Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Response: Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie: The Sad, Naive Atheism of Christopher Hitchens

Response to: Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie: The Sad, Naive Atheism of Christopher Hitchens

The biggest problem with Yoffie's claims are passages such as these in his own, supposed, "Holy" books.
Deuteronomy 7
1 When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;
2 And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them
Deuteronomy 13
6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;
7 Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;
8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:
9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
10 And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
14 Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you;
15 Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.
16 And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the LORD thy God: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again.
Deuteronomy 20
16 But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth
Either these books are lies (leaving nothing supporting claims about god) or you believe that god commands genocide from time-to-time (in which case you are sick and need professional help). I've read the apologetics and they should sicken any rational human being.

If these passages are taken to be historical, then men took swords and SLICED OPEN infant after infant after infant. To even HINT that a god would command such a thing is the most vile lie ever to leave mans lips or his quill. It sickens me to think of the atrocities that men have committed solely because it was CLAIMED that god willed it so. And no, it is not a sufficient defense to claim that these children will go to an imaginary heaven - so that makes it ok. Reverse the situation - have someone murder YOUR CHILD and THEN I want to see you excuse their actions because your child will go to heaven. You KNOW it's wrong.

Various (unsubstantiated) claims have been levied at these people in order to try to justify the atrocities apparently commanded by god in the bible. They worshiped a different god, they had the wrong kinds of sex with each other, they didn't love the way the authors of the bible thought people should love, they committed child sacrifices (kind of like god supposedly commanded of Abraham? IF they were committing child sacrifices then WHY didn't god just intervene in the Hittite ritual like he did for Abraham? Clearly he CAN if he feels like it). But no, this time god said the punishment for those adults who had committed these sins was for their CHILDREN to be hacked to pieces with a sword - and wasn't that a convenient justification for those who would take their land afterwards? I call such a god utterly unworthy of worship. If that really IS the god that exists then it is no wonder his own creations supposedly revolted against him.

I prefer to think that reality is not nearly that evil or stupid. I don't think there is a god at all, least of all a personal god as concieved by warmongering, goat herding, misogynists.

I have no issue with someone who wants to believe in a good higher power as long as they STOP there - once you start making claims about what this god commands or wills then you better have something better than 3000 year old drek about a war god who wills humans to stone each other to death, cut off part of their child's genitalia, and murder entire populations of other people because they are 'bad' (without ever enumerating any crimes which could possibly morally justify such an atrocity).

And you DARE to ask where MY morals come from? -- I ask where YOUR morals come from because they are clearly lacking. My morals come from the evolutionary processes which yielded my ability to observe and predict the consequences of actions. The fact that I CAN make reasoned choices based on knowledge and prediction is what gives me the moral responsibility to make some choices over others.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to be picking on Judaism here - Christianity and Islam are all equally vile -- Their disgusting and all too human treatment of one another should be all the evidence anyone needs that there is no god at work behind any of these religions.

You don't need a god to exist to see that we need to work together to make the world a better place for our selves and our children. I applaud all those good people who have been deluded by the call of religious surety and false promises of justice and peace only in a future world and yet remain good people in spite of it. And I condemn all those people who commit ill, some in the name of religious dogma and some in the name of ideological dogma - but all as a result of fallacious logic, incorrect facts, and a fundamental lack or denial of their own humanity.

I do not believe in god but I HOPE a god exists - a just and moral god that had nothing to do with Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. If I am to be punished for trying to live a good life and being HONEST about the evidence before me, then so be it - I welcome it because I would have NOTHING to do with such a petty, jealous, petulant god.

And I do not wish to scapegoat the punishment for my sins onto another either. I'll have nothing to do with the cannibalistic and sick worship of the torture and murder of another human being whom was (at best) mislabeled Christ. [There is simply not sufficient evidence to believe a Jesus person actually existed as described in the Christian bible - but neither is there sufficient evidence to support the claims of Exodus].

So yes, I believe I am more moral than the average religious person BECAUSE I refuse to accept some foolish authority which makes blatantly HORRENDOUS claims about what is supposedly moral.

I have sound logical justifications for my ethical beliefs AND I am open to questioning them in light of new evidence or argument. The crime of the religious believer is that they form their ethical beliefs in a near vacuum of data (save the appeal to authority of some book) and then proceed to commit crimes against humanity wearing the blinders of righteous indignation. Nothing makes a non-believer more sure of their choices than the statements and action of such a hypocrite.

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