This is a sample of the kind me of stuff I intend to put in my ebook series. This entry will likely end up in one of them.
Let’s talk about Holy Books for a while. What I’m going to talk about pretty much applies equally to every book ever claimed to be divine scripture, but I’m going to concentrate on the Torah, the Christian Bible, and the Quran.
My arguments here will be related to The Argument from Unnecessary Suffering, or it’s most commonly known name, The Problem of Evil.
These books are claimed to be “divinely inspired” (or directly written, et) by a perfect god. That strikes me as quite odd considering the nigh-infinite number of interpretations and translations that exist. Pretty much every single adherent to an Abrahamic religion will have their own interpretation of some verse within their chosen Holy Book. Their differences might be subtly different than, say, their spouses, but I’d bet they are there. I know I can’t prove that, but it’s true based on my experience.
Now, let’s consider for a moment what this means. A supposedly perfect book can and is easily interpreted in ways that often diametrically oppose each other. For example, some interpret the bible to say, “Homosexuals are abominations that should be killed.”
Others interpret it to say, “Love thy neighbor, even if they are gay.”
Some say, “It’s okay to be homosexual…as long as you don’t act upon it.”
Three wildly different interpretations coming from the same “perfect book”
Believers are often so convinced their version is right that they have killed & tortured people that disagreed with them. An example is the Catholics vs. Protestants. Both use the Christian Bible as their basis, yet their interpretations are so different they’ve killed each other over them. I guess this is somehow this is supposed to help their case. An Islamic equivalent would be Sunni vs. Shia. Both use the Quran, yet blindly kill each other over their differing beliefs.
This brings us to the question, presupposing God is real for the sake of this argument, “Is this deadly violence and strife part of God’s Plan?”
Let’s examine that. Again, I’m going to be working with the presupposition God is real.
So what do we know about Abrahams’ God? Most would agree the classic attributes assigned to YHWH are Omnipotence, Omniscience, All-loving, Omnipresence, and Atemporality, among others, but those are the relevant ones here.
If God is Omniscient, Omnipresent, and atemporal then, by definition, before he ever created the universe he must have infallibly known that his Holy Book(s) would be interpreted in multiple ways and that these varied interpretations would cause deadly strife among mankind. If he didn’t know, you can’t really claim he was omniscient without redefining the word to suit your opinion.
Furthermore, an omniscient God would have known how to provide a book that wouldn’t cause deadly strife. However, knowing & doing are two different things, but this god is also supposedly omnipotent.
An Omnipotent God would have the power to create a book incapable of being misinterpreted or mistranslated and therefore avoid the deadly strife he knew would come about if he didn’t. If he wasn’t capable of this, he isn’t really omnipotent. Now, being able to & wanting to are different.
If this God is an All-loving God as claimed, I’d surely hope, it would have wanted to avoid such deadly strife. You can use cop-outs such as “we don’t know God’s mind” or “He may have had morally sufficient reasons”, but these are guesses & ultimately result in Special Pleading Fallacies.
If Abraham’s God exists and provided one or, especially, all of these books, be it by direct authorship, revelation, inspiration, etc., the only logical conclusions appear to be:
- He wanted to cause deadly strife amongst humanity since he knew it would happen, could’ve prevented it from happening
- He’s missing one or all of the “Omni’s” meaning he’s not much of a god
- He simply doesn’t exist and these books were written by men & like many man-made books, susceptible to varied interpretations.
The most reasonable option for me, is Option #3, that Abraham’s God doesn’t exist & the Torah, Bible & Qur’an were all written by men & aren’t worth fighting over. We know man-made forms of communication can be, & frequently are, misinterpreted. It stands to reason that the words of a perfect, all knowing, and all powerful being wouldn’t suffer from the same failings as humans.
Until next time, keep drinking the Kool-aid.