There is No Christian God!

The Discovery Channel is host to an eleven part series called Planet Earth, being aired on Sunday's.

You'll watch as a parasite grows out of an ant's head, how a polar bear preys on Walruses, how hunting dogs kill prey, and so on, and so on. Yes, this is a majestic earth, and wonderful in so many ways. But when you watch this series I want you to ask why God didn't create us all as vegetarians. To me the horror of the law of predation negates the existence of an omni-God...period. And I just don't see how anyone who watches what takes place every second somewhere around the globe can still think God is good. He isn't. The horror of predation in this world proves such a God doesn't exist beyond a shadow of doubt.

34 comments:

Tommy said...

I've thought of that too John. Technically, if the God of the Bible existed, it could have created a universe that consisted only of the Earth, the moon and the sun, made the canopy of the heavens be a dome with points of light on them to represent the stars, and kept the human race at a low population level and permanent Bronze Age existence.

Since the universe is so vast the humanity can never hope to visit all of it, what was the point of making it if humanity is so central to God's creation? And if, as many Christians believe, Jesus will return some time in the near future and the world will end in some climactic battle of good and evil, it makes the creation of galaxies a billion light years away even more pointless.

Or to put it another way, what if all of humanity decided to abstain from sex and not procreate anymore. A century or so from now the human race would be extinct and the animals, insects, bacteria and other life forms would go on. Do Christians believe that God would recreate humans or that the Earth would simply go on without humans?

marie said...

Hey John!

I saw your reference to the "Planet Earth" series, and I wanted to share with you what one of my ex-pastors wrote about it on his blog...

"Honestly, when you sit there and watch it you aren't going to need any prompting to think about God. You're not going to have to think yourself into a spiritual mindset. You're going to be flooded with thoughts of worship and delight in what God is capable of doing."

WOW. I have no comment for that. I wish he would visit this site!

If I watched the series as a Christian, it would be really sad that God spent so much time designing fish that live at the bottom of the ocean that no one will ever see, and spends so little time making himself objectively known and saving innocent people from earthly atrocities and eternal suffering.

Tommy said...

Hi Marie!

That reminds me of a time when the father of my brother's ex-wife remarked about a double rainbow that appeared in the sky. "What a blessing!" he kept proclaiming. Yeah, there were probably people being killed and raped around the world at that very moment, but the appearance of some atmospheric phenomena was some kind of blessing.

I should add that when he heard me say that I was living with my girlfriend, he looked at me and said with that "tut-tut" face "Tommy, you're living in sin." I ended up marrying her and he ended up getting divorced for a second time. And to think that commenters here like Calvin believe that I am going to burn in hell for all eternity for atheism and the holy-roller father of my brother's ex-wife is "saved". I think that says it all in a nutshell!

Mark said...

Tommy

In terms of formation of elements necessary for life among other variables-fewer or greater stars would have made life here not possible. If you dont want to read a Vhristian perspective on the cosmos, try Paul Davies series, where he too expresses amazement at how fine tunedfor life the universe is.

By the way-if God detonates a point smaller than an atom into the known universe from nothing, Im assuming there are reasons.

I aksed the question to myself, of course I cant be sure whta the real answer is-but to God, maybe making the night sky beautiful for us to watch was reason enough.

As far as humans abstaining from sex, I dont think youre ever going to have answer to your last hypothetical.

Tommy said...

Yeah, but Mark, we are talking about God here, the most powerful being in the universe. He shouldn't need to make any other stars in order for life to exist on the Earth. And as I wrote above, God could have made the heavens above just be some canopy and the stars just be tiny points of light like on a Christmas tree and not actually be giant balls of hot gas many light years away.

As for the abstinence thing, think of the Shakers.

Mark said...

For John and free thinkers:

Free to think should mean in all axes of thought.

John: If God appeared to you tonight and made you believe, surely your account would lead to others here taking a serious look into Christianity-what precisely would you reequire as proof? Im curious.

2) Youve studied Christianity in the past-what do you consider arguments AGAINST your position that God needs to directly and without doubt demonstrate existence to his creation? How, theologically or logically, might your current argument falter?In other words, argue from the abrahamic God's persepctive.

