Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Obama's Speech at Fort Hood

"But this much we do know - no faith justifies these murderous and craven acts; no just and loving God looks upon them with favor."

President Obama made this statement at the event honoring those killed in the shooting at Fort Hood yesterday.

(See: Washington Post, Obama's Speech at Fort Hood: The Transcript

The statement is true. Faith justifies nothing and there is no God.

However, we should ask how many people actually believe this to be true?

I would like to commission somebody (who has more familiarity with the relevant text than I do) to put together a post that has Obama's quote at the top, and a list of biblical passages in which faith justified mass slaughter and/or God looked upon them with favor. Any slaughter where the number of victims is greater than 13 will do.

I would simply like to put the list and those quotes side by side so that people can see the conflict between them.

This would not violate the prescriptions I have established so far in this blog. It does not make or attempt to justify any type of leap to a conclusion that all religion is bad. It does not seek to blame everybody who believes that a God certainly or almost certainly exists for the shootings in Fort Hood. It only aims to show that there is an inconsistency between Obama’s statement and some biblical text.

A religious person can still condemn those mass slaughters while holding that a God exists.

However, as people who may well suffer the from the ill consequences – and who cares about others who may suffer the ill consequences – of those whose faith makes it difficult for them to condemn certain mass killings, we have a right to ask the question.

"Do you condemn these murderous and craven acts (that are found in the Bible)? Or does your faith drive you to condone them? Does YOUR God look upon them with favor? According to your faith, did the entities that perpetuated those mass murders meet with justice, if not in this world, then in the next?"

As an atheist, I have no trouble condemning those mass murders that appear in religious text. Religious texts were not dictated by any God, they were written by morally fallible human beings. They were written in part, by people a lot like Nidal Hasan, who sought to justify a mass slaughter by assigning the reasons for committing that slaughter to a God that he (they) invented. So, I can look upon those descriptions and say that they were unjustified acts committed by evil men, and that the God described in the Bible as looking upon them with favor (and even performing some of the mass killings Himself) is no God worthy of worship.

I suspect that others might have some difficulty.

We have many and strong reasons to morally condemn those who find it difficult to condemn the murderous and craven acts committed in the Bible, because they lack aversions that would prevent them from supporting murderous and craven acts in the real world today.

"Do you REALLY condemn mass slaughter? Well, then, here are some excellent examples of mass slaughter that stand waiting for your condemnation."

It is time to bring some moral pressure to bear on those who do, in fact, condone mass slaughter - whether as a matter of faith or for some other reason.

5 comments:

Matt S said...

Alonzo, I recommend Steve Well's Dwindling in Unbelief blog, which contains a list of of many, many biblical massacres

Emu Sam said...

A couple lists of quotes - it may take some paring down, but it doesn't require reading the entire bible. By number killed: http://dwindlinginunbelief.blogspot.com/2006/08/how-many-has-god-killed.html
List of cruelty, going beyond death to other evils: http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/cruelty/long.html

EvilPoet said...

Great recommendations. Here is another link I would recommend: The Dark Bible

Kip said...

"Do you condemn these murderous and craven acts (that are found in the Bible)? Or does your faith drive you to condone them? Does YOUR God look upon them with favor? According to your faith, did the entities that perpetuated those mass murders meet with justice, if not in this world, then in the next?""

Why are you asking these ridiculous questions? It's like asking: "does your imaginary friend say it's okay to rape people"? It's irrelevant. Their imaginary friend doesn't exist. You are lending credence to their belief by even asking such ludicrous questions.

Eneasz said...

Kip, if they believe that their imaginary friend does exist and did do those things, than how they feel about their imaginary friend is relevant.

Maybe Jeffrey Dalmer never really existed (I know, I know, but bear with me for a sec), and we're the only two people who believe he did. Whether we excuse his actions or condemn them still says a lot about us.