Why Didn't God Get it Right?

When I decided to start Ionian Spirit, it took me some time to learn the general know-how of building and running a discussion board. I'd had some forum experience, but not as an administrator. Well, as soon as I opened the account, I was one, the Chief Administrator.

The creator of a message board is always Member no.: 1, the Root Administrator, as the rank is called. Though on some boards, multiple people can be added to the Root Admin group, the member #1 position still differs from all other administrators on the board in that the rank is unique by design. As "the" Root Admin, I am in complete control of the board and the software that runs it. I can design or modify any segment of the board from the ground up. I determine the settings of every facet of operation...whether or not we have flood control on posts and for whom and how long, time limits on editing posts, the size and type of avatars that can be uploaded, the number of emoticons one can use per post and per row, the management of permissions and forum access masks for members/groups, etc, etc. I can create any type of group or forum category or sub-category I choose, and give that group the on-board powers I see fit. I can change member account information, reset passwords and post count, even monitor and read personal messages and emails sent between members if I care to. At will, I can edit, suspend, ban, or IP ban any member or guest who comes to my board. Should a member get disorderly and I ban him or her from the forums, and that person is technically savvy and knows how to get past an IP ban, I have the power to IP ban entire ranges of IPs. For instance, I could IP ban anyone trying to get online from, say, Australia or Russia if I really wanted to. I can view anyone's IP and find out their ISP, even if they are guests to the site and have never registered. My fellow admins, non-root admins, have almost all of these same powers except the ability to change my personal account settings and access to certain advanced member monitoring options. I don't have but a few forum administrators. The ones I have are people I trust and who's opinions on running the board I value. They have plenty of say in what goes on in the forums, but if I wanted to, I could demote and ban all other admins and mods, and totally change things at any time. If someone didn't like it, nothing could be done about it because I am in charge and am the one who ultimately calls the shots. As far as the software limitations will take me, you could say I am the "god" of my forums.

No, I am not some narcissistic cyber-control freak. I am just making a comparison. The above is simply a countermodel of the Christian God, the alleged creator of the universe and his administrational powers over it. God is the "root admin" of the cosmos in it's entirety. No aspect of it is hidden from him, nor beyond his control. All power originates from him, no exceptions. He calls all the shots, and nothing can happen in this gigantic "forum" of his without his abiding consent.

Having said that, why does evil exist in God's universe? Why didn't God get it right? The problem may be an old one, but a sufficient answer has never slid off the tongue of a theist. Our illustration has effectively eliminated the many weak explanations often used in an effort to justify the existence of evil (i.e. "God allows freewill.", "God wants us to learn from our mistakes and make us stronger.", etc.). In addition to being poor excuses that do not stand up to the scrutiny of reason, these excuses are eliminated by reason of the fact that God must have created the universe you see before you the way he intended it to be. We have no reason to believe he would allow it to be taken in a direction that was contrary to his merciful, divine will, yet we observe a hostile, unforgiving universe of pain and disharmony, a place where people are buried alive and hard-working fathers are crippled in terrible car accidents.

So when it comes to the idea of an all-powerful god who runs the entire universe, he has no limitations, unlike those restrictions imposed upon me by the Invision Board software. God is the chief administrator of all that exists, yet his theistic servants would have us believe that god was incapable of setting up a system where women are never raped, children are not molested, where murderers are not to be found, and where predators are not forced to consume their helpless prey to stay alive?! I will never apologize for thinking that if an almighty creator existed, he was fully aware and fully capable of preventing the creation of an evil angel, who tricked a gullible woman into eating bad fruit, thereby, plunging the whole human race into decay!

In my forum, things that run contrary to the way my admins and I intend them are changed to accommodate our wishes. How can the same not also be said of the creator of the universe, an infinitely more powerful being with no limitations whatsoever? I cannot rationally assume that the creator of the universe created or allowed the formation of something that was not ideally his will.

Bottom line is, no special pleading can be made for justifying the existence of death and suffering in God's world...that is, unless he expressly wanted it to be so. I have to believe that any creator of the universe would be perfectly capable of fashioning the ideal soul-making environment just as he planned it from the very start. To suggest otherwise is logical lunacy. So again I ask, Why didn't God get it right?

(JH)

33 comments:

Sharon Mooney said...

JEHolman: I have to believe that any creator of the universe would be perfectly capable of fashioning the ideal soul-making environment just as he planned it from the very start. To suggest otherwise is logical lunacy.

The real lunacy is pounding it into those meek, good-hearted people every Sunday "you're a sinner, you're going to burn in hell for eternity, Jesus died for your sins, you were born in sin...." - they spend their life in a perpetual guilt-trip. I believe many people are already "ideal souls", but sometimes it's difficult to see beyond the clothes they're wearing, the religious ideologue they hold, the car or house they own, -even Job's daughters were "more fair than others in the land" -their good looks was "God blessing". You can look at somebody and judge their inner worth by their out appearance. I mean, Falwell, Swaggart and Oral Roberts all drive nice cars and live in nice homes, so God must be blessing them, and the old widows who gave them their fortunes are often times struggling to pay their rent on a broken down apartment, and can't afford medicine they need. It's always those kind of people who are going to hell.

Severalspeciesof said...