Anyone else feel free, should be very interesting.

Mark said...

Tommy

which is more awe inspiring and impressive, especially having come from nothingnes and a massive explosion

1) Light pixels placed in the sky

2) Gigantic ongoing fusion reactions which produce heavier elements which subsequently allow life to develop

God COULD have done what you say-but if He didnt, does that mean He doesnt exist, or your way is superior?

Tommy said...

Hi Mark!

You skipped the part about where God could have kept us in a Bronze Age state of existence so that we would never have to be awe inspired by "gigantic ongoing fusion reactions."

You have to remember Mark, during "Bible times", people thought that comets and eclipses were ill omens. Today we know that they are astronomical phenomena with no symbolic significance and there occurences kind be predicted based on measurements and calculations. Were Bronze Age people less in awe of comets and eclipses because they didn't know what they really were?

Tommy said...

Wow, what spelling errors!

Aggh!

Make that "their occurences can be predicted"!

And as for God appearing to me in person, how could I know it really is God? The only way to be sure is if God could make a clear prediction that came true shortly thereafterwards, like "You will see a frog in your backyard tomorrow evening at 7 p.m." Of course, I never see frogs in my backyard, so if one truly appeared the next evening at 7 p.m., the truth of God's prediction would be confirmed. Heck, if you believe that God really caused it to rain for 40 days and nights and that there were dinosaurs on Noah's Ark, it shouldn't be much effort for God to visit me for a couple of minutes and tell me about the frog I will find in my backyard tomorrow night.

Bob said...

Hmm, I had a different reaction. It actually made me view predation as more a normal part of life, and feel better about eating meat.

But it didn't really affect my ideas about God. If anything it would reinforce my belief that humanity and vegetarianism are part of a grand process of evolving toward a purpose, toward a certain place.

David B. Ellis said...


what precisely would you reequire as proof? Im curious.


That question wasn't addressed to my but I'd like to give my thoughts on it:

What it would take to convince me of the truth of theism/supernaturalism/the afterlife is hard evidence. I think what I mean by hard evidence is best explained with an example of one of the many things which I think sufficient to convince a person judging the issue solely on the strength of the evidence (which is how I think we should come to our conclusions about what is and isnt fact):

If God released to souls of the dead to come to earth one day per year (their birthday, lets say) so that they could visit loved ones and tell them all about their experiences in the afterlife I think this would be more than sufficient to satisfy any reasonable person and would, as an added bonus, demonstrate which religion is the true one so that there could be no more doubt/conflict over the issue.

Of course, I could give countless other examples of what would constitute hard evidence for supernaturalism but I think this example gives a good idea of what I'm talking about.

HeIsSailing said...

Thus saith Loftus:
" But when you watch this series I want you to ask why God didn't create us all as vegetarians. To me the horror of the law of predation negates the existence of an omni-God...period."

You know that strictly speaking, many Fundamentalists will counter this statement by saying that God DID create us as vegetarians. Man, lion, Tyranosaurus Rex, all of us were intended to be vegetarians because there was no death in the Garden of Eden! But blast it all, wouldn't you know Eve screwed it up and brought death to the world. That's when the animals went haywire and stared eating each other. Finally, God just got fed up with it all and relented with Noah, giving him the Divine Okey-Dokey to eat meat!

Nice Try Loftus, but checkmate ;-)

Anonymous said...

I doubt that any residents within the animal kingdom such as you have mentioned, think themselves predatory or relegate the process of satiating hunger as evil and suffering. They only know that they are hungry (possibly starving!) and seek the comfort of gathering food. They are acting on instinct. We are the ones that cast emotion-ridden and villifying labels and perspectives upon the natural and end up acting worse than any of these innocent creatures.

One Wave said...

Ditto heissailing.

Wouldn't it be the perfect example of true evolution, animals adapting to a new environment?

Heather said...

**Finally, God just got fed up with it all and relented with Noah, giving him the Divine Okey-Dokey to eat meat!**

So do they argue that the teeth were just decorative in the Garden? And that their systems just 'changed' in terms of eating meat, after being expelled from the Garden? (Changed in terms that they can't survive on a vegetarian diet).

