Why does god kill children?

by Comatose 269 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • cofty

    I find it demeaning to continue to try to get a simple answer to a very simple question.

    Any rational person can read the conversation above and come to their own conclusions.

  • AndDontCallMeShirley

    Cofty: I find it demeaning to continue to try to get a simple answer to a very simple question.

    It is man [Tammy] who has made things so complicated, becasue man [Tammy] does not know

    Abraham did not sent them into the desert to die. HE was PROMISED that GOD would make a great nation out of Ishmael.

    Ironically, the Arabs (Hagar/Ishmael) are the biggest persecutors of the Jews (Isaac/Abraham) and now own Abraham's "Promised Land".

    God certainly does have a sense of humor.

  • cofty

    This is "Hagar" by the Scottish artist Andrew Geddes. (click here for a huge version)

    It moved me deeply when I first saw the original hanging in the National Gallery in Edinburgh.

    I was an active JW at the time but it really made me think and see the story in a new light. I bought a postcard of the painting and pinned it to my desk.

    Was it the beginning of the end for me?

  • AndDontCallMeShirley

    tec: Eve ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. To help you understand what fruit means: The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, patience, peace, forebearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. So the fruit of that tree... was good (life is in good), and evil (death is in evil)


    Thank you for quoting Galatians 5:22.

    I thank you because it supports previous arguments other posters and myself have made on this thread: you cherry-picked two unrelated scriptures to create a fictional doctrine not supported by the Biblical texts you cited.

  • adamah

    Good morning, everyone!

    TEC said:

    No, love... the problem is that these ones don't know Christ. They look to the bible, or they look to the GB, to tell or show them about God... but they do not look to Christ, Himself. The actual Truth.

    I highly recommend a recent book by Edward Blum (historian at San Diego State University) called, "The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America". (It's available from many libraries as a free check-out in audiobook form, if you use the iPhone app "Overdrive".)

    The book's premise is how the color of Jesus' skin has evolved in America from the earliest times to the present day, and was used as the basis of justifying discrimination against blacks, taming of American indians, etc. Without giving too much away, it's interesting how American Indian tribes perceived this newly-presented deity Jesus as relatable in terms THEY could understand, eg as someone who'd help them on their hunts, etc. A few noted the irony of the white men foolishly killing their own God! The clear message is that different people create Jesus in their OWN image, which is what you get when people are dealing with something that doesn't exist, i.e. they're free to let their imaginations run wild, since there's no objective reality to compare their mental image against to serve as a benchmark. Never content to pass an opportunity for fraud, someone in the Middle Ages created the fraudulent "Publius Lentulus" letter to support the idea of Jesus being white.


    However, the process of creating Jesus-themed writings started much earlier: early Christianity was actually quite diverse, with MANY different books about Jesus, where some eventually came to be canonized into the New Testament (400 yrs AFTER Jesus' birth). So in fact, the NT was NOT the only source for books discussing Jesus circa 70CE, since it had yet to be canonized. Books about Jesus became a mini-fad (much like vampire-themed novels are best-sellers, or the Harry Potter triggered a trend in the fantasy genre), and MANY works appeared that were believed by many people and used for worship by diverse groups of "Christians" who came later to be lumped into the category of 'gnostics' (a large and diverse group in itself: not all gnostic groups agreed on even the basics, and different camps formed).

    An extremely strong case can be made for showing the Jesus character was a syncretic blending of Judaism with older pagan beliefs, written by extremist sects of Jews who were discontent with the state of Judaism under Imperial Roman rule such that Christianity represents the off-shoot or introduction of foreign ideas into Judaism that the Torah repeatedly warned against, where Jews were ORDERED to squash out these apostates or else face God's wrath for failing to do so.

