Book Plunge: Improbable Issues With The God Hypothesis Part 4

Is God immoral? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

To begin with, in this chapter, I find it problematic to say God is either moral or immoral. He is good. Morality is doing as one ought which places an ought above someone that I don’t think applies to God. The only actions God is obligated to do are those that He has promised or fit into His nature.

So let’s get into what all Brucker says:

The origin and the existence of our innate moral display is almost as mysterious to many people as is the origin of the universe, but monotheists claim to have such sure knowledge that the non-religious do not.

Brucker, J. D.. Improbable: Issues with the God Hypothesis (p. 55). Kindle Edition.

Historically, monotheists have said everyone has access to the natural law. Everyone knows right and wrong. It’s almost as if Brucker didn’t bother engaging with any contrary thought before writing this book. Nah. That can’t be it.

If a monotheist believes there to exist a divinely-inspired moral code, they must also believe their all-powerful God to have the utmost morality and would apply it accordingly if they wish to label him as omnibenevolent and omniscient. If our moral perspective has been inspired by God, there ought to be an ultimate and non-flexible moral code. With that system for absolute morality, God must also be superfluous when following such a code himself. Furthermore, I would suggest that a knowledgeable and metaphysical mind would demonstrate a moral code inconceivable to the human mind – assuming of course that a mind such as that exists. The moral perspective from 3,500 years ago was much different than it is today. Progressive modern societies have demonstrated that we can collectively decide that senseless and unwarranted murder is reprehensible – something that the God of Abraham could neither command nor display.

Brucker, J. D.. Improbable: Issues with the God Hypothesis (pp. 55-56). Kindle Edition.

So several parts here.

First, this is why I don’t say God is a moral being. It implies God is a part of creation following a moral code. Second, since I don’t have that, I don’t say God is the ultimate in morality. He is the ultimate in goodness. Third, God did condemn murder a number of times in Scripture so I don’t know what Brucker thinks he has done in discovering some new moral law or something. If your achievement for a progressive society is “We know murder is wrong” that’s not much of an achievement. Tune in tomorrow boys and girls when he discovers that water is wet.

He naturally goes with Elisha and the two bears. You can see more on that here. He also says we think God has only one principle. Love. Not at all. He has many others, including justice.

He also says that God says rape is okay citing this Scripture.

When you go out to war against your enemies and the LORD, your God, delivers them into your hand, so that you take captives, if you see a comely woman among the captives and become so enamored of her that you wish to have her as wife, you may take her home to your house. But before she may live there, she must shave her head and pare her nails and lay aside her captive’s garb. After she has mourned her father and mother for a full month, you may have relations with her, and you shall be her husband and she shall be your wife. However, if later on you lose your liking for her, you shall give her her freedom, if she wishes it; but you shall not sell her or enslave her, since she was married to you under compulsion.

Brucker, J. D.. Improbable: Issues with the God Hypothesis (pp. 59-60). Kindle Edition.

So if the women are killed. That’s awful. If a man spares a woman and takes her into his house and provides for her, that’s also awful. Note before the man does anything, he has to wait a full month! That’s a common pattern in rape isn’t it? This was actually a way to look out for a woman and make sure she was provided for.

But what about this?

If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.

Brucker, J. D.. Improbable: Issues with the God Hypothesis (p. 60). Kindle Edition.

Even a non-Christian has taken this one to task.

What about atheist morality?

Christians have often been said to have proclaimed, “We get our morals from God. Thus – Atheists have no morals.”

Brucker, J. D.. Improbable: Issues with the God Hypothesis (p. 62). Kindle Edition.

This does not follow. That an atheist doesn’t believe in God doesn’t mean he  doesn’t know the moral law any more than he doesn’t know the basic laws of physics.

“What is keeping an atheist from murdering, stealing and raping?” It would take a sufficiently ignorant individual to say such a thing, as thousands of morally efficient atheists continue to prove them wrong today.

Brucker, J. D.. Improbable: Issues with the God Hypothesis (p. 62). Kindle Edition.

Except saying “Plenty of atheists don’t do this!” isn’t an answer to the question. I totally agree that plenty of atheists don’t do this. What is the reason? Someone like Tom Holland would say it is because they have a Christian background they refuse to acknowledge. What happens when those atheists get in power and no one is there to hold them accountable? Just look at how the Chinese and Russians in atheist regimes have treated their enemies.

Christians haven’t always done better! True enough, but yet when Christians act evil, that is in violation of Christianity. No tenet of atheism is violated when an atheist does evil.

Jesus spoke of many moral attributes that any modern secular humanist or atheist would consider as quite immoral. He advocated deserting one’s family if it meant a closer relationship with him. Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Also, the limbs must be cut off from those who steal. If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut if off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire. How about killing enemies of him and his own? But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.

Brucker, J. D.. Improbable: Issues with the God Hypothesis (pp. 63-64). Kindle Edition.

The first one is classical hyperbolic language and if Christianity is true, it would follow. What would we think of someone who said they wanted to serve God, but that their family would come before God? This does not mean you ignore your family, but your ultimate priority is to God.