HeIsSailing said...

Verily Heather saith to us:
"So do they argue that the teeth were just decorative in the Garden? And that their systems just 'changed' in terms of eating meat, after being expelled from the Garden? (Changed in terms that they can't survive on a vegetarian diet). "

Heather, I have no idea. But I swear I have heard many Henry Morris types swear that all animals, lions, dinosaurs even were originally vegetarians. Apparantly the wild tigers used to graze on the prairie like the antelope. I have no idea how they explain away the teeth, skeletal structure or digestive system suited for a carnivorous diet.

One Wave said...

Wait a minute Heather, don't you believe in evolution?

Evolution is not the Big Bang hypothesis. Evolution is natural selection, survival of the fittest and gradual adaptation - in part.

Would'nt it make sense that the animals with the sharpest canines would have offspring that would survive better outside the garden? People have eaten raw meat for thousands of years without fangs and "canines" and have survived.

John W. Loftus said...

Heisailing, checkmate? checkmate? There is such a thing when it comes to these issues? You are very naive, if you think so.

Paul Copan has an excellent argument using the Bible to show that there was animal death before Adam and Eve’s sin (See Psalms 104; Job 38:39-40; 39:28-29; 41:1, 10, 14), and that God did in fact originally create us as meat eaters (See Genesis 1:28; 4:2-4; 7:2, despite Genesis 9:3). Even if Christians believe we were originally created as vegetarians, why should animals suffer because of the sins in Noah’s day (Genesis 9:3)? What did animals do wrong?

Anonymous said...

One animal's suffering is another animal's meal. I'm sure they have each had a turn enjoying the satisfaction of a full stomach. Their death is not in vain - and death is not the end, even for animals (for those fundamentalists who claim animals are not in heaven, where in the heck does Jesus get the horse to ride out of heaven on???)

One Wave said...

Taking it one at a time,

Psalm 4 - Which reference are you referring to?

Alyx said...

But I swear I have heard many Henry Morris types swear that all animals, lions, dinosaurs even were originally vegetarians. Apparantly the wild tigers used to graze on the prairie like the antelope.

Indeed. And if you go read the excerpt online from the next "Left Behind" book (if you can force yourself through the turgid prose, that is), you will see that in the fundie vision of the Millenial Kingdom, carnivores "revert" back to their "original" herbivorism. There's a small scene in that excerpt where someone is watching a bear and a leopard cooperate to get the leaves off of a tree, and then eat them.


http://www.leftbehind.com/channelbooks.asp?pageid=1320&channelID=227

One Wave said...

Alyx,
I'm would not put Henry Morris in the same category as Tim LaHaye and Jenkins. I read the first book in the series and it wasn't for me so I haven't read the rest, but I don't believe either author would say they were scientists.

John,
I looked up those verses and couldn't find anything in them that would support animal death before sin. The first animal death I see is in Gen. 3:21 when God apparently killed an animal to clothe Adam and Eve, which is where the blood sacrifice comes in. I would imagine that just like anyone else who has feelings, Adam and Eve were a bit horrified at the thought that an animal's blood was shed in order to cover them. I would imagine that every time they sacrificed an animal to remember what it cost to cover them, they felt sorry for taking that animal's life which is one reason why a saviour was so desired, in my opinion and the opinion of some others.

The other verses don't seem to hold up.

Psalm 104:20-21 (?)
"Thou dost appoint darkness and it becomes night,
In which all the beasts of the forest prowl about.
The young lions roar after their prey,
And seek their food from God."

When we keep reading it says:
vs. 22&24
"When the sun rises they withdraw,
And lie down in their dens.
Man goes forth to his work
And to his labor until evening."

I don't see an indication that this is in reference to the time before sin because, according to the Bible, man did not labor until after the fall.

Job 38:39-40
"Can you hunt the prey for the lion,
Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
When they crouch in their dens,
And lie in wait in the lair?"