    The 'make or break' moment for Christianity is even depicted in the account of the Last Supper, when Jesus commands his disciples to symbolically drink his blood (wine, symbolic drinking of blood) and eat his flesh (bread): this was anathema to Jews, as it was an act long-associated with pagan beliefs and a DIRECT violation of the Jewish core command from Genesis NOT to eat the blood with the flesh, since blood contains the life-force, the soul (in Hebrew, nephesh). This command was given to Noah by YHWH Himself in the Noahic Covenant (Genesis 9), and even clearly stated to be an everlasting command, handed down to all generations. That's WHY Simon Peter (a Jew) said something to the effect of Jesus' words being hard to hear, and that many apostles turned away from Jesus, completely repulsed by being asked to commit an act that violated the Noahican Covenant in spirit. Jesus was asking them to break God's sacred command.

    OF course, study ancient mythology and you'll see that the theme of a half-human/half-God who had converted water into wine, preached of a higher level of existence, lived an ascetic lifestyle, offered salvation, was killed by humans, and cheated death by being resurrected is NOT unique to Jesus: there's actually MANY such characters that existed for 1,000's of years BEFORE Jesus was born, starting with Osiris, Attis, Dionysus, etc. The core beliefs of the myth was NOT new to ancient peoples, but resonated with them as something familiar, just as it does with many today. With time, these elements were "borrowed" and inserted into his story to bolster the account of Jesus. You REALLY should read some of the gnostic texts, to see the range of Jesus stories that didn't make the "cut" (including accounts of his childhood in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, where he used his powers for malevolence as a child). That's the beauty of fiction: the character can be or do anything you want him to be.

    Are there things written in the OT that I don't understand. Absolutely! Are there things in the OT that the scribes and translaters don't (and didn't) understand?

    Again, absolutely!

    Which... again... is why we should look to the One who DOES know what happened and what was meant.

    Unfortunately, Jesus died long ago, and isn't available to grant personal interviews. ;)

    As hard as it may be for you to accept, your perception of hearing Jesus isn't unique: you are only one of MILLIONS who believes you are hearing the voice of Jesus or God (or Ahuru, or....). I don't doubt for a second that you truly believe that you ARE hearing his voice: it's a well-known phenomena, where some people cannot distinguish between an internally-generated voice from a source that is external to themselves, AKA voice hallucinations.

    Such "voice hearers" are known to exist, but unfortunately the perception is associated with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc, although it's found in those who lead healthy and productive lives. Those who experience the condition are often driven underground, as there's so many stigmas surrounding the claim of hearing voices; those who speak of their experiences often face persecution for their claims, which as luck would have it, plays quite nicely into the Christian persecution complex! Thus we have a positive-feedback loop created, wherein the person feels they're being persecuted for their faith in Jesus, and that serves as incentive to continue speaking out to defend their faith. Of course, when the source of one's faith stems from personal experience, that evidence doesn't translate to anyone else, and their ignorance of such conditions often only leads to further attack.

    Hearing voices is the auditory system's equivalent of a dissociative state where a person doesn't have a sense of their own body parts as being "theirs", AKA xenomelia, "foreign limb syndrome". That part of the brain that identifies "us" from "not-us" sometimes cannot recognize thoughts that in fact are coming from within our brains vs from coming from an external source. There may be an association with physiological hearing impairment, as if the phenomena develops as the brain's attempt to compensate hearing loss.

    There's actually forums springing up all around the World for those who experience hearing voices, which is empowering for those who experience it by being able to talk to others who experience the same, and they can compare and contrast, share coping strategies, etc.

    Here's a USA-based group:


    Here's a group out of the UK:


    Unfortunately, some of those experiencing the phenomena are often the most reluctant to accept the condition as being physiological, since acceptance is not only a logical decision: there's significant emotional costs to accepting that they're not unique,and means the loss of one's sense of protection in being BFF with God and Jesus. Much like accepting TTATT, there's much more on the line that acceptance based on logic.