I've wondered: if God exists, (yes, a correct question is 'Why didn't God get it right' but, let's give the christian the benefit of the doubt and say, Okay I'll give you 'freewill, etc. etc.) the question can then quickly become, "What is God afraid of?"

CalvinDude said...

"Why didn't God get it right?"

Such assumes, of course, that there is a standard by which one can determine what is "right" and what isn't in order to claim that God did not get it right. Thus, in asking the question, you beg two questions:

1) You assume a universal standard for "rightness."

2) You assume God has not met that universal standard.

But of course you don't want to prove those assumptions. It's easier to just say that Presuppositionalists have no argument....

(Alas, I know that John will now be upset with me yet again since I dare to put forth my presuppositionalism yet again. Thus I will simply add: God did get it right because the world is as He wanted it to be because God does have a purpose for things that are evil. What, then, is the problem? Or are you going to assume yet again without proof that it is impossible for God to have a good reason for evil to occur?)

John W. Loftus said...

There is a God! It's Joe Holman! ;-)

Sharon Mooney said...

Such assumes, of course, that there is a standard by which one can determine what is "right"

the Bible?

You assume a universal standard for "rightness."

the Bible?

But of course you don't want to prove those assumptions.

God does have a purpose for things that are evil. ... God to have a good reason for evil to occur?

I don't see it, thousands of years of recorded human history. show me.

CalvinDude said...

Sharon,

You inadvertently prove my point. The atheist's argument makes no sense if atheism is true. You must assume the validity of the Bible in order to begin to state questions about "good" and "evil" because otherwise those terms are simply syllables.

You ask what God's reason for allowing evil is. Even if I could not provide a reason myself, that would not mean that God does not have a reason. In fact, even if I disagreed with God's reason for allowing it, that would not make it suddenly evil for God to do something since I am not the universal standard of right and wrong.

Neither are you.

Have you ever considered that you are not the center of the universe? I know such thinking is hard for atheists, who have nothing but themselves to dwell on. But have you considered that everything that happens is not for your benefit?

God did not create the world simply so you would exist. God didn't create for man's sake. In fact, God did not even create you for your sake.

He created because He wanted to. He does everything He does because He wants to.

Now, you can certainly say that what God does is evil. But if God doesn't consider it evil then so what? Once again, you are left assuming "a standard by which one can determine what is 'right' and what isn't." Until you can demonstrate that your subjective moral opinion must apply to God, then it is incoherent for you to claim that anything God does is evil.

Thus, even not providing a reason for why God did as He did, you cannot say God's actions are evil. But God does have a reason. He shows His love for us in that He died while we were sinners. As Paul said, perhaps someone would die for a good man, but who would die for a sinner?

God would.

So I say that the greatest possible good was when Christ died for those who hated Him, and that required the existence of those who hated Him, and that required that those who hated Him were sinners. You can disagree and say that Him creating people who would end up sinning is too evil.

So we disagree.

Now, logically, why should your opinion be the default correct one without you providing any reasons for your morality? Or, to put it another way, why should God care about what you think is good or evil?

Sharon Mooney said...

The atheist's argument makes no sense if atheism is true.

Explain this. Seriously, no personal offense intended, but what you've written I'm misunderstanding.

validity of the Bible in order to begin to state questions about "good" and "evil" because otherwise those terms are simply syllables

And here's Robert Ingersoll:
"Liberty, a word without which all other words are vain."
"Whoever has an opinion of his own, and honestly expresses it, will be guilty of heresy. Heresy is what the minority believe; it is a name given by the powerful to the doctrine of the weak. This word was born of the hatred, arrogance, and cruelty of those who love their enemies, and who, when smitten on one cheek, turn the other. This word was born of intellectual slavery in the feudal ages of thought. It was an epithet used in the place of argument. From the commencement of the Christian era, every art has been exhausted, and every conceivable punishment inflicted to force all people to hold the same religion opinions. This effort was born of the idea that a certain belief was necessary to the salvation of the soul. Christ taught, and the church still teaches, that unbelief is the blackest of crimes. God is supposed to hate with an infinite and implacable hatred every heretic upon earth, and the heretics who have died are supposed, at this moment, to be suffering the agonies of the damned. The Church persecutes the living, and her God burns the dead.
Ingersoll on Heretics and Heresies

Have you ever considered that you are not the center of the universe?

Have you ever considered that its quite probable the bible is not God's word, and the Bible is not the center of all the world's universal truths?

I know such thinking is hard for atheists, who have nothing but themselves to dwell on.

There goes that gifted clairvoyancy again... and projection. I'm not an atheist, but I know many non-believers who make better human beings than Christians... more thoughtful, considerate, kind and good-hearted.

But have you considered that everything that happens is not for your benefit?

Have you considered that 99.99999999999% of things that happen as a daily occurence in the Cosmos, man knows absolutely nothing of, and will never know, nor affecting any of us? How insignificant an issue since we're going to die anyway, if we take a homosexual lover to bed --it won't prolong or shorten our life -- if a Jew eats a pork chop... no big thing --if an atheist doesn't believe in God, what harm has it done --in comparison to the immensity of time and space, nothing.. I mean if God doesn't care to take the time out of his schedule to speak to the atheists on this blog -- why would he waste his time in the future condemning them? I mean most of these guys had religion up to their neck, to such a point --that the ONLY THING that might could possibly influence any one of them is to hear it from God, himself.