Again, I don't see that it gives a time frame. The preceding verses pertain to creation but not in such a way that it would indicate THE creation. Verses 26&27 refer to rain on a land without people, the desert. That could possibly be interpreted as a waste land before people were created, but I think it's more likely that it's just talking about a desert where no people live. My reason is that God is the one speaking, His point seems to be that man has does not have the ability to manage these elements of nature and if there is no man in the desolate land and there is still rain, it's obvious that man had nothing to do with the rain. Could that be God's way of discrediting "rainmakers"?

Job 39:28-29
"On the cliff he [eagle] dwells and lodges,
Upon the rocky crag, an
inaccessible place.
From there he spies out food;
His eyes see it from afar."

Look up at verses 22-25. They are speaking of the horse that does not fear the sword and "does not stand still at the voice of the trumpet". Trumpets were not made before the fall. Swords were not made before the fall.

The first reference to metal working is in Genesis 4:22 "As for Zillah, she also gave birth to Tubal-cain, the forger of all implements bronze and iron..."

Job 41:1
"Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook?
Or press down his tongue with a cord?"

Not only does this reveal that fishhooks were made and some skill was accomplished in fishing, but again there is no reference to this being before the sin of man.
(By sin I mean an act of the will that is not consistent with God's intention in creation.)

I realize that Job is supposed to be the first chronological book but is there evidence, or at least speculation that Job lived before the fall?

Gen. 1:28
"And God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

I'm assuming you are using the word rule to mean to eat and abuse. Can you point me to other uses of the same word throughout the Bible where rule has that meaning? From what I see, rule means to govern, to protect, to manage. In other words..pull the weeds, trim the hedges, help the horses deliver a breech colt, etc...

Gen. 4: 2-4
"And again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of the flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground. And Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering."

God's requirement for the willful disobedience that brought strife into the world was that blood had to be shed. Remember that Adam and Eve could not adequately cover themselves with plants. I suppose God could have taught them how to weave a fiberous plant to make clothes but what cost would there be? How effective would that be in helping them remember what they did? The sacrifice...and it was a sacrifice, a sad thing to kill an animal...had to be blood.

Abel did what was required. Cain did not follow God's requirement, instead he seemingly tried to impress God with his work, which is understandable. Who wants to go ask his brother for a sheep when he worked hard to grow food?

If you think God was unfair to Cain, read the next few verses and see how God talked to Cain after killing Abel. I would say he was far from unjust.

Gen. 7:2
I'm not sure what you are getting at here. Are you saying that Noah took those animals to eat? That would still be after the fall.

John W. Loftus said...

One Wave, far be in from me to tell Christians what they should believe on this. But in his book, That's Just Your Interpretation, pp. 150-152, Paul Copan believes God created us as meat eaters (as do Gordon Wenham and Henri Blocher). All of the Genesis passages before Genesis 9:3, indicates we were created as meat eaters. Psalm 104 is a "creation Psalm." Copan writes, "there is no clear indication that carnivorus activity is the result of sin and could not have existed before the fall, rather as Psalm 104 suggests, all organisms have their place in the food chain." In Job 38-39 "animal death and the food chain are presupposed as part of God's creation--without apology or qualification." "The paleographical/geological evidence bears out that carnivorous animals existed before the fall."

Genesis 9:3 "merely ratifies or confirms the legitimacy of meat eating."

But even if God did create us as vegetarians, again I ask, what did animals do to deserve the horrendous evils of predation? To cause them to suffer because of the original sin is sick and barbaric, especially of a perfectly good God, plain and simple.

John W. Loftus said...

Here is your God in action, and again, and again.

Enjoy what your God has done.

When I see such things I am horrified at the suggestion that a good God exists. He's a bastard, plain and simple.

John W. Loftus said...

Opps all the links take you to the same place. They fooled me. Go there and click on "planet earth highlights," then on "hunting dogs," "feeding frenzy," and "snake bites."

Calvin said...

As Psalms 104 says These all look to you, to give them their food in due season. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.

So the Bible clearly says that the predator prey relationship is good not evil.