    Oh, well: join the club, since it's not like atheists wouldn't LIKE there to be an all-powerful being to look out for us and protects us, it's just that but we understand that an impersonal Universe doesn't have to comply with OUR wishes for what SHOULD exist in it. :)

    Back to Abraham, though, I suspect you're missing the POINT of the story: the intended message is that if God asks you to jump, you shouldn't ask "how high?", but should jump as if your life depended on it!

    TEC said:

    I think you forget about Abraham questioning God about Sodom and Gomorrah, making certain that God would not do wrong.

    Glad you mentioned that.

    The entire episode of Abraham bargaining with God only begs the question: why would Abraham NEED to bargain with God in order to compel Him to do the "righteous" thing? For God to change his behavior on account of such negotiations makes NO gob-smacking sense, as it shows Abraham trying to "shame God" into doing the righteous thing: that points to God having only relative morality, and NOT having ABSOLUTE unchanging standards of right and wrong.

    In fact, a JW apologetist read my blog article on Sodom and Gomorrah and suggested that Lot was righteous compared to the other evil inhabitants, which is a non-starter: that suggestion completely blows the idea of YHWH having UNIVERSAL standards of morality that apply equally to ALL men, since the argument is based on God using community-based standards of right and wrong. While that concept works for man-made laws (which often HAVE to use community standards, to represent the will of the electorate), it's not applicable to YHWH's claims to possessing universal standards of morality. If God DID "grade on a curve", then we all should move to Sin City (Las Vegas) and bank on salvation based on being more righteous than the people around us.

    just like the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Bad was an obedience test for Adam and Eve

    That was a warning against something that would have the natural consequence - at that time - of death, for Adam and Eve.

    You conveniently forget that God took ACTIVE STEPS to block their access to the Tree of Life (TOL): that's not a "natural consequence" since God intervened with a cherubim and flaming sword to BLOCK all attempts to access the TOL. There's nothing "natural" to that scenario, as his intervention was more analogous to God withholding something needed to sustain life (eg holding someone under water to drown them after the oxygen is depleted by holding their breath).

    God is depicted as limiting mankind's lifespan to 120 years, so he doesn't have to strive with them forever. That's ALSO not a "natural consequence", however much you may protest it IS, but shows God taking active steps to change the rules during the game: it's an act of violition, of intentional will (as is the killing of Egyptian infants, after intentionally hardening the Pharoah's heart).

    Now, doesn't that strike you as just a little bit odd that God would feel the need to endlessly test loyalty of humans?

    He does not.

    There is one who does accuse us though... and we get an example of this with the story of Job, however you read it.

    Maybe you missed the part where Satan (the accuser) was PART of the Divine Counsel (pl, Elohim), a member of God's staff? Did you miss that Jehovah was the one to bring up Job, dragging him into the issue?

    You really should read the bookofjob.org site, as someone doesn't stand a chance of understanding the story in the context it was premised on if they don't understand the legal premise (Oath of Innocence). Also, it helps to understand that the story of Job consists of a core poetic element, with a narrative "frame" later inserted on either side (and some passages were similarly later added to present whatever point the current redactor wished to make).

    In fact, the entire account of Job is a PERFECT example of "too many cooks spoiling the broth", since a later redactor added the prologue (ie the opening scene in Heaven, which presents a bet made on a slow day in Heaven) which undermines the very message delivered by the composer of the poet verses (his message was that "God works in mysterious ways").

    If you DON'T think that scribes had a tradition of altering the Takakh to clarify/fix as they went (and sometimes introduced continuity errors in the process), then you're arguing against TONS of evidence, whether from the margin notes and alterations revealed in the Dead Sea Scrolls (Essenes), or discussions in Talmudic texts, intertestamental literature, apocryphal books, etc. I've written of 2nd Peter's attempted rehabitation on my blog, but that's only one of many examples.

    Wouldn't the God who supposedly can read hearts and possesses omniscience (including having Divine foreknowledge) KNOW what the outcome would BE? Why would a PERFECT being have ANY need for beta-testing ANYTHING, or ANY kind of tests? Only beings without foresight need to conduct tests (and non-destructive tests are best).

