Reviews Comments: Agreed up to a point - but YYMV

Agreed up to a point - but YYMV
My main issue with the Bible is the Christian viewpoint that it denotes a God of love. Every day, I hear Christians go on and on about their God of love. Where is he in this book? For one thing, he apparently cannot think of any way in which to express his love for his creations, except to take a teenage girl and rape her, then abandon her to a very unforgiving society which wasn't exactly known for its kindness towards unwed mothers. She was lucky she wasn't stoned to death. Yet somehow he's not a perverted paedophile.

When his son is born he arranges matters so that he will die an agonising death. And, somehow, Christians figure out this means he loves us? I think a fruit basket might have sufficed to give the message. Not to mention the fact that Jesus begs God to forgive his creations for killing him - when God manipulated them into doing it, just to prove a bizarre point.

Then there's his penchant for playing cruel and vicious practical jokes. Like demanding one of his followers prove his devotion by brutally slitting his son's throat. Then telling him at the last minute 'Only kidding!'. Never mind that the child - and father - were probably traumatised by that point. They were apparently expected to weep with love and devotion at this last minute reprieve. And, again, somehow, this is twisted into something moral and good on God's part.

The Bible is littered with such incidents. What about the man who was told by God to hand over his daughters to a baying mob so that they could rape them and so be distracted into not attacking the men who were his guests?

And what about God sending those who don't believe in him to hell? He gives us free will, then bitches when we use it to decide he doesn't exist? That's pretty Machiavellian. God of love? Sorry, not seeing it. And baffled by those who do.


YYMV? Your (and) Yahweh's Mileage Vary?
comment #10867 GrandPrincePaulII 17th Oct 11
Not to mention parts such as when he wipes out 99.9% of the world. And killing first-born sons. There's a lot of values dissonance in it. And morals dissonance.
comment #10871 eveil 17th Oct 11 (edited by: eveil)
Well the other thing he could do is force you to believe in him if you think that would be better a better solution. But I don't think you do, because who you are and what you choose is important to you. That's what the whole apple thing was, us choosing to be able to do the wrong thing rather than not have choice at all. And you can't have a perfect earth (christians don't go to heaven, little known fact) with imperfect people in it, so if you choose to be imperfect you can't go there.

And because in the end, God doesn't judge you on what you do but forgives you completely if you choose to be forgiven, that's all your given really, the choice of one way or the choice of the other and God will let you choose that for all eternity. You don't even have to _be_ 'good' you just have to want God to make you good and he'll do that for you and you can be part of the perfect universe. Or you can choose not to.

The other thing about God manipulating (and I only bring this up because this is ridiculously subtle and it's really unlikely to be picked up on a straight read through) is that when God is talking about Pharoh, the Bible constantly switches between "Pharoh hardened his heart" and "God hardened Pharohs heart". IT makes it pretty clear that to the Bible both things happened at the same time. God was responsible and Pharoh was responsible. God's will and ours perfectly align. It's hard to understand, but if you think about it, say I had a friend who I knew really well and we were bored on a wednesday night. I could ask them if they wanted to see a film and they would say yes and I would have manipulated them into seeing a film and we would only see a film because I arranged it. But I also know that they had perfect choice if they wanted to see a film, that the choice lay with them and that they are only seeing a film because they wanted to. Both are true at once I'm not saying that's how it happens but if it's possible for you and me, how much more possible is it for God?. God wanted Pharoh to let Moses show him who God was and Pharoh wanted to reject Moses.

The other big thing is that at the end of the OT God opens up his chosen people to being basically the whole world and he reveals a lot of the core things about his teaching that people hadn't really understood. It's always right to heal on the sabbath. If someone hurts you, don't retaliate but treat him with love. Pray for your enemies, not that they'll stop being enemies, but pray for their health. Seek and save the sick, crippled, weak and lost. But all that teaching came from the OT you can find it in all sorts of places like the psalms Jesus just highlighted how important it was

But I can't disagree with most of your review, there are lots of points of love in the Bible (Like Hosea taking a wife who he knows is going to cheat on him and reject him and cause him a lot of pain and when she runs away and screws up her life he goes out and finds her and takes her back and forgives her for everything. Or giving children to an old lonely couple. Or when the person with the death sentence is dragged towards you, shaming everyone into leaving her alone and forgiving her. Or eating in the house of prostitutes and outcasts when you are THE religious celebrity etc. ) there are equal bits like you describe and I can't say you've been a bad reviewer or ignored stuff. In the end it will always come down to faith and patience, I've asked about stuff that I've continually found horrible and just every now and then I've been answered and the answer is wonderful but that'd be a lot to expect of a passive reviewer and I wouldnt expect it of you, and certainly there's still a lot of stuff left I don't understand, i just feel that I've understood enough and been shown enough to trust.

