Monday, 14 April 2014

On slavery and the Bible

This post grew out of a recent comment thread on a certain social network. Without any ado, hereunder the full text of my final response:

"Yes, let's not cherry pick at slavery alone. There are many better arguments against God and the Bible. Compared to all the other sins we can chalk up on the scoreboard, slavery is a minor point. Let's see now...

Claiming equality because everyone is equally unworthy of grace and forgiveness misses the point. We are all equally worthy of existence because we share an existence on a tiny speck of wet dust in a universe so vast that we cannot comprehend the size of it but for the abstraction of advanced mathematics. That's what makes us brothers, not that none of us are "worthy" in the eyes of a being whose existence is asserted by certain Church-sanctioned ancients. Not to mention that the splinter of crimes against humanity in even the worst type of human's eye is microscopic compared to the astronomical beam, nay, forest in the eye of the being who (by all accounts) ironically arrogates to itself the right to judge everyone else. Israelites are fond of acting like they are have been made to suffer because they are the only ones whose god exists, but fail to address the fact that their "promised land" was obtained on the orders of a supposedly-loving god who ordered them to butcher each and every man, woman and child in a land grab exponentially bigger than anything in their history.

The Bible posits the existence of and supposedly reflects the character of the Judaeo-Christian god. That is still fine, many holy books do likewise with their own notions of a divine being. Unfortunately, the character of the god of the Bible is portrayed as being a deity who is capricious, fickle, cruel, xenophobic, patriarchal, homophobic, misogynistic, genocidal, hypocritical, racist and generally bigoted being guilty of the worst sort of war crimes known to man. If you can genuinely love a god who would condemn you to everlasting damnation and suffering because you fail to believe and jump through certain ritual and spiritual hoops, that speaks much better of you than of said god. If we have any absolute moral responsibility in life, it is not to become like God but to become morally superior to God."