    And what of those who might turn and repent?

    What of those who might choose life?

    Would you not want the choice, as to yourself?

    You cannot see the fundamental illogic of God knowing the future (Divine foreknowledge is needed to foretell future events), and the illusion of free will? If all events are pre-destined to occur, then there is no free will.

    HOWEVER, we don't even need to get THAT far:

    God cannot even predict His OWN reaction to his past acts: hence why God is depicted as regretted making mankind, animals AND plants (Genesis 6), so decides to destory them with the Flood. Apparently the quality-control processes that led him to review his work and conclude "it was GOOD" (Genesis 1/2) didn't work so well....

    (And WHY would a perfect God even HAVE to review his own work, in the first place, to declare it as "good"? That's just another example of the novelist's dreaded sin of "writing against the character" they created in their own story. Of course, God wasn't expected to be omnisicent at that point: omniscience is a trait claimed much later in the Bible by Isaiah, etc.).

    No choice - good or bad, right or wrong - is without natural consequence. Having a natural consequence in NO way means that one does not have free will. Wrong choices have consequences.

    (I addressed the "natural consequences" bit above.)

    Hmmm, I suspect we need to agree on some basic definitions, and review 'free will':

    The "FREE" part of the term is often ignored, but implies the choice is made between alternatives that are FREE of consequences (or, are essentially equal, being free of significant DIFFERENTIAL in conseqences).

    Think of the choice of flavor of ice cream: vanilla or strawberry. Both offer equal consequences in terms of caloric content, etc, UNLESS you're violently allergic to strawberries: then the consequences of the decision are quite different, causing life-threatening anaphylactic shock in one case, and not for the other. Being allergic to strawberries is a factor that obviously changes what USED to be a free will choice into one that isn't, and note the factor is NOT an intrinsic property of the CHOICE itself, but a factor that's unique to the person making the decision. So a decision that could be a free will choice for one cannot be characterized as such for another.

    Now, if I KNOW that a person is allergic to strawberries (perhaps I was a doctor who ran blood test to determine likelihood of such food allergies to common food allergens, even if the person hasn't experienced them), and I go ahead and OFFER them a choice between strawberry and vanilla ice cream, I am NOT presenting them with a "free will" choice: I KNOW that the outcomes are not equal, even if THEY don't know of their food allergy.

    Similarly, God KNEW that he'd react to Adam and Eve's decision in a manner that punishes the decision to disobey, so there goes the whole "God wanted mankind to have free will" thinking, as the choice WASN'T even one of free will, on TWO grounds:

    1) the decision wasn't free of consequences (as discussed above)

    2) God had ALREADY told them not to eat, so the decision wasn't even within their free will domain, but filed under God's Divine Will domain. Humans are not permitted to violate Divine will (AKA sinning), and then try to excuse it as an an exercise of mankind's free will. They just aren't. That's why the WTBTS correctly characterizes mankind's choice to sin as "freedom of choice".

    We similarly cannot characterize the choice to jump out of a plane without a parachute as a free will choice, since the decision to jump or not doesn't offer the same outcome: death vs life. That's NOT a free will decision, either, but SHOULD be properly labelled as the individual having "freedom of choice" since the phrase doesn't carry the added baggage of the outcomes needing to be free of consequences.

    Though this moves into the thought of punishment... do you think society has taken away the free will of people because there are consequences when people break the laws of society?

    YES, it has. In fact, that's the ENTIRE POINT of laws: to enforce compliance by punishing some acts (armed robbery), or rewarding and incentivizing others (tax breaks for investments). Notice that God delegated His Divine Authority to mankind to enforce secular laws only AFTER the Flood, in Genesis 9:6, primarily to enforce the new "no bloodshed" law He unveiled in Genesis 9:5.

