Monday, February 12, 2007

Mailvox: sharpening knives

Jefferson poses a feeble trap:

If your god revealed to you in a set of flawless communications you could not dispute that you should kill every child you see under the age of 2, would you?

I don't see what the problem is, or why people were avoiding this last night. I mean, of course it's supposed to be a trap but it's a toothless one of no concern to any sufficiently intelligent individual. The answer is yes, and how would you possibly take issue with that position regardless of whether you believe in my god or don't believe in any god?

If I am correct that my God is the Creator God, that we are all his creations, then killing every child under two on the planet is no more inherently significant than a programmer unilaterally wiping out his AI-bots in a game universe. He alone has the right to define right and wrong, and as the Biblical example of King Saul and the Amalekites demonstrates, He has occasionally deemed it a moral duty to wipe out a people.

And as we are informed in Revelation, He will wipe out many peoples through the acts of (presumably) His angels. Jefferson can complain that this makes God unworthy of worship all he likes, but that's as irrelevant as complaining that Stalin wasn't properly elected according to the Soviet Constitution. Although in this case it isn't might makes right, it is a much simpler case of might = right. Obey or perish.

If you accept that argument from the IRS without question, then why would you refuse to accept it from the Creator of the Universe? Because excepting the unusual case of an exceptionally brave individual, the logical answer is that you don't actually believe the choice you are posing.

And then, if I am incorrect and my god does not exist, then we must ask why Jefferson, an atheist, should object to one set of meaningless atomic arrangements being randomly sorted into different arrangements. A reason, that is, besides the one that he has previously provided, which is that he would not like it. As adults do not accept that as sufficient justification for a course of action from toddlers, there is no reason why we should accept it from him either.

Now, I admit that if I was wrong and my god did not exist but another one did, one of his worshippers could likely provide a rational reason for why I it would be immoral to embark upon a toddler-slaying rampage. Of course, that would depend on the moral code of that other deity. And then, a Christian could certainly call into question the legitimacy of my divine orders; I'm quite sure that every Christian of my acquaintance would, in fact, do so.

Nevertheless, this is remarkably dangerous ground, not for Christians, but rather for anyone who is pro-science. If you are going to debate the legitimacy of a belief system based on the potential danger it presents, secular scientists are vastly more vulnerable than Christians.


Anonymous FREEDOM LOVER! Om Shanti Om August 27, 2012 11:12 PM  

In my religion only demons kill babies. Religions are not equal. Religious relativism is the last frontier of the airy fairy koolaid drinkers in all of them.

Blogger Unknown October 25, 2017 8:26 PM  

"If your god revealed to you in a set of flawless communications you could not dispute that you should kill every child you see under the age of 2, would you?"

I like Phil Foglio's solution to such questions: The way to win at mind games is not play them.

Or I would reflect the question back:
"If you had an unquestionable, flawlessly Rational Reason you could not dispute that you should kill every Christian, would you?"

Vox Day, What's your opinion on the second choice?

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