Don't you think God should be consumed enough, without concern for such trivialities? Obviously God has little concern about morality -beating people up to make them behave themself this or that way, (or either simply God is powerless to stop them) --God could speak, much easier than you can type and telling John Loftus and Daniel Morgan, "Hey guys, turn around, here am I." But God chooses not to. Why is that? Perhaps because God in his wisdom wants you to beat your head against a brick wall trying to convince atheists, God exists when God has given them every reason not to believe --by his deliberate absense, and the lack of evidence for his existence. Inadvertantly, maybe God's grievance is really against yourself and obviously wants to drive you to an early grave from stress, anxiety and high blood pressure.. leading to gray hair and eventual cardiac arrest.

your subjective moral opinion must apply to God, then it is incoherent for you to claim that anything God does is evil

exactly. when respiratory failure takes over, praise the lord. *smile*

Now, logically, why should your opinion be the default correct one without you providing any reasons for your morality?

Common sense is reason enough

There were pagan wise men, who existed before Jesus who implied the same as "Do unto others, as you want done to yourself."

"Thou shalt not kill" is as old as life itself. And for this reason a large majority of people in all countries have objected to being murdered.
- Robert Ingersoll

Joe E. Holman said...

John Loftus said: "There is a God! It's Joe Holman! ;-)"

**The Almighty Joe shines down his blessings upon John Loftus and blesses him with fortune and fame and all the women he'll ever want!**

Sharon Mooney said...

CalvinDude said: I know such thinking is hard for atheists, who have nothing but themselves to dwell on.

"Nothing but themselves", are who are you responsible to, other than yourself? You're on this blog for what purpose? To save souls, so you get a greater reward in the afterlife? I need to brush up on Calvinist views of the afterlife. You say these harsh things, implying Atheists are narrow-mind selfish people -about people you do not personally know, simply because they do not accept your point of view on religion.

He does everything He does because He wants to.

That describes yourself, you know? You believe in Calvinism... because you want to -- often times, if you ask people to describe God, and you listen closely to what they tell you --they are not describing God, but themselves. Those who say God is anxiously awaiting judgment day to break kneecaps, are the same people who would be breaking kneecaps right now, if the law permitted. Those who say "God" is a "God of Love", tend to be meek and unassuming people. It's strange how "God" is so many different personalities, depending on the person's own character.
God is therefore (you admit) not confined to a Bible, or its laws? God can do anything he pleases, right?

You know, my favorite story in the Bible since I was a kid was that story about Joseph and his brothers. They treated him terribly. God chose Joseph "special" from among them, giving him visions and the power to interpret dreams. When Joseph spoke what he knew to be true, his brothers perceived it as his arrogance and wanted to punish him (aside of him being daddy's favorite). As you said of the atheists "nothing but themselves to dwell on", which is not true of atheists, but was how Joseph's brothers perceived him to be... a spoiled brat, who ought to be silent. Most atheists I know have active intact reasoning facilities -and they use them often, considering good and evils twice as often as Christians do, --you have a book that tells you how and what to think, a religion that thinks for you, the atheist must figure it out for themself as they go along (or should I say "alone"?).

As for the story of Joseph, God tries him... funny for a chosen one, -he is sold as a slave, but true to his honor and what he knows is right... and for this good, Joseph is repaid with evil, false accusation by Potipher's wife, and sent to prison injustly. But as time passes things work out, where Joseph becomes a great ruler, and a famine strikes the land.

Joseph's brothers who spoke harshly of him, condemned and sold him as a slave, go into the land of Egypt to buy corn. How many tricks and pranks did Joseph play on his brothers, (while the whole time it notes he went off to himself and cried) -- yet would express no feeling in front of any of them --knowing who they were, but never revealing who he was. He disguised his language.. he had his cup placed in their sack... then accuses them of theft... Joseph lead them to believe they were under threat of death. He had them going around in circles. But just when they thought their situation was completely hopeless, he reveals his true identity and his brothers are left stunned and amazed. They fell on each other and wept.

Also, is it impossible that everyone of these atheists have been personally lead to believe God does not exist, -- and you sit in judgment "God will punish you, God will torment you for eternity, soforth... so on..." -- and one day, we all die.. and find ourselves risen in the afterworld, how will you feel when you see and feel the presence of an immense being you never knew -- perhaps a great light --and you recognize the souls of others you knew in your lifetime... and there stands many atheists you'd acquainted in your life, speechless, amazed, -- God does exist.
Instead of torment and vengeance, you see a similar love that Joseph felt toward his brothers, proceeding from God to those who did not believe in his existence.

I think your position in the afterlife will be far worse than their's. You will be one of the many standing with a shamed face before God. God won't have to lift a finger, you've already done it to yourself in this world.

It could happen.

Sharon Mooney said...

**The Almighty Joe shines down his blessings upon John Loftus and blesses him with fortune and fame and all the women he'll ever want!**

Did you hear the joke about Osama thinking he'd get 70 virgins in the afterlife. He arrives, and George Washington and others waiting -- and they beat the crap out of him. Black and blue, he enquires why, and the angel explains "the reward was seventy Virginians".

Stupid muslims, and "all the women they want".

Ingersoll said any woman who reads those kind of passages in such "Holy Books" - like the Bible ought to throw it from her, in contempt and scorn.