The second is also hyperbole. It’s a shame that has to be explained to someone like Brucker. This is the way Jews spoke.

The final is a parable and historically, it is not about Jesus.

Naturally, Brucker has to say something about same-sex relationships.

But are homosexual tendencies unnatural? It is entirely reasonable to believe that the early members of the Abrahamic religions may have been unaware of such tendencies outside of human behavior. Today, over 1,500 species within the animal kingdom have been discovered displaying homosexual behavior among those populations – many of which maintain that homosexuality for their entire lives.

Brucker, J. D.. Improbable: Issues with the God Hypothesis (pp. 70-71). Kindle Edition.

Indeed. So let’s look at the argument.

If a tendency is found in nature, it is natural.
Same-sex behavior is found in nature.
Same-sex behavior is natural.

That checks out.

Then there has to be this other implication.

If a behavior is natural, it is a good behavior.
Same-sex behavior is natural.
Same-sex behavior is good.

That also checks out, but if these syllogisms are accurate, we should be able to fit anything in and it fits. We can’t be selective or we are as Brucker says earlier, begging the question. Let’s go.

If a tendency is found in nature, it is natural.
Eating one’s young is found in nature.
Eating one’s young is natural.

If a behavior is natural, it is a good behavior.
Eating one’s young is natural.
Eating one’s young is good.

Brucker will have to show what part of either syllogism he denies and why.

I find this to be ironic because if an architect who designed human life existed, then he most certainly created the homosexual desire.

Brucker, J. D.. Improbable: Issues with the God Hypothesis (pp. 71-72). Kindle Edition.

This does not follow at all. A Christian can easily say our desires are fallen. We have taken good desires and corrupted them.

The emotional pain and possible subsequent suicide are the fault of religious faith, something that I would expect a loving and morally superior God to neither directly or indirectly inflict on an innocent person. Does it not seem irrational to believe that a loving God would require one to relinquish their identity to achieve eternal life with him?

Brucker, J. D.. Improbable: Issues with the God Hypothesis (p. 72). Kindle Edition.

Brucker is awfully dehumanizing here by making who one does or doesn’t sleep with the basis of their identity. A Christians says the person’s identity is “Made in the image of God.” Who they sleep with is very very secondary. Also, if anyone commits suicide, religious or not, it is the person who does it. Others can influence it, but the person who does the act is the one who made the decision. They are not forced.

Every moral epoch that has been reached was not through the work put forth by the religiously-inspired but through secular and reason-based thinking.

Brucker, J. D.. Improbable: Issues with the God Hypothesis (p. 72). Kindle Edition.

I am sure someone like Wilberforce or King would be shocked to hear that their moral changes came about because of secular and reason-based thinking. Of course, I am not at all saying that religious thinking is not reason-based. It may or may not be. The same applies to secular thinking.

Stripping the argument of any philosophical connotation – by strictly looking at the morality within a structured society – it becomes quiet obvious that the inclination for doing well is merely a genetic byproduct meant to ensure the survival of species. Morality could be considered an evolutionary necessity, saying that those within any social system will survive far longer if those within that system treat one another with kindness and thus avoid recessive conflict. Let us take a bee hive for example. Within each and every hive, there exists an instinctual moral conduct. They work together, push through the adversity the colony may face, and protect the queen at all costs. The same can be said of an ant colony and the tireless efforts put forth by the worker ants; they help one another maintain the integrity of the group.

Brucker, J. D.. Improbable: Issues with the God Hypothesis (p. 74). Kindle Edition.

But if this is the case, then we are really pretending. There is really no true good and evil. There is just the want to survive. Yet what happens if I acquire power and no longer care about the survival of others? Plenty of atheist regimes show us what happens and about these, Brucker has nothing to say.

So, an atheist will burn in hell for eternity for not believing, but a mass-murderer will dine in heaven if he prays for forgiveness. What kind of morally-superior God would allow for such a loop-hole to exist? With that, I truly believe that religious belief is to blame for all negative behavior because religious beliefs allow ignorance, racism, and bigotry to flourish while hiding behind the facade of “moral pureness.”

Brucker, J. D.. Improbable: Issues with the God Hypothesis (p. 77). Kindle Edition.

So if God punishes a wicked person, He’s evil. If He forgives him, He’s also evil. Got it. Would Brucker prefer God want to punish someone instead? Also, what is responsible for the mass killings in atheist regimes? Is it religious belief?

There is naturally material on slavery to which you can search this blog for. Brucker also says that morality evolves, but if good and evil are constantly changing, then there is no absolute good or evil. He also cannot condemn past societies. Perhaps they were just doing what was moral for them then. There can also be no moral progress. Progress assumes a goal beyond oneself one is trying to reach.

Finally in wishing for a hope for the religious he says

What if they were to realize collectively that there was no absolute purpose to life and the order of the universe?

Brucker, J. D.. Improbable: Issues with the God Hypothesis (p. 82). Kindle Edition.

I contend the people who think this are truly the most dangerous ones of all. It’s a shame Brucker wants us to embrace them.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)


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