It’s God’s Right!

street preacher
Remember all those posts about God being a douchebag? I’ve been discussing God with a friend of mine who suggested the following argument (which I will probably muddle, since I’m summarizing from memory). I’d love to hear your responses!

So what if God is an asshole? Even if God did order the slaughter of humans in the Old Testament, condone slavery, and send souls to everlasting torture in hell… that’s totally within his rights! After all, if this truly is an infinite being in size, power, and so forth, God is not subject to the morality he gave humankind. Nor does it truly matter if we live or die because we’re just specks–less than specks–to his infinite All. Our souls are like eternal beings; the body doesn’t matter if it’s all about eternity, so the suffering we feel on earth and the resentment for experiencing it is meaningless in the face of the eternal life of the soul and the ultimate power and all-knowing will of God.

I may have sped through her ideas, but do you get the gist of what she’s saying? And what would you say in response to this sort of argument? Does God get a free pass because he’s just so damn big? Should we really have a problem with an all-powerful deity that does whatever it wants with its creation?

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August 22, 2009  |  Christianity, god, religion, the bible

29 Comments


  1. Yeah I had exactly the same argument from one Muslim.
    He kept telling me that because god created us, he is free to do whatever he pleases.

  2. God is a douche. I would not want to hang out and have a beer with God. God's idea of "right" totally conflicts with mine. So yes, I do care that God is a douche. That would, like, totally harsh my mellow, man…

  3. No, it doesn't matter whether or not God's an asshole, since he isn't there. What matters is when people use their religion as an excuse to be assholes themselves.

    You'd have to be a true asshole to put several million Africans living with an out-of-control AIDS epidemic in greater danger by lying to them and saying that condoms make the AIDS problem worse. But it's okay to risk killing all those people with lies if you're the Pope, because you're just spreading God's message, right?

  4. No, it doesn't matter whether or not God's an asshole, since he isn't there. What matters is when people use their religion as an excuse to be assholes themselves.

    You'd have to be a true asshole to put several million Africans, who are living with an out-of-control AIDS epidemic, in even greater danger by lying to them and saying that condoms make the AIDS problem worse. But it's okay to risk killing all those people with lies if you're the Pope, because you're just spreading God's message, right?

  5. Hi GG,
    The point is not that god is an ass hole or not, the point is, he could only be so ignorant and blunt, if he was created by an iron age bigot … and if you take a well balanced logic and Occam's razor with you, you will find that this theme of iron / bronze age culture, knowledge and ethics is the only once available in all holy scripture… at least the old once. Newer stuff like Mormonism and Raëlism would contain more modern concepts like (black ppl being slaves) and (ufo creators doing genetic manipulation) to mention a few. No humanly unknown concepts are in these holy books, including the notion of a god. We, our ancestors made god up, to satisfy their, and our thinking patterns even when they / we lack knowledge. We do not need the crutch any more.

  6. Then fuck him, I'd rather burn in hell and be honest about how I feel than accept and worship a god who neither makes his presence known nor rules in a just manner.

  7. So what if God is an asshole? Even if God did order the slaughter of humans in the Old Testament, condone slavery, and send souls to everlasting torture in hell… that’s totally within his rights! After all, if this truly is an infinite being in size, power, and so forth, God is not subject to the morality he gave humankind.

    If this is the case, then what's the point in worshipping it? This god can just change the rules on a whim, and not even tell us about it! We can live our lives doing what we are told, by this god, is right and good and proper in worship of it, only to find out that it was all wrong.

    It also makes a mockery of the idea of morality, and the also the idea of this god being a moral being. Morality under such a god is no more than obedience to the will of tyrant.

    But the claim itself does not follow from the premise: why does the infinite nature of this god mean it is not subject to its own morality? It is nothing more than an unjustified assertion, and we have no reason to accept the claim.

    Nor does it truly matter if we live or die because we’re just specks–less than specks–to his infinite All.

    If this is the case, then we are no longer dealing with the God of Abraham. It is quite clear from Genesis that human beings, in our physical form, are a special creation in the image of the god. If we are dealing with a different god, then it does not matter what we read in the OT, for it will be totally irrelivent to any discussion of this supposed infinite All.

    Our souls are like eternal beings; the body doesn’t matter if it’s all about eternity, so the suffering we feel on earth and the resentment for experiencing it is meaningless in the face of the eternal life of the soul and the ultimate power and all-knowing will of God.