Sincerely, your feminist friend.

Sharon Mooney said...

...and all the women he'll ever want!

My wife has never had a problem telling people that she's an atheist, especially when they want to talk to her about religion, and I'm learning from her.

Sounds like Loftus has all the woman he can handle.

Joe E. Holman said...

Calvindude said: "Such assumes, of course, that there is a standard by which one can determine what is "right" and what isn't in order to claim that God did not get it right. Thus, in asking the question, you beg two questions:

1) You assume a universal standard for "rightness."

2) You assume God has not met that universal standard.

But of course you don't want to prove those assumptions. It's easier to just say that Presuppositionalists have no argument....

(Alas, I know that John will now be upset with me yet again since I dare to put forth my presuppositionalism yet again."



My reply: As a former minister, I understand this objection well and used to use it. It is NO objection to my point at all. The "standard" I employ to convict your deity of wrong is common sense: plain life observation. Let me graphically illustrate it for you...

...nerve cells being rended, ripped, or torn by a hungry predator, sharp metal objects being plunged into soft bellies like a pearing knife through a tomato, a bullet penetrating a lungsack and causing a slow, painful death...these are things that all human and animal kinds realize are wrong except in the most dire of circumstances.

As I have pointed out in other articles, it is a universal constant to avoid suffering and death. I don't care what lifeform you are talking about, it is a constant. This then qualifies as a "law," or as you put it, "standard", a non-religious standard by which we arrive at a logical conclusion.

No deity or sage or yogi or priest or pastor need tell me that it's wrong to kill. Society - all societies - had to be set up with that as a hallmark in order to build any sort of cultural progress. It is self-evident that torture is wrong. Every sane person with a normal psyche will stand in line and oppose it. It's common sense. Spooks got absolutely nothing to do with it. So, "thou shalt not kill...torture, plot against, steal, etc." all have nothing to do with ten commandments or any canonized code. These have been a part of man since the dawn of time.

You cannot object on this premise. You and I recognize the same types of evil anyway...murder, stealing, torturing is wrong to you AND me. You and I both recognize these as problems. I simply go further to demonstrate that your god could have set up a way wherein this never could have happened. My article made this all too easy to understand, except with the help of willful ignorance to not understand it.



CalvinDude said: "Thus I will simply add: God did get it right because the world is as He wanted it to be because God does have a purpose for things that are evil. What, then, is the problem? Or are you going to assume yet again without proof that it is impossible for God to have a good reason for evil to occur?)"



My reply: Wrong. You admit, like all believers, that this is a "fallen" creation succombed to the devil's wiles. This means God did NOT get it right. If you are a Christian, you believe God is coming back to judge the world and reward the faithful and send the wicked ones to Hell. Why did it come to this?? Couldn't God lure things to a more positve end, one where pain and extinction and ethnic cleansings are not known?? God didn't HAVE to go this way. He would have known there are better ways of teaching lessons than to allow corruption and death as he has. Souls fall through the cracks and end up in hell never learning these "lessons" you and your theist friends talk about people learning; meanwhile, others thrive and will be saved to rejoice in heavenly sunlight! It didn't have to be this way! That was the point of my article! Yet your deity deliberately chose a longer, more painful route--one where some of his children will end up spending their eternities being BBQ'ed in Gehenna!

So we're back to the initial point of my article: the universe must be the way God intended it to be. Yet the presence of such chaos and horrendous evils are the norm here, not merely exceptions, which is why we humanists realize the divine creator hypothesis doesn't fit. A naturalistic origin of our existence is a much better model, and it fits all observations perfectly.

(JH)

Daniel said...

What CalvinDude never wants to grasp is that other, objective frameworks for morality can be and have been presented by philosophers for a very long time. The fact that none of them satisfy CalvinDude, and the other presuppers, is no different than that the framework which they call "absolute and universal" (by faith) we reject as being such. Their argument is valid is one presupposes the truth of the Bible, which is, of course, an act of faith.

Exbeliever supplied an argument for objective moral frameworks, and admitted they are neither universal nor absolute. The fact that the presups (and others) reject them does not change the fact that a valid argument has been put forth.

Similarly, let me put forth a definition of "good" and "bad" to create a very simple moral framework:
"good" is the state of actions, events, and natural conditions which minimizes, if not reduces altogether, babies being slaughtered in genocidal warfare

"bad" is the state of actions, events, and natural conditions which does not minimize, nor reduce altogether, babies being slaughtered in genocidal warfare

Now, according to these two objective standards, it appears that God is quite a bad boy for 1 Sam. 15:3, Num 31:17, and lots of other goodies in the Bible.

Of course, the presupps can disagree with me on the definition of good and bad here, which I have purposely restricted to the case of infanticide, as the result of genocidal warfare. If they do, though, I would love for them to explain how my definitions of "good" and "bad", as objective markers, fail. Can not all people in all places and all times understand these assessments, whether they reject them or accept them?

In what cases is it "better" or "more good" for the set of all events, actions, and natural conditions to lead to increased infanticide as the result of genocidal warfare? Well, according to the theists, when God wants it.

Thus, by their standard, nothing their God ever does is "bad", only all "good". How do they know what their God does? The Bible. How do they know that the Bible is inspired and inerrant as a record of God's actions and words? By faith.