    The implication is that the "perfect" God 'forgot' to make murder a sin and forgot to delegate Divine authority to allow men to enforce the behavior of their fellow men (placing fellow man under his dominion), which explains why Cain and Lamech literally got away with murder BEFORE the Flood. Whoops, another continuity error introduced into the story as a result to explain where rainbows come from, and a desire to depict YHWH as erring on the side of showing mercy.

    Well that is not the lesson.

    If God wanted robots, then why would he not have simply made robots?

    Of course, God didn't make anything: it's an ancient story that was created after-the-fact to explain where EVERYTHING came from, from plants to animals to rainbows to evil to death to...... That's the very nature of mythology: it's ancient men's best-guess at explaining what they observe about them, and how everything came to be. It's exactly like science, except it's NOT: it's pure fantasy the freedom to use one's imagination and point to artistic license under the name of the fallacy of appealing to Divine authority.

    I don't disagree with you. "jehovah" doesn't exist.

    But the Father of Christ does. I have no cognitive dissonance on that. Too much evidence for me to doubt Him.

    Presumably you're referring to personal experience and perceptions: I've addressed that above.

    The point being that God does not need anything from us.

    God is the one who PROVIDES.

    In fact, the ancient creation legends from Mesoptomania state that the Gods got tired of doing the work themselves, so revolted in heaven and created mankind to do their work for them. Think of it: what IS the work of Gods, but to be objects of worship and to accept sacrifices? They got tired of worshiping each other, and wanted to be worshiped by men. That story conveys SPADES about the motivations of the men who carried on a long-standing myth.

    Similarly, what was God sacrificing by sending Jesus as the "perfect" sacrifice, knowing that He could resurrect Him into Heaven, or knowing that Jesus WOULD BE coming to Heaven?

    Using that reasoning, what would Abraham have been sacrificing, knowing at the least that Isaac would be resurrected?

    Check the background of Hebraic beliefs in resurrection, and you'll find that you're projecting YOUR belief in resurrection onto Abraham in an anachronistic manner, since belief in resurrection was a later development in Judaism (Daniel, Isaiah) that was adopted by Christianity and kicked into mass-production, making it open to all people.

    So you're assuming motives for Abraham that just aren't justified, based on the context of the Torah.

    Rather than Isaac being resurrected, it's more likely that YHWH would bless Abraham with MULTIPLE sons (ALA Job), since THAT was the manner in which the righteous were rewarded in Hebraic beliefs. But again, the story is being heard by Israelites as their family history that told them how they came to be (an origins myth), so it's not much of a mystery to them that Isaac survived.

    And what was humanity sacrificing in Jesus' offering? Because as I'm seeing it, the Christian story-line is that God basically loaned Jesus to mankind so we could pay a debt we owed to..... God? The debt to God (for original sin, and subsequent sin) was owed to God, but was paid back to God by a loan from God. Huh? Hasn't someone heard of loan forebearance?

    The debt was to... death.

    Again, that makes no gob-smacking sense, as God is claimed to have CAUSED death to enter the Earth as punishment for Adam's sin: remember, "from dust you were made, and to dust you will return"?

    Death is NOT depicted as being some independent actor (eg Grim Reaper), but as resulting from God's willful intent. as a CURSE. Sure, a complex story has emerged blaming Eve and/or the serpent, but in the final analysis, 'the fish stinks from the head down', and the problem of evil puts an end to the silliness for MOST people who hear the implausible scenario of a Perfect God who can do anything, but just cannot seem to shoot straight enough to create perfect spirit beings, humans, plants, and animals. Death is NOT perfect.

    They did believe that the sons paid for the sins of the fathers.

    Actually, no that policy ALSO changed over time: notice how the hard-line policy on inherited sin found in the Torah softens in the later books of the Tanakh:


    More Bible contradictions, and since Christianity is premised upon the concept of inherited sin (which drives the need for Jesus' redemption), you need to go back to the Torah to support that concept. That's why I said earlier that Jews were focusing on God's mercy and grace in Daniel and Isaiah, rather than a need for sacrifices.

