Skeptic Friends Network

Save Password
Forgot your Password?
Home | Forums | Active Topics | Active Polls | Register | FAQ | Contact Us  
  Connect: Chat | SFN Messenger | Buddy List | Members
Personalize: Profile | My Page | Forum Bookmarks  
 All Forums
 Community Forums
 Book Reviews
 Is God a Moral Monster? by Paul Copan
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  

New Member

36 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2013 :  22:10:22  Show Profile Send AyameTan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Or as I call it, The Worst Fruits of Spin-Doctoring Made Manifest.

In a book that purports to discuss morality, one must wonder why Copan wasted two entire chapters (7 and 8) on the ancient dietary laws of the Israelites. Wouldn't it be more practical and helpful to instruct the Hebrews about microbes, disease and proper sanitation? And let's not forget that any dietary prohibition contradicts Genesis 1:29 (And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat).

The first few chapters have Copan attempting (and failing miserably, mind you. Try applying his arguments to any human leader and you'll see just how far he gets before tripping over his own shoelaces) to paint his god as a gracious master. Nonsense. There is no justice or mercy in demanding that the Israelites obey him "lest they be utterly destroyed." It's blackmail. A wife-beater would find myriad "reasons" to continue to abuse his wife from reading Copan's book.

Deuteronomy 21:18-21 (the verses instructing the Israelites to murder disobedient children) is likewise given the revisionist mumbo-jumbo treatment. The parents are expected to "confer" with the elders before the execution. But such a meeting would be purely for show. The outcome is already a given (and parents are permitted to lie about their children, slandering them as drunkards and gluttons).

Moreover, it is utterly unjust to punish children for what their parents did (this is even picked up by authors of the Old Testament in the tomes of Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Why would a perfect judge impose such patently absurd and unfair rules? Well, according to Copan, these verses (Exodus 20:5 and Exodus 34:6-7) don't even exist. On page 94 he references Deuteronomy 24:16, which does state that children are not to be punished for the moral failings of their parents. But this was written in the 7th century BC, well AFTER the majority of the OT.

(Jeremiah 31:29-30

In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge. But every one shall die for his own iniquity.

Ezekiel 18:20

The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.)

In Chapter 6, Copan attempts to soften the blows that slavery, harsh corporal and capital punishments, and orders to slaughter neighbouring tribes by stating "Well, they were stubborn, and god did the best he could do with the Jews at the time." Come again? Is this really the best an allegedly omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent being can do? Let's ignore the mass infanticide and genocide that supposedly occurred during the Noahic flood (which never happened). Copan no doubt believes that god created humanity, and could have done so in any way he so chose. Therefore, he could have made the entire human race loving and compassionate. Instead, he fashions barbarians that would cause Ghengis Khan to turn bright crimson with embarrassment. I don't recall too many dictators (save the fictional YHWH) who slaughtered so freely without invoking god or placing themselves upon a "divine" throne with an infinite and unaccountable mandate.

In summary, instead of taking the moral issues in the Old Testament seriously, Copan attempts to trivialise the accounts provided in his own holy book (which goes against Revelation 22:18-19

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book)

and even attempts to redefine genocide (while simultaneously inserting his own interpolations into the text) by stating that "it's not genocide because a few women and children escaped the Israelites' wrath." This is abhorrently unctuous and deplorable. By that definition, the Holocaust wasn't genocide because Hitler did not succeed in slaughtering all of the Jews. Simply claiming that the Israelites were "better than the surrounding tribes at the time) doesn't come close to cutting it. If the edicts of the OT god are not the edicts of a moral monster, then morality has lost all its meaning. Simple semantic sophistry won't even make it past a rudimentary logic or debating course. Copan is clearly preaching to the sorely convinced (despite his desire for this book to be a response to the new atheists).


Is God a Moral Monster by Paul Copan
Is God a Moral Compromiser by Thom Stark (available for free online)

"Tatti hitori no inochi wo sukuu mono wa zensekai wo sukuu."

New Member

3 Posts

Posted - 06/07/2013 :  05:21:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send GailG a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Crazy idea.

Well, it actually depends on the type of reader. This is a challenge of faith.

For me, writing essays, prose and fiction is a great way to be self-indulgent." - Diablo Cody
Go to Top of Page


1 Post

Posted - 07/04/2013 :  21:05:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send elena78 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Morality is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are "good" (or right) and those that are "bad" (or wrong).

Removed link.

Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Jump To:

The mission of the Skeptic Friends Network is to promote skepticism, critical thinking, science and logic as the best methods for evaluating all claims of fact, and we invite active participation by our members to create a skeptical community with a wide variety of viewpoints and expertise.

Home | Skeptic Forums | Skeptic Summary | The Kil Report | Creation/Evolution | Rationally Speaking | Skeptillaneous | About Skepticism | Fan Mail | Claims List | Calendar & Events | Skeptic Links | Book Reviews | Gift Shop | SFN on Facebook | Staff | Contact Us

Skeptic Friends Network
© 2008 Skeptic Friends Network Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 0.12 seconds.
Powered by @tomic Studio
Snitz Forums 2000