't that funny that God, who is perfect from the beginning, has to evolve as well for us to accept him? I completely reject the assertion the story of a fictional God's orders in the past of being a raving racist bigoted psychopath were OK, because it was a different era.

If God was God, he could have stopped that shit in the beginning. His first words after freeing Israel from Egypt could have been "OK - here's the deal. Treat men and women equally. Respect your neighbors. And if you don't - no manna for you. Spread my gospel of love and peace. And if your enemies attack you, I'll defend you with my power by letting you win battles, or by sending a plague against your enemies like I did in Egypt. People will figure out that you should behave like human beings, not like animals.

"And I know it's going to take awhile - you guys were just slaves. But now we're going to build up a great civilization based on my word, which is Love."

But we didn't get that. We got "KILL EM ALL AND I'LL SORT THEM OUT. I AM THAT I AM, BITCHES."

It took humanity to evolve past that message of hatred - and, amazingly, the people who wrote the new book of scripture said "Hey, let's have God not be suck a jerk anymore. Except to women and gay people and slaves."

It took another almost 2000 years for humanity to get passed "Slavery - A-OK!" of the Bible - which could have been wiped out with one passed from Paul or Jesus or *anybody* saying "Hey, slavery - bad. Treating women like property and making them submit to you - that's bad too."

Didn't get that. Because until humanity's social and moral ethics evolved, neither could god - because a fictional being can only be as good as the people that create it.