    Then what's the point of a bodily experience? Why bother creating a material universe? Why not just create beings that are only spiritual?

    • I agree that this view of god goes against what we read in the Bible (a personal deity who speaks of relationship and closeness with his human creation). I think it is simply a justification for the immoral actions of Yahweh we read in the OT and the savage treatment of sinners in hell.

    • Very well said Stephen! "obedience to the will of a tyrant". That's pretty good. And the funny thing is that, at the end, that tyrant is actually a human being disguised as a spiritual messenger (.i. e. the Pope or any of those religious leaders).

  8. Makes me think of this article:
    http://de-conversion.com/2008/08/06/putting-the-c

    "if you think the Bible is accurate and reliable, then there is no need to get involved in manipulative pleas like ‘Jesus loves you, just reach out and accept the gift, let him into your heart’. It’s irrelevant how ‘caring, wise and loving’ Jesus was. If he’s god, he’s god. Even if he’s a genocidal monster I’ll bow down since you convinced me at ‘accurate and reliable’."

  9. Basically what she’s saying boils down to ‘might makes right’.

  10. In a “submission to the bully” sort of mindset the Might Makes Right argument makes a lot of sense. These are people who make claims to submitting to their god’s will, to bowing down, to fearing—the acts of such an entity as a bully, tyrant, and murder therefore pass muster. It only breaks down badly when they try to posit to someone else that this entity is perfectly good or perfectly moral; having to hand wave away the obvious immorality by claiming that human logic/morality cannot be applied to the morals of the great-bully-who-loves-you (“psst, don’t piss him off, look what he did to those people!”)

    It's hard not to give someone funny looks when they attempt to claim that good morals and character can flow from an immoral horror when it's being used as a standard for good–normally we place acts and beings like this in the halls of villains, using them instead as a litmus test for bad behavior.

  11. Responding to almost the exact same line of arguing, I wrote:

    If the theist wants to go this route, then he has to admit that for God there is no difference between a moral and immoral action. This means that God created an absolutely arbitrary set of rules for people to follow. If this situation described reality, a theist would obey God because He is a capricious tyrant setting down arbitrary rules — not because God is praiseworthy or the rules uncover some basic moral truth.

    More fully here: Can God Do Evil?

  12. What we seem to have here is a classic case of, "Do as I say, not as I do." The problem with that is – – and god should know this because he's supposed to know everything — it rarely works.

    A parent standing there with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth warning his kids not to smoke is probably going to raise kids that smoke. The same goes for a manager who steals from the company. Might not some of the employees take to stealing as well? At the very least, they wouldn't have any respect for him.

    In the same way, god, who commits acts of murder and genocide, shouldn't be at all surprised that members of his creation do the same thing, and use his actions as justification. He should know that the act of killing immoral people in Sodom and Gomorrah would have more of an impact on people than telling them to love one another.

    If god existed, and knew how people would act, he should've been smart enough to know the importance of leading by example, especially when it comes to a "fallen, fallible, easily-influenced creation."

  13. This argument is so annoyingly common among Christians, and frankly, an immoral position to hold. It didn't fly when Nixon said the equivalent ("When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.") and it doesn't fly for god either.

  14. Epicurus addressed this apologetic best:

    “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
    Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing?
    Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able and willing?
    Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing?
    Then why call him God?”

    Hard to add anything more.. But, you’re supposed to ‘love’ God as the paragon of morality. Is that abandoned in this argument? Who amongst us has ever loved his bully?

  15. I say a god such as that is not deserving of worship, should be ridiculed and then ignored.

    In Greek mythology the gods are royal pain the asses, which is why the humans are always proving they are better than the gods; they are always showing up the gods.

    Is suspect most god myths were meant to get people to be more than they are naturally, even better than the belligerent gods who were always messing with them.

    If there were truly a horrible god like that, than be better than it, and do NOT worship it!

  16. God is an asshole and here is the main reason why. He gave us all free will. The fault with this with is that it allows good people to be negatively impacted by anothers free will thereby causing unnecessary suffering. The world was clearly designed to benefit the wicked. This is why God is an asshole and completely incompetant. He must enjoy watching women getting raped and people starving to death. What a sick bastard.

    • Here is the truth.

      Those who oppose God will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.

      And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night

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