Carnovorus activity maximizes the quality of life for the hebivores as a whole. As game wardens will verify, a lack of carnivorous activity leads to the spread of disease, to starvation, and to genetic decline. Without the help of predators, game wardens find themselves forced to thin out the herbivor population in order to maintain it's health and vitality. We should note too that God made herbivors difficult to hunt in one way or another, some by their size, some by their speed, and some by their means of defense. We humans are the ones able(and willing, I'm sad to say) to kill the best individuals within a species. The carnivorous animals go after the weakest, sickest and most genetically damaged individuals. Thus, they protect and enhance the quality of the herbivore species. Psalms 104 is also an example of how God recieves glory for His creation of forces of judgement. The darkness, the sea, the leviathan, and the lion that catches it's prey are all good things for which God is praised. Most people have no trouble praising God for happy, pleasent things, but can we praise Him for dangerous forces that are used for judgement? The Bible makes clear that God is not ashamed of His judgements, including hell, but is glorified by them. The destructive forces of nature show forth God's power and divine nature. As such they are automatically judgements held in readiness, because anyone who offends God must deal with His power. God is dangerous and powerful. For His invisible atributes, namely, His eternal power and Divine nature are clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. We may not like the implication but nature tells us that God is capable of severe wrath and pain. That is what His "power" includes. Many people say they don't believe that God is like that. They don't believe that God would create cruel things. We have two things that agree completely - the Bible and nature - giving us a stark picture of God's wrathful nature, but instead of accepting them we reject both. If religion is about believing what is true, not just what we wish to be true, then surely we must swallow the hard pill that God, the real God who exists and created the world, is not just the way we would like Him to be. We may hate the wrath of God, but we cannot say that it is illogical to believe in it. What is illogical is to believe in a God who would never harm a flea when we see lots of harmed fleas arround us. This may drive some people to prefer atheism, but even nature's terrors testify that God exists. We must marvel at the shark, even while fearing it. The story of Darwin himself shows that the main reason why people want Darwinism to be true is that they just cannot accept the idea of God being glorfied by violence.

Hence that dread and amazement with which, as scripture uniformly relates, holy men were struck and overwhelmed whenever they beheld the presence of God....Men are never duly touvhed and impressed with a conviction of their insignificance until they have contrasted themselves with the majesty of God. - John Calvin

One Wave said...

Interesting points Calvin.

John, were you taught that Psalm 104 was a "creation" chapter? I tend to stay away from naming portions of the Bible because then there is a presupposition. What do yo do with those ending verses if this is a passage stricly about creation? Can you give me your own thoughts instead of quoting others?

You said that everything before Gen. 9 supports us being meat eaters but from the verses you gave I don't see it.

Would you be willing to go through each passage, excepting Job 38-39, you listed and explain how you draw your conclusions?

I am not absolute in my thoughts that we were not meat eaters but I don't see a good arguement yet to convince me otherwise.

I'm not sure why it would matter to you, honestly. If you believe that we are a product of chance it would seem that you would have no qualms with the natural order of life. Life is not valuable unless there is something unique about it, what value is there in an organized fabric of chemicals.

I'm a little baffled as to why you would feel it is neccessary to call God names if His personality is void.

I hope this does not sound sarcastic, I am being sincere.

And, far be it from me to tell you what you should believe, I can only speak for my beliefs, some of which are not completely formed yet.

John W. Loftus said...

One Wave, far be in from me to tell Christians what they should believe on this.

But whatever you decide to believe I think it is absolutely horrific that God should punish animals for what humans supposedly deserve. You cannot justify that. Try.

Calvin said...

Even in the absence of human sin, the destructive forces of nature show forth God's power and Divine nature. Such display's are very good because the sun, and the moon do not sin, nor the land and the sea, nor do the animals. They just are what they are and do what they were designed to do. The death of a wasp can serve as a reminder the wrath of God. There are millions of stars and planets that will be born and die in explosions. The universe testifies of God's eternal power and Divine nature.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Mark,

You have a likely irresolvable Confusion of Cause regarding the anthropomorphic universe. Here are some examples of what I am talking about.

case 1.a
Since man exists the universe must have been created for him.

case 1.b
Since the universe exists man developed naturally like everything else.

case 2.a
Since the universe exists there must be a creator.

case 2.b
Since the universe exists there must be entity that has evolved sufficiently to use behavioral algorithms developed through evoulution to attempt to apply anthroporphism to chance and probability in order to comprehend it and has come up with a god as the explanation.