Good review
comment #10873 Tomwithnonumbers 17th Oct 11 (edited by: Tomwithnonumbers)
In the end it will always come down to faith and patience, I've asked about stuff that I've continually found horrible and just every now and then I've been answered and the answer is wonderful but that'd be a lot to expect of a passive reviewer and I wouldnt expect it of you, and certainly there's still a lot of stuff left I don't understand, i just feel that I've understood enough and been shown enough to trust.

Yes, but you're capable of justifying punishing people for not believing in something, so you can justify a lot of morally questionable things.
comment #10878 eveil 17th Oct 11
Well I personally couldn't justify it. Because the Bible states explicitly that you've got to pray that the people who don't believe have a wonderful life and continually seek to do nice things to them. God on the other hand is free to do as he sees fit and I guess if that's what will lead to the most people making the right choice, it will probably be worth it "If you love your child, you'll discipline him" ~ Proverbs but I couldn't make that call as a human without being hateful and callous. It's God's thing alone and not something I understand particularly or feel comfortable with, I just trust that on the day I find out, I will be.

Actually, this is an aside, but I'm curious. If you were as you are now, someone who doesn't believe in God, but God chose to take you to the next bit anyway (and remember a big part of the next bit is an indisclosed warm relationship with God without any barriers) would you want that to happen to you? It's not a rhetorical question, I can't imagine how I'd feel
comment #10897 Tomwithnonumbers 18th Oct 11
Actually, this is an aside, but I'm curious. If you were as you are now, someone who doesn't believe in God, but God chose to take you to the next bit anyway (and remember a big part of the next bit is an indisclosed warm relationship with God without any barriers) would you want that to happen to you? It's not a rhetorical question, I can't imagine how I'd feel

If my greed overcomes my willpower, yes. Otherwise, no.

Here's my question, since you got to ask one. Would you still trust/defend God if there weren't promises of eternal life and happiness?
comment #10900 eveil 18th Oct 11
I just wanted to point out that God did not tell the man to hand over his daughters to the mob, he decided to do that himself. Yes, Lot was called a righteous man, but so was David, who committed what was basically murder by proxy to cover up an adultery. God was ticked off about it but He forgave him, the same way He forgive Lot for the disgusting thing he did to his daughters.

"Here's my question, since you got to ask one. Would you still trust/defend God if there weren't promises of eternal life and happiness?"

I know you're not talking to me, but I think I would.

comment #10901 fawn 18th Oct 11 (edited by: fawn)
So you'd defend him genociding 99.9% of the world, amongst all the other things he does, why exactly?
comment #10902 eveil 18th Oct 11
Because it's what 99.9% of the world has chosen. The punishments of sin have never been God but God letting us take the consequences of the actions that we chose to take fall on us. Murder? It's a sin. Torture? Hate? Lust? Peversion? In the end there will be nothing in hell that we didn't put there ourselves, and the we will only go there because we chose to go there ourselves.

Will I sit down and take it? No! God has given us a way out, it costs us nothing, it gives us everything and we don't even have to do anything! Just let God do it to us. I won't just let it happen and God won't just let it happen but in the end I can't make people listen and God has chosen not to force people to listen.

I mean you answered it yourself. You could be saved but you don't want to be. Is that his fault?

EDIT: Oh you're talking about the flood. Sorry. In the end life and pain are temporary and God, at the moment will only ever let us suffer finite amounts of it, no matter how hard we try to change that. God knows all things and can know whether a person will be saved in the long wrong, if they are going to be saved then they get to leave a world of suffering. If not, what does death change? Life just all important compared to eternity, as it is we value our wealth, our possessions and our time more even than other people. There are better things to aim for. And time and time again God tells us why he did what he did, so that we might see his wrath and the result of our actions and more people will turn back and be saved. We trust that God has mapped out the best path and will bring life to the most people. We can't ask for much more
comment #10928 Tomwithnonumbers 20th Oct 11 (edited by: Tomwithnonumbers)
Ok, thanks for letting me know how you justify genocide.
comment #10929 eveil 20th Oct 11
You have a choice to do the right thing or the wrong thing. You will always choose to do the wrong thing as long as you are under the sway of the federal head of humanity, Adam. Adam's sin restructured the universe to include pain. God cursed the ground by making work difficult because of Adam's sin. Jesus is the new federal head. If you are under the corrupting influences of sin and your entire being has not been transformed through the holy spirit which proceeds from the Father and the Son from all eternity, you have committed cosmic treason against the creator of the universe, and you will go to hell. You deserve to burn in hell forever. God does not have to stop you from openly rebelling against him. God's son did not die for everyone. Otherwise He would not have told his own people that they were heading for hell. You can still repent before you die, not after.

