God Commanded Terrible Stuff!
In regard to God defining morality (part of a reply to this post), Alex wrote:
Right, so I guess then that slavery is fine, that homosexuals should be killed, that it’s ok to kill people who pick up sticks on a Saturday or Sunday, that child sacrificing is perfectly fine, that a tooth for a tooth is perfectly fine and on and on?
This has all been answered before, so here’s the round-up of replies:
- No, slavery is not okay. Check Glenn Miller, too.
- No, we are not going to kill gay people and Sabbath-breakers. I’ve talked about the church’s shoddy treatment of gays before, actually!
- No, the Bible does not condone child sacrifice. J.P. Holding weighs in. With a cartoon, too!
- “Eye-for-an-eye” laws were more complex than just that (rebuttal, cross-ex, Paul Copan weighs in).
Amazingly, no mention of God commanding genocide. That’s the only atheist talking point missing from Alex’s short list.
Hopefully, I won’t have to answer any of these charges again, but I kind of doubt it. All of these are atheist favorites, despite repeated correction by many, many Christian apologists. I’m sure we’ll keep seeing these brought up over and over again, until Christ’s triumphant return.
On Traditional Marriage: Where Charlie Went Wrong
Martin over The Atheist Experience chided a recent caller going by Charlie the Atheist Homophobe:
When he called Tracie and me two weeks ago, the burden of his argument was that the word homophobia has a colloquial meaning that has changed and evolved from its dictionary definition, so as to incorporate such things as “disgust” rather than strictly “irrational fear” (the meaning of “phobia” in a nutshell). Charlie was supportive of this evolution of homophobia’s meaning, of course. (source)
Then, Martin points out that it is inconsistent not to be supportive of the same evolution for marriage:
While homophobia gets to expand its meaning to include a variety of emotional states, marriage does not get to expand its meaning to include a variety of relationship commitments, including same-sex couples (even though the almighty dictionary says it can). And Charlie’s whole justification for opposing any expansion of marriage‘s definition is an appeal to tradition and consensus, the very things he thinks should be ignored in the case of homophobia.
It’s a pure double standard, of the sort that people who are smart enough to know better often hold, so as to convince themselves that an intellectually and morally offensive point of view is in fact intellectually and morally justified. But as Russell said, if the guy isn’t actually out to impinge on anyone’s rights, then his word games are just so much noise.
Martin is absolutely right. But, the essence of Charlie’s arguments hold, provided that he would have been more careful about phrasing himself. Read the rest of this entry