Sharon Mooney said...

Daniel Morgan: Thus, by their standard, nothing their God ever does is "bad", only all "good". How do they know what their God does? The Bible. How do they know that the Bible is inspired and inerrant as a record of God's actions and words? By faith.

Mostly by faith. I acquainted Sunday school teachers, who admitted they'd never actually read the Bible, much less knowing anything of its origins. Jehovah Witnesses coming to my house, and when I asked them to explain why a "good God" would command the mass murder of little children in the promised land, denial was the response. "The Bible doesn't say that. If God did that, he would be a bad God..."

btw, great post dm. some excellent points

Sharon Mooney said...

**The Almighty Joe shines down his blessings upon John Loftus and blesses him with fortune and fame and all the women he'll ever want!**

This blog comprises mostly of men, and probably the majority of visitors are men. I doubt many of you truly understand why the comment was offensive and unacceptable. Let me be clear: I'm not arguing at Joe Holman, and no desire to argue with him, but lots of women would visit, read that comment and take offense and leave. What I'm saying is really meant as constructive criticism, so more women can feel comfortable around secular hovels like this one, (I am aware it was meant in humor, among the boys, I understand) that's the way it's always been... seems like harmless fun, but it's not humorous. It brings to my mind all the struggles, the degradation, humiliation, wanton plunder, heartache and brutality that women have faced through all of history. and still facing. I expect it from Christians or Muslims, but not people who call themselves humanist; atheists, agnostics or deist. They really should know better.

I mean what if women ran the show, how would any of you feel if everything was female dominated from government to corporations to the education system, to the internet --and you visit a blog of "freethinkers", and thinking "I fit in here, I find people I identify with -people like myself", and then one of the women post in humor to another woman **The Almighty Sharon shines down her blessings upon Patricia and blesses her with fortune and fame and all the suckers you can use for money you'd ever want!**
I know men sure don't like to get used, for instance when a pretty woman leads them on, baby baby... making him feel like a king --and then bang, she gets what she wants out of him, and "she's gone"... the poor man dishing up his hard earned money, just to find out he's been used... lied to... exposed for a sucker, she's out with somebody else... he's devastated, his pride ripped and his ego torn into. That's how women have been feeling for quite a few thousand years now. As all of you should know by now, the Bible specialized in that form of primitive bigotry.

I want men to be more sensitive to what they're saying, and result in reaching more women. My intent is not to offend any of you, but rather trying to make you aware of just how sensitive women are to those kind of comments.

Joe E. Holman said...

This is the most ridiculous thing I think I've ever heard a freethinker say!

There was absolutely nothing wrong with that comment. It was silly fun, nothing more.

Your mind may run to vices against women of the past, but others do not. No sensible women would take offense to that. Lighten up.

Now this is something I never saw coming!

(JH)

Sharon Mooney said...

Your mind may run to vices against women of the past, but others do not. No sensible women would take offense to that. Lighten up.

Now this is something I never saw coming!


Sweetheart, we're not talking about the past. We are talking about the present, and the future. It's women who suffer. I don't want to be taken captive in a man's brothel... or raped again. It's not funny to me. Most feminists are reluctant to align themselves with males, even in the secular community because of the casual age-old attitudes expressed toward women.. that there's only one woman posting among numerous men on this blog -doesn't that tell you anything at all?

Men never have and never do see why women are sensitive, and easy to say "Lighten up", when its not them getting hurt --they're the ones dishing it out, past, present and will be future, unless attitudes change.

Emails like this one cross my inbox all the time...
Kristina: I saw in the local Shopper paper today a warning from the State Police. It is to all the online users. They are telling everyone to be on the look out for a person with the screen-name : Monkeyman935. It says DO NOT REPLY. DO NOT talk to this person; DO NOT answer any of his/her instant messages or email. Whomever this person might be ,is currently a prime suspect in the murder of a total of 56 women (so far) all contacted through the internet. It also says to PLEASE tell all the women in your buddy list and have them tell everyone they care about. It also said to caution your children if they are computer smart. It could save their lives.This screen-name was seen on Yahoo, Aim, AOL, and Excite, so far.

Daniel said...

or raped again

I'm truly sorry. I have never and never will raise a hand against, or otherwise physically hurt any woman. I have, in fact, been in knock-downs with rednecks from my hometown who see it as "proper" to give a woman a "lil' love pat" (typically a backhand slap) when she is "sassy".

My friend who recently committed suicide was molested/raped by her mom's bf, and no one believed her for years.

I am sorry for your hurt.

Daniel said...

that there's only one woman posting among numerous men on this blog -doesn't that tell you anything at all?
I see this as a separate issue from the feminist/sexist arguments.

The popular conception is that the number of female atheists is smaller than males, but I'm not sure how factual this is. In fact, I've written on this before, with some evidence to the contrary. I do know that environments like this one, and others similar, tend to be very hostile and confrontational, which, without being a sexist, I think you would agree is an intrinsically testosterone-correlated behavior.