    Another BIG problem is that God cannot experience ANY LOSS, even temporary, which is a basic principle needed to offer a sacrifice; so once again, God is depicted as experiencing human emotions which are inconsistent with His claimed omnipotent traits.

    Why can't he experience loss?

    God is omnipotent, which means He can do ANYTHING. So if He experiences loss, it isn't as a result of "natural or organic loss", but is done only because He CHOOSES to experience loss. Since God has a choice NOT to experience loss, He's not in the same situation as us non-omnipotent beings. IN other words, omnipotence blows his claim to be able to experience loss since it's inconsistent (just as omniscience is inconsistent with being able to experience "surprise" emotions, like joy, regret, etc).

    The PROBLEM is that the 'omni-X" traits were later additions to the Tanakh, which blew the stories of the Torah (which often were adaptations of older Sumerian/Akkadian myths, which were told about non-omnisicent deities).


  • AndDontCallMeShirley

    Tammy, page 12: Because men have attributed things to God (maybe not the men who originally spoke of the tales; maybe just the men who later wrote them down and added their own spin) that were not God.

    Tammy, this page: Abraham did not sent them into the desert to die. HE was PROMISED that GOD would make a great nation out of Ishmael.


    Here's where your cherry-picking gets you in trouble, Tammy.

    When you agree with certain Bible verses, then you accept it as-written, no need the question the veracity of the text.

    When you disagree, then it gets thrown in the "men attributed things to God that are not really God" bin.

    So, Tammy, how do you KNOW God actually promised Ishamel anything? Isn't it possible scribes "attributed" this claim to God when it wasn't from God at all?

  • adamah

    ADCMS said:

    "Here's where your cherry-picking gets you in trouble, Tammy.

    When you agree with certain Bible verses, then you accept it as-written, no need the question the veracity of the text.

    When you disagree, then it gets thrown in the "men attributed things to God that are not really God" bin."

    And the irony is that like all other Christians, TEC must rely upon her own "moral compass" in order to decide which parts of God's "perfect" moral code they'll follow. But wait: don't Christians also point to the superiority of God's moral code, and claim their own moral compasses are rusty and unreliable?

    Seems like that's a show-stopper, claiming to lack the fundamental skills needed to make moral decisions. And if their compass is flawed, how did they decide that God's version is superior in the first place, since their ability to make moral choices is flawed?

  • AndDontCallMeShirley

    Seems like that's a show-stopper, claiming to lack the fundamental skills needed to make moral decisions. And if their compass is flawed, how did they decide that God's version is superior in the first place, since their ability to make moral choices is flawed?


    Not too long ago I watched an atheist eviscerate a Christian with this very argument.

    The atheist asked the Christian how a moral, loving god could justify genocide and slavery as recorded in the Bible? A Christian cannot answer that question honestly without looking morally bankrupt.

    So, the Christian replied, "who are we to judge God? His morals are so superior to ours."

    Atheist: "Well, how is it that you determine god's morals are superior to yours, if yours are completely flawed?"

    This spiraled into the Christian getting lost in his own circular arguments. And, of course, he would not answer the original question.

    In order to make these accounts jibe with acceptable moral standards, a Christian is forced to editorialize the accounts, make excuses, and create all kinds of fictions as an explanation (going so far as to claim to know what god, Abraham, Moses and others were really thinking at the time). It is revealing when the stories cannot be accepted as written without offending the moral sensitivities of the average person.

  • mP



    but also that he knew, in faith, that he would be walking back with his son Isaac.


    Abraham had virtuall y nofaith. Not once but twice he sold his half sister Sarah as a whore to Pharoah and another king. Shamefully the bible boasts how much rewards he recieves afterwards from both. If the same was repeated today with another couple we would hardly think much of the man for selling his wife.

    A is a coward, because he doesnt stand for truth or goodness but simply follows orders. Thos horribvle words have been heard before by other monsters.

  • mP


    Why doesnt God or Jesus appear on TV ? WOuldnt that be more effective ?

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