When reviewing The Bible, I suggest all further tropers specify which translation of The Bible they read.
comment #11008 psychohistorian 24th Oct 11 (edited by: psychohistorian)
^I know you're just satirizing crazy religious people, but it's still rather amusing that there's these kind of people around.
comment #11009 eveil 24th Oct 11
One of my biggest gripes about the Bible was in terms of Jesus using parables to relate his idea of morality. Specifically, as pointed out by Bertrand Russell, killing an out of season fig tree for being out of season when he happened to be hungry. Feels like a "take that!" at fig trees tbh
comment #11010 Madcapunlimited 24th Oct 11
Wow, I would love to see how eveil justifies insulting people for disagreeing with him. Typical.

Tomwithnonumbers has already touched upon this, but eternal damnation was not something inherent to Christianity. It was due to the influence of Hellenic paganism (and to a lesser extent, Germanic paganism). There have been many, many books written on the subject of Hellenism influencing Christianity. Even in the most well known Bible fanfiction, Dante's Inferno, he includes characters from Classical mythology. If one looks at an accurately translated Bible, the idea of Hell becomes more and more of a figment. For example, when Jesus says "forever and ever," the actual word is "aeons." "Aeon in reality means an undetermined period of time. The Greeks used this as a banking term. Furthermore, the Bible specifically stated that there has already been three (I think it was three) aeons. It is also specifically stated that God does not stay angry with people forever So clearly, grinding and gnashing their teeth "forever and ever" is more a case of Did Not Do The Research. I've never met any Christian who's been able to prove me wrong, and with the militant atheists I just gave up because they're apparently incapable of being respectful. Lastly on this particular subject, the idea of universal salvation is hardly new. Some of the church fathers hinted at this, and Milton believed this as well.

As for the part about genocide, the people were utterly and totally depraved. There was nothing but evil and murder in their hearts. It even says that if God found TEN people in S&G who were not evil, S/he would spare the cities. But apparently God should've just pat them on the back and give them a cookie for their bad behavior.

The militant atheists harp on about free will, but at the same time they act as if we shouldn't be held accountable for our actions. Do you expect God to just pat us on the back and give us a cookie whenever we do evil and rebel against Him/Her? And what about the fact that you act as if you should be the one to decide what is right and what is wong?

God was unique in the fact that no other god was willing to die and live as a lowly mortal. It was sacrifice for the greater good. That damned free will comes with consequences, and yet God allowed an easy way out so that we don't have to suffer the consequences of our sin. Manipulation implies lies. Jesus made it extremely clear that what they were doing is wrong, but they did it anyway.

Someone else pointed it out, but God did not command Lot to hand over his daughters; read it correctly this time. The fact that his daughters raped Lot suggests that God was not pleased about that little near miss. And before you say it, no, God did not punish the daughters for it. It's left off at that point.

Lastly, the part about him raping Mary. Are you fucking kidding me? Oh yes, the fact that Mary happily praised God and sang a song for him and was protected (clearly she was protected by God as not only did nothing bad happen to her but she went into the desert all alone and suffered no ill effects) and blessed her with a child that grew up to save mankind. Mary's behavior is not consitent with that of a rape survivor, and for that matter God's behavior is not consistent with that of a rapist. Granted, you could chalk this up to Stockholm Syndrome, but we are given absolutely no evidence whatsoever of Mary suffering from adverse effects. Again, NO SIGNS OF ADVERSE EFFECTS WHATSOEVER. It's more of a stretch to say that she was raped than to say that she was happy about it, since you know, we're given no hints that she suffered from it. You're seeing evil when it's not there.
comment #15489 seven7star 23rd Jul 12
I'm surprised there isn't some kind of lock on Bible reviews yet. All they do is bring out peoples' zealotry and start flame wars.
comment #15491 iceman 23rd Jul 12
I admit I got a little rude, but eveil pissed me off with his rudeness and insulting, holier-than-thou attitude. Honestly, I've never met a militant atheist who's been able to remain respectful in a debate or not behave as if they are high and mighty, so I get tired of it.
comment #15497 seven7star 23rd Jul 12
Funny, I've never met a militant Christian who's been able to do so either.