We men love to compete in egos; it seems true of men that whether they're more or less rational than the woman lurker on the site, who doesn't feel the need to debate others about her worldview, they'll "lock horns" with much less hesitation. In my experience, the atheist community is divided into those people who are quiet/closeted/passive atheists and those who are open/active/quasi-confrontational atheists. I'm not claiming to have an absolute fix on things, but I think we agree that the male qualities [naturally-derived] of dominance and aggression go hand-in-hand with the sorts of argumentation that broils over here quite often. That doesn't mean that women in freethought aren't there, or even more rational and informed, but they just don't tend to show up in places like this. I don't know why. Check out all the famous atheist sites on the web (start in my blogroll) and compare the ratio of male/female contributors.

I just don't think it's sexist attitudes keeping more women out of spotlighted positions within the freethought community. I think, in fact, there are a lot of women who ARE in those positions. Ask Hellbound Allee what she thinks, though, about women in freethought being confrontational.

Sharon Mooney said...

At 10:12 PM, May 16, 2006, Daniel Morgan said...
I have never and never will raise a hand against, or otherwise physically hurt any woman.


It says a lot to any woman who visits this blog. Not only are atheists not the silverware thieves they've been made out to be... but they're also some of the last gentlemen left on earth.

Sharon Mooney said...

That doesn't mean that women in freethought aren't there, or even more rational and informed, but they just don't tend to show up in places like this. I don't know why.

They would, in fact... it was John Loftus' gentlemen-like approach, his self-control, -- his impression as being a monogamy-type-of-guy that struck me, and I became interested in this blog.

Over on theology web, a particularly abrasive Christian man scoffed when I pointed out his bigoted sexist attitude, and several men jumped in insulting and I remarked how ironic it is, that a woman's opinion only is to be taken seriously, if it is something men want to hear. Oh, that was just the biggest bunch of ... and to my amazement, "Pitchfork Pat", got into the thread, and let 'em have it. Another woman with a fresh opinion of her own... a breath of fresh air. Those boys backed off. I realized at that point, "Lighten Up". Not.

I know Ed Babinski use to write some harshly "male-slanted" humor, I have spent a lot of time conversing with him on some facts and fisgures -- trying in "male speak" to make him understand why it offends, and to my knowledge, he's pretty much ceased doing so - he's actually written some stuff that is uniquely sensitive to women... he expressed to me often, better understanding how women are feeling. I sure never got that king of respect, mutual friendship in the church.

You don't think Hellbound Allee wants to be part of a brothel do you? No, of course not. And honestly, I do not believe John Loftus wants more than one woman.

Myself, I find jokes about blonds and brothels --or outright one-night stands (which involve deceit) offensive. I know too many girls, whom have been lead on by men, "baby baby"... and he's gone. I am deeply offended by the 70 virgins in paradise... ask yourself, what will those women get out of it? He, is their punishment!

Here's some Ingersoll on "Mistakes of Moses". Not intending to offend, but meant as constructive criticism from a feminist point of view -- Mr. Holman says to "Lighten Up" and Robert Ingersoll says "toss it in contempt". I really do not intend to sound like I'm chastizing, but lots of men simply take those age-old attitudes for granted --it's in the social fabric, it's been this way for thousands of years.

"Kill the women? Certainly. And the little dimpled babies in the cradle, that smile and coo in the face of murder -- dash out their brains; that is the will of God. Will you tell me that any God ever commanded such infamy? Kill the men and the women, and the young men and the babes! "What shall we do with the maidens?" "Give them to the rabble murderers!" Do you believe that God ever allowed the roses of love and the violets of modesty that shed their perfume in the heart of a maiden to be trampled beneath the brutal feet of lust? If there is any God, I pray him to write in the book of eternal remembrance, opposite to my name, that I denied that lie. Whenever a woman reads a Bible and comes to that passage, she ought to throw the book from her in contempt and scorn. Do you tell me that any decent God would do that? What would the devil have done under the same circumstances? Just think of it; and yet that is the God that we want to get into the constitution. That is the God we teach our children about, so that they will be sweet and tender, amiable and kind. That monster -- that fiend! I guess the Bible is not inspired about religious liberty, nor about war."

--

"They say that it is morally inspired. Well, let us examine it. I want to be fair about this thing, because I am willing to stake my salvation or damnation on this question, whether the Bible is true or not. I say it is not; and upon that I am willing to wager my soul. Is there a woman here who believes in the institution of polygamy? Is there a man here who believes in that infamy? You say: "No; we do not." Then you are better than your God was four thousand years ago. Four thousand years ago He believed in it, taught it and upheld it. I pronounce it and denounce it the infamies of infamies. It robs our language of every sweet and tender word in it. It takes the fireside away forever. It takes the meaning out of the words father, mother, sister, brother, and turns the temple of love into a vile den where crawl the slimy snakes of lust and hatred. I was in Utah a little while ago, and was on the mountain where God used to talk to Brigham Young. He never said anything to me. I said it was just as reasonable that God in the nineteenth century would talk to a polygamist in Utah as it was that four thousand years ago, on Mount Sinai, he talked to Moses upon that hellish and damnable question.

I have no love for any God who believes in polygamy. There is no heaven on this earth save where the one woman loves the one man and the one man loves the one woman. I guess it is not inspired on the polygamy question.

Joe E. Holman said...

Sharon said: "Sweetheart, we're not talking about the past. We are talking about the present, and the future. It's women who suffer. I don't want to be taken captive in a man's brothel... or raped again. It's not funny to me. Most feminists are reluctant to align themselves with males, even in the secular community because of the casual age-old attitudes expressed toward women.. that there's only one woman posting among numerous men on this blog -doesn't that tell you anything at all?