( I know that it is harder to say 2.b than 2.a but Ockhams razor only applies to concepts not sentences. ;-) )

case 3.
Since the universe exists there must be something that created it.

case 3.b
Since the creator exists there must be something that created it.

case 3.c
Since the creator of the creator exists there must be something that created it.

With regards to your open question to 'free-thinkers':
What would it take?
To preface, I was convinced by the same things you were. But when I went to resolve inconsistencies in the bible that bothered me I wound up accepting the folklore hypothesis for the bible.

So what would it take? It would take objective evidence. For example, when I get up in the morning, I see my dogs, I pet them, they lick me and I let them out to take care of business. I don't doubt they are there. They give me some feedback that I can understand.

If you don't buy that then here's a silly example,
Jesus should come down and shake my hand and stretch it across the room without causing me any pain and then say 'Lee, see how silly you are, now go forth and preach the good news using this as your new super-apostle-power'.

One Wave said...

I'm not ignoring you John, just busy. I would like to give it a shot later.

One Wave said...

I'm answering this on the assumption that by "punishing animals" you mean the sacrifice of animals. Animals eating each other is not a punishment, it would be a natural consequence of man disturbing the design.

I care about animals very much. In the movie Last of The Mohicans the opening scene shows the men hunting a deer..if I remember right...and when he is down one of the men thanks the deer for giving his life to them. In The God's Must Be Crazy 2, the main character (sorry, it's been so long since I've seen these I can't remember all of the names) kills a goat for food and does something similar. In another movie, that I think was Cold Mountain, there is a mountain woman, killing a goat that she has kept. I can't remember if that one was for food or to make a medicine for the man.

That is how I view animal death on behalf of man. There are times to take an animal's life but it should be done with respect for that animal's contribution and with thankfulness to God for giving us a ready source of food from herbivores when we cannot always be herbivorous.
I believe that people are more important than animals but cruelty to animals is wrong.

Cruelty could be defined by different people in different ways, killing is not always cruel.
I know, another topic.

Because I believe in the fall of man, but perhaps not the same verbage as I've heard some other Christians use, I'm starting from the perspective that the only time in history that the world was just as it should have been was in the garden of Eden.

My opinion is that after the fall God has been working within an imperfect world for the purpose of revealing His glory and drawing people's hearts to Him.

If that's the case, God does not ALWAYS insist upon His first choice. The suffering of animals is sad, but animals are not as important to God, or to me, as people are.

There is much imagery in the carrying out of the temple sacrifices and if I were one of the priests and my heart was pure before God, I would have been looking for a savior too, to relieve the awful reality that death and strife were brought into the world through the disobedience and ignorance of man.

I think that this page, in part, sums up what I am trying to say:

http://www.ldolphin.org/icrdeath.html

I hadn't seen it before looking it up to see if ICR had anything to say about decomposers, but I agree.

Decomposers...you're going to love this..
I just got off the phone with a friend who is fairly well-known in the Evolution/Creation debate and biblical studies and he could not give me an answer for decomposers. He said honestly there is no answer for that or single cell organisms.

My own answer would be I would love to talk about that in another 500 years and see if there is a reasonable solution to that at that time. The world is not flat.

One Wave said...

I would like to detract part of my above post.

"The suffering of animals is sad, but animals are not as important to God, or to me, as people are."

I can't speak for God, so I would like to retract that part. The meaning behind my opinion is that I would, most of the time, chose the life of a person over the life of an animal.

I'm used to the editing function, I'll try and be more careful in the future before sending.

Will E. said...

The fact that we exist at all as biological entities that need to eat, sleep, procreate, etc., is all the proof I need that there can be no god(s). A god could have created "humans" to exist in the same ethereal realm out of time, out of space, in which he exists, free of bodies and physical needs. A god as powerful as the one religions imagine would have no need of love or worship or the desire to create. Yes, for me, I don't even think of it in terms of how awful it is that life feeds on life, so how can there be a god? The question is precisely upside down and backwards. Because there is life as we know it, there can be no god(s).