A controversial review... but I agree with most of it.
comment #15499 kay4today 23rd Jul 12
But of course. Otherwise they wouldn't be "militant." But it seems that the only ones who act like it's pure evil and no redeeming qualities, and ignore history are made up entirely of militant atheists. The non-militant ones are at least able to recognize that yes, there are good things about the Bible, and Christians are not all evil.
comment #15502 seven7star 23rd Jul 12
you keep failing to see iceman's (and maybe kay4today's) point
comment #15507 marcellX 23rd Jul 12
The notion of a God who tortures people indefinitely because they are unable or unwilling to acknowledge certain truths *is* pure evil. The more benign parts of Christianity, like "turn the other cheek", are just horribly repugnant, if not evil. What few redeeming attributes Christianity does have can be found in much older religions and philosophies.
comment #15513 soundofimpact 24th Jul 12
It may help to consider the bible never says God is love, but instead a God of balance. Just consider that for a moment.

@eveil Possibly consider he gave them chances in all of those situations.
comment #19172 Fyre 28th Apr 13
^Citation needed.
comment #19174 Tuckerscreator 28th Apr 13
Yahweh is the creator of good and evil. He never claimed to be 100% good, the NT writers (which, mind you, are just part of thousands of contemporary writters, most of them rendered "uncannon" because of Corrupt Church) are the ones who said that.

As a partly evil being, it's only logical he sees genocide as the logical conclusion. So long as people like seven7star stop pretending that he was justified, it's alright; I'm fine with moral gray gods.
comment #19994 peryton 29th Jun 13

First: That's the New Testament you are describing, not the Bible. Make your research.

Second: What part of VIRGIN Mary didn't you understand? He made her pregnant without sexual intercourse, that's the very point. You can't call it rape when there was no act to begin with. Where do you think you are, Greek Mythology? Also, technically he didn't abandon her: the Evangile made it quite clear that both Mary and Jesus were overlook and protected by God all along.

Third and to conclude: this is obviously either a Troll review or a Fan Dumb from someone who never bothered about studying and understanding the deeper meaning of the Bible OR the New Testamant. Those review are supposed to be about the quality of a work, not your opinion or bad understanding of religion.

I have nothing else to say.

comment #21093 Theokal3 12th Sep 13
"Bible" is inclusive to all Judeo-Christian "canonical" text. The New Testiment is a part of the Bible.

God put a baby in Mary without asking. Whether or not doing so involved vaginal intercourse is beyond the point, the result is the same. He invaded her sexual organs and put something in there without asking, something it was then her responsibility to raise into adulthood. God "overlooking" and "protecting" them is fine, but did he provide them with shelter? Food and water? Or did he just watch?

Also, he feels the work is of low quality because the narrative makes God's love an Informed Attribute, and considering that God is the main character and his love is central to the plot I'd say that's a significant flaw in the text itself. He's not critiquing religion. He says nothing about people who follow the Bible or the rituals based around it. Nothing he's saying isn't about stuff that's in the work itself.

comment #21096 Wackd 12th Sep 13
I know, I checked that right after posting this. Apologize for my mistake.

As far as I am concerned, he had her consent (I don't really remember if the Bible mentionned it explicitly, but assuming he is omniscient, he knew she would agree anyway. That would even explain partially why he chose her to begin with). But consent or not, all I am saying is, that's technically not rape; by that logic, impregnating a woman with a fecondation in-vitro without telling her would be rape.

He guided the Mages and the other people to her, arranged for them to find a place where to give birth to the child, warn Joseph that no, his wife had NOT been cheating on him, warned the mages NOT to come back to Herode (granted, the slaughter of children that followed still was morally ambiguous) and generally ensured everything went well from them. That seems like quite a lot of thing to do to help to me.

Also, this review completely miss the point of Jesus' death, which Jesus accomplished on purpose as a symbolic act to save Humanity from their sins, and the fact Jesus is supposed to be an incarnation of God as a human, meaning it was HIMSELF God made go through all of this.

I know, and while a Christian myself, I do aknowledge that a lot of actions from God in the Bible (ESPECIALLY the Old Testament) are either morally ambiguous or downright awful. What annoys me about this review is that his review gives a rather shallow understanding of the Bible's story, and completely miss the point of it. I just don't feel like his criticisms are fair. Yes, the Bible has some weird parts in it, but he is just over-simplifying things.
comment #21100 Theokal3 12th Sep 13

In order to post comments, you need to

Get Known