Men never have and never do see why women are sensitive, and easy to say "Lighten up", when its not them getting hurt --they're the ones dishing it out, past, present and will be future, unless attitudes change."


My reply: Look, I am truly sorry about the horrible experience you went through. I can't begin to imagine it. In the ministry, I counseled a few women who did go through that, and I saw how it turned their lives upside down. You are not alone, as I'm sure you know. And no one is more opposed to barbarism than me. In fact, I have a chapter on it in my coming book, but your reaction to my joke was unsettling. Your comments and attitude are dangerous and inflammatory.

Your words make it appear that you have fallen into the trap so many in your unfortunate position have -- of viewing all men collectively as a cruel breed of raping monsters. That is unjustified and paranoid, a blatant overeaction.

Nothing I said justified those remarks. Despite your bad experience, women do not go around thinking of how oppressive men are from every little joke told by them.

My gesting had everything to do with topics at hand. I was responding to John's reference to me as "God". You should see the humor in it since this is a blog about Debunking Christianity! Solomon was blessed by God with 700 wives and 300 concubines! That's what I was hinting at! Nobody here would think for a moment that we agree with that philosophy! You should know that.

Just the other day, a close friend of mine said something to me, and I jokingly snapped at her, "Woman, hold thy tongue. Speak only when spoken to! Go back to churning the butter!" She replied "Yes, my Lord" (holding up her middle finger!) Now that was funny!

So yes, you're going to have to lighten up and fit in like everyone else who doesn't make issues when there are none. Sexism is real, but not here. And there's not a doubt in my mind John would bring any woman on board he felt would make a good contribution. And, uh, we are ex-pastors here, a field generally dominated by men, which is why there happen to be more men here than woman. I don't think it's right for you to stand ready to pounce on any man with accusations of sexism, which is what it sounds like you are doing.

I do sincerely hope you can break away from the inner terror you are feeling and learn to relax again. You are among friends who stand beside you in the fight against biblical idiocy and the sexism it creates. But please quit alienating your friends here.

There's nothing wrong with joking. Nothing.

If you want to get even, you can jab me for not being able to multitask! Tis true in my case! :-)

(JH)

Sharon Mooney said...

Solomon was blessed by God with 700 wives and 300 concubines! That's what I was hinting at! Nobody here would think for a moment that we agree with that philosophy! You should know that.

I had hoped your original comment was meant in sarcasm, I thought it might have been, but that wasn't clear. Too often I have tried to participate in other male-dominated forums, including some non-christian, aside of the "aggressive tendencies to lock horns" that Daniel Morgan spoke of, comments like the one in dispute make it unwelcoming for women, such comments taken for granted by the men who tend to chat "over" the women who are present --as if women are not even reading. Before long, it sinks to dismal and derogatory language, aimed at women. When one man says it's not an issue to be sensitive about, it only validates and prolongs the attitude. I believe most of the men on this blog are gentlemen, and that is originally why I wanted to become involved. Besides John Loftus, I was familiar with Ed Babinski and Daniel Morgan... all fine gentlemen. (Ed needed some polishing though he's good to go now).

Thank you for clarifying your position. Women who visit and read your comment in the future, will realize "this is a family/woman-safe hovel".. and men will understand, those old Solomon-like attitudes are unacceptable and on their way out. Words can be turned into very powerful weapons that hurt people. I hope other webmasters learn something from what you've said , "Nobody here would ...agree with that philosophy!" in legal circles it's often referred to as a "sexually hostile environment".

Sharon Mooney said...

Just a follow-up note on stastics that is well worth remembering:

Status, violence and culture: anthropological issues

An anthropological perspective on rape is provided by Sanday (1981) using a cross-cultural examination of 156 separate societies. Although these societies were studied at different times by different anthropologists with different focuses (this last a relevant point in the likelihood of disclosing sensitive information about rape), Sanday nevertheless found sufficient information about rape to analyse ninety-five of the societies.

Some 47 per cent of the societies experienced little or no rape, 17 per cent were 'unambiguously rape-prone', while the remaining 36 per cent had evidence of rape but no clear indication of its incidence. These last were incorporated into the 'rape-prone' category. Sanday found patterns of behaviour that differed markedly between the two kinds of society. As Benderly (1982) summarises:

Societies with a high incidence of rape . . . tolerate violence and encourage men and boys to be tough, aggressive, and competitive. [Sharon: The need for "locking horns" as Daniel Morgan put it.] Men in such cultures generally have special, politically important gathering spots off limits to women, whether they be the Mundurucu men's club or the corner tavern [Sharon: Or male-dominated, male-exclusive cyber-hovels]. Women take little or no part in public decision making or religious rituals: men mock or scorn women's practical judgment. [Sharon: When women say they find a particular comment offensive, please be sensitive to that.] They also demean what they consider women's work and remain aloof from childbearing and rearing. These groups usually trace their beginnings to a male supreme being (Benderly 1982, p. 42).

Benderly's conclusion is that:
The way society trains its boys and girls to think about themselves and each other determines to a large extent how rape-prone or rape-free that society will be (1982, p. 43).

Excerpt from a report by Marlene Goldsmith, Chairman, Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Issues, Parliament of New South Wales
Source for PDF Document

paul said...

