Saturday, April 30, 2011

would'ja believe ... ?

voltaire, 18th-century philosopher:

qui est en droit de vous rendre absurde est en droit de vous rendre injuste.

[those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.]

william craig lane, 21st-century christian moralist:

if we believe, as i do, that god's grace is extended to those who die in infancy or as small children, the death of [the canaanite] children was actually their salvation. we are so wedded to an earthly, naturalistic perspective that we forget that those who die are happy to quit this earth for heaven's incomparable joy. therefore, god does these children no wrong in taking their lives.

whom does god wrong in commanding the destruction of the canaanites? not the canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgement. not the children, for they inherit eternal life. so who is wronged? ironically, i think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the israeli soldiers themselves. can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? the brutalizing effect on these israeli soldiers is disturbing.

p.z. myers, 21st-century biologist and atheist:

it's always interesting when some god-walloper honestly follows through on the logical implications of his beliefs — he basically is compelled to admit that if you worship a tyrannical monster, you have to end up rationalizing monstrous tyrannies.

i don't think william lane craig is an intrinsically evil human being. but this is a case where it is clear that religion is a tool that allows good people to bypass decent moral positions and find justification to do evil.

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