God save us


But from whom and what exactly?

The author of this post after reminding us that what god is has not been coherently defined, explores the question of the goodness of god. He notes many theists are quick to say that god is by definition good and they have used this to defend atrocities such as those in Numbers. They claim the killing of the innocent Egyptians was good because god commanded it.

Their greatest sarcasm is to say Jesus os god, whatever your persuasions, came to save us. One must ask why we should be saved? And from whom? A good god? 

The same religious people tell us god has its standard of good and as such we cannot use our standard to question the goodness of god. I want any of you, readers, to tell me what and how these fellows came to know of the standard of good used by the gods and why we should give a fuck about it if it is not relevant to our lives?

In the movie, god on trial, one of the judges says their god is not good. It was only on their side. If the god of the bible were real, that comment, would in my view be correct. 

What is it we would be saved from? Our natures? That which we are not the author? Our desires? What exactly? 

 

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

88 thoughts on “God save us

  1. Tish Farrell says:

    Hm. Good questions. The ‘being saved from’ concept – the same order of mad justification that brings us nuclear arms to maintain world peace?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I want to be saved from religious apologists. They’re a tad plague-like if ya’ ask me.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Arkenaten says:

    Apparently god gives you the disease (even before you are born) and then provides the cure.
    Only he never actually informs you if you have been cured and you’ll only find out when you’re dead.
    And, of course, if you have in any way got it wrong – wrong church, wrong sort of confession, wrong lifestyle etc etc, then you are well and truly screwed and have wasted an entire life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      It’s a difficult thing my friend.
      And the pastors all claim they are right while they are busy saying the other is wrong

      Liked by 1 person

      • Arkenaten says:

        Exactly! However, the most important thing … apparently … is to confess to Jesus you are a dirty, stinking sinner, completely unworthy as a human being and then beg to be saved … from … er … something!

        Liked by 1 person

        • makagutu says:

          And here we have no evidence of Jesus ever taking a shower. What jokes people peddle and they are not even funny!

          Liked by 2 people

        • basenjibrian says:

          It’s a little simpler than that, folks.

          We are being saved…from HIM.

          Because we DESERVE to be tortured forever and ever and ever because God made us flawed and yet it is somehow our fault that God made us flawed. Because “free will” mumble mumble sophistry begging the question mumble mumble.

          The fundamental UNFAIRNESS of the monotheisms seems so obvious and disturbing to me. Not even addressing the question of whether or not eternal unending torture is a moral thing.

          I have an odd little predilection for darker music, especially Scandinavian “black metal”. And the scariest song in a genre that is almost goofy in its attempt to be scary and EVILLLL is a song from the band Funeral Mist in which a driving, nasty beat underlays a typical American fundamentalist Christian sermon*. THAT my friends, is far more disturbing than any “We worship Satan” lyrical mumbo jumbo.

          *It is really sad to see how the most obnoxious threads of American fundamentalism are spreading in the homeland of humanity, Africa. 😦

          Liked by 3 people

          • makagutu says:

            Sadly, we must blame the first missionaries who spread their cruel religion and impossible god among the people here. The rest of the work was easy. Get opportunists and some money and fundamentalism will flourish.

            I think the people who yap about freewill defense have not reflected properly on it

            Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t you love it when people will claim this deity totally cures people of cancer but can’t wave the magic wand to just end the whole sin plague thing? Sounds like a totally legit belief system to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • makagutu says:

        In business, you must keep your money lines open. Politicians know this very well. If you can get votes by promising to offer a service, then you are assured of your position.
        The pastors will always have an income stream as long as their god can do anything except magic wand sin away

        Liked by 1 person

      • Arkenaten says:

        Ah, well, you choose sin, apparently, even though it comes ”pre-installed” as part of the human operating system ; like a latent genetic virus!
        You can get cured of cancer by Yahweh because … well he just can, OKAY! because that’s just a ”Bummer”
        Even though he made everything, including cancer cells, it’s His right.
        Although, from evidence, He doesn’t cure everyone, only certain Christians, or non-Christians only if they have been preyed … oops … prayed over by other Christians, but not those in a controlled environment, but rather those sneaky ones when no one’s looking or down in Africa somewhere among a tribe that might also consider cutting up certain genitals and mixing this with hyena entrails is a good remedy for a successful crop or maintaining an erection, or driving away your mother in law.

        And of course for this type of prayer to really work you also have to believe in science and Evolution and maintain the possibility of virgin births and smelly little Jewish blokes coming back from the dead.
        Dammit all, why does it have to be so complicated?

        ”You’re cured mate! Not so much as a by your leave. Bloody do-gooder!”

        Liked by 2 people

      • Yep. This puny tiny god can only save one cancer at a time. What do we expect? That a god can actually save humanity from cancer altogether??? Too small for the job. Haha!

        Like

  4. atheistsmeow says:

    I always wondered……saved ”from”…..or saved ”for”……..

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  5. Nothing. Or nothingness. Receiving “Salvation” is not about being saved from something, or someone. I don’t believe in God to get some kind of “get out of jail free card”, or some “get into heaven card”.

    As far as whether God is good naturally I would argue that He is in fact good. His very nature is love, which I would define as being something that is good. Atheists always want to use all of these examples from scripture (that you don’t even believe to be true, or believe to be real evidence except for in the case against God) where Gods actions are quite horrifying. It makes me think of sometimes with my son I have to clean a scrape. I’m sure it hurts like hell, and seems like a horrible action, but I need to clean it so it doesn’t get infected. It hurts me to cause any kind of pain to my son, whom I love, but it’s necessary for his good. It’s no accident that God is often personified as a parent. Let’s face it, as a human race we’ve been pretty stupid (even those, maybe especially those, who would claim to be “religious”). Blaiming our stupidity on God doesn’t make us smart, and doesn’t change who God is. An atheist claiming that God is not good isn’t a claim at all. How can one define (or give attributes to) something that they believe does not exist?

    Like

    • Nan says:

      How can one define (or give attributes to) something that they believe does not exist?

      You nailed it!

      Like

    • basenjibrian says:

      The only thing I might agree with is your last sentence. But of course, we would answer that we use the definitions and attributes Christians themselves use and define.

      And, sad to say, your rather mild version is NOT the orthodox one.

      Jesus is NOT the kindly parent you describe. In the Bible, he can be seen to be angry, belittling, demanding, dismissive, ethnically bound, and, most of all, really really confusing…Plus, it is New Testament that really emphasizes hell and eternal punishment (the preacher recorded on the Funeral Mist album is a terrifying and violent man). Your “scraping of the wound” would be eternal, with (after death) no healing possible.

      Plus, unlike your metaphor, our nature was created by a God who had already failed utterly (with the creation and fall of Lucifer) and who destroyed the world, cities, or individuals for petulant reasons. Given that he is all knowing, all seeing, outside of time, etc. etc. etc., then he knew exactly what he was doing. So, to blame human beings for living according to the limitations and failings we were given (because, being omniscient, He certainly knew the Fall would occur) seems monumentally unfair and downright evil, to be honest.

      “Free will” is sophistry, no matter how “great thinkers” dress it up as they try to untangle the logical incoherence of the doctrine.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Humanity has been arguing over what is “Orthodox” for a long time. But truth does not belong to humanity. We can argue over what we think truth is, and have been for centuries… but nobody really knows. The New Testament actually does not refer to hell as being eternal. The English phrase “eternal fire” can also be translated as consuming fire. Even the verse used waaaay too much, John 3:16 says that whoever believes in Jesus shall not perish, but have eternal life. Perish. As in a second death (another phrase used in scripture). It’s not some “nice” or “mild” version… it’s scripture. It’s just the scripture that people overlook because they want to be able to tell people that if they don’t believe they’ll be punished for eternity. Free will is extremely messy! It doesn’t make sense to us why a perfect God would make something with the choice to do things without Him. In fact, the very definition of evil is the absence of God (just like darkness is the absence of light, cold is the absence of heat etc). We know there’s a possibility of getting in a car crash every single time we get in the car. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t still get in the car to get somewhere. I know that my son riding a bike is definitely going to wind up with him falling off and hurting himself, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to not let him ride a bike. Getting mad at God for giving us a choice, or Lucifer a choice would be like a murder telling a jury, “It wasn’t my fault for strangling that person with the rope, it was the person that sold me the rope.” Or even the person that invented rope. Sure he knew the fall would happen, but what was He gonna do… stop time and say, “Hold on guys y’all are about to royally screw everything up?” Have you ever tried to tell a teenager not to do something? It would just make them want to do it even more. I’m not blaming human beings for the choice we were given. I love that we were given that choice! Saying we were given failings is like saying a kid who was born in the ghetto will never amount to anything. We weren’t given failings, but opportunity.

        Like

        • makagutu says:

          Do you really want us to take you seriously?

          Like

        • basenjibrian says:

          This is quite an admission: “Nobody really knows”.
          Given that there is no definitive way to “really know”, why should we listen to you God Bother-ers anyway? And why should we listen to your definition over a witch burner or an Aztec priest?

          Given the real hostile nature of the universe and all of its perils, the Aztec priest probably has a more realistic definition of the divine than a (sorry but this is how I read it) smug, comfortable western intellectual comparing genocide to a scab on a knee.

          As for the rest of your argument (if you can even call it that), you ignore the very nature posited for your God: All Knowing, All Seeing, All Powerful. Outside time and space and acausal. Your claim of free will is logically incoherent in light of the Three Omnis. Except as a rather petty game which the House always wins and already knows the score.

          Liked by 2 people

          • You say “In my view, choice refers to alternatives.”

            You make the typical mistake of equivocation. Using “alternative” is NOT the same as “choice”. For Adam and Eve, the “obey or die” order had two alternatives, to obey and live, or disobey or die. Your use of the word “alternative” is NOT synonym to “Free Choice”, and do I really have to repeat myself on the alternative of choice and the alternative of punishment???

            “I see no situation where your answer isn’t a contradiction”

            Well then, I can’t help you see the issue as it stands. There is a clear difference between an ultimatum (a sole option or punishment) and a free choice (Between 2 or more choices with consequences).

            Consequences ALWAYS follow free choice. Some great