Sharon,
I admit I haven't had the chance to read all you've written here, but just wanted to take the opportunity to say welcome. You seem to be a great person and have a keen wit and intellect. I, for one, am enjoying your presence here. Thanks for taking the time and making the effort to share yourself.
Paul

CalvinDude said...

Since this post has gotten a little off-topic dealing with feminist sexism, I put a response to Daniel Morgan and Joe Holman here:
http://calvindude.com/dude/blog/2006/05/daniel-morgan-takes-a-stab-at-it/

John W. Loftus said...

When I saw that there were 25 comments here I thought I'd read through them all to see what the fuss was all about.

Just to set the record straight. I do not want even one other woman. I cannot handle the one I've got, and I like it! She's everything I want and need.

One day while drinking I told her that she was my universe. Then I thought for a second and said, "that makes me your God."

John W. Loftus said...

And when it comes to the male Muslim heaven, have you stopped to think what those 70 virgins did wrong to be in some guys eternal custody?

Sharon Mooney said...

CalvinDude said...
Since this post has gotten a little off-topic dealing with feminist sexism...


Actually, its right on topic for "Why Didn't God Get it Right?"
You ought to have been born a woman, then you'd better understand.

Paul said...
just wanted to take the opportunity to say welcome.


Thanks, and you too. John Loftus has a great blog concept going on here, and hoping it'll be around for a long time... hopefully more female contributors as his site grows.

John W. Loftus said...
And when it comes to the male Muslim heaven, have you stopped to think what those 70 virgins did wrong to be in some guys eternal custody?


Believe in Allah --spend eternity in Hell.
Reject Allah --spend eternity in Hell.

Heaven and Hell are split into many levels depending on the actions taken in life, where punishment is given depending on the level of evil done in life, and good is separated into other levels depending on how well one followed Allah (God) while alive...

SoldierOfTheCross said...

Sharon,

"God does have a purpose for things that are evil. ... God to have a good reason for evil to occur?

I don't see it, thousands of years of recorded human history. show me."

The Bible.

Shamgar 1 said...

You ask why there is evil in the universe? You shouldn't have...Please stay with me on this one.

Does darkness exhist?
You can't mesure it like light.
You can make something infnitly brighter, but when it's pitch black, that's it.
Drakness is the absence of light.

Does cold exhist?
You can't mesure it like heat.
You can make something infnitly warmer, but when it's absolute zero, that's it.
Cold is the absence of heat.

Does evil exhist?
Same arguments apply
Evil is the absence of God.

Still not convinced?
Does quiet exhist?
Does dryness exhist?
ETC....

luvmydog said...

Hi I am new here. I couldn't quite believe the comment about God not getting it right. That He could be any way responsible for the evil in the world. Clearly the writer has no education about God and in any case (I'm sorry JH) but you're really in no position to be judging God as you've absolutely zero chance of salvation without Him. Best of luck to you though.

yoshin said...

Why didn’t God get it right. Great question. I have asked myself this question for years. After being a Christian for over 40 years I have concluded that people look to close at the Bible. They pick one verse to support an idea and while another person can easily pick another verse to argue against the same idea. It is especially prevalent on the net. It is like looking at leaf instead of a tree. After reading the Bible many times, I tried looking at the overall theme. I found only one theme that runs through the Bible from cover to cover and many religious people will not like it. It is scary and it removes all the security that we think we have. Here is a short outline that will make you think:

God Created everything and it was good.
He changed his mind and destroyed almost everything with a Flood.
Then he chose his favorite race and lead them from bondage.
They started to worship a golden calf.
He wanted to kill them all, but he changed his mind.
He wanted to be their king, but he changed his mind and picked Saul instead.
He changed his mind again, Saul was no good as a king.
He picked another, David, a man after his own heart, a murderer, an adulterer, a bigamist but he was really good with poetry.
He changed his mind and would not let David build his temple, he left Solomon do it instead, he was more worth and but really a bigamist, 300 wives and 700 girlfriends.
This whole time he was under a covenant that he designed with his chosen people,
which include killing animals to make him happy.
He changed his mind again, time for a new covenant.
Killing animals became inadequate, time to kill a person.
He couldn’t find one to suit so he decided to kill himself, Jesus is God.
This finally made him happy.
Until - he changes his mind again.

The Christian religion’s foundation is built on the important fact that God never changes. There are a few verses that indicate that he doesn’t change, but overall the Bible obviously tells another story. Look at the universe that God created, it all has one thing in common - everything, everywhere is constantly changing and evolving. Any reasoning person would conclude that God is constantly changing. Christians should not be surprised if God changes his mind about the “plan of salvation”. Even if all his changes were brought about by “the freewill of man”, it does not change the fact that God will still change his mind.

Or ---- The Bible and religion may be man made, a way to find or describe God for what ever reason - control, money or an answer for why we are here. If God really wrote the Bible, it would be the most wonderful inspiring work every written. In fact, when the son of God was here, he should have sat down and jotted down some basic ideas. But instead the Bible is about barbaric killings to appease an angry God. This theme would fit perfectly with the Mayans or any other ancient tribe.

Why didn’t God get it right, he couldn’t, but he is smart enough to constantly change. Maybe this is the image of God that we were created with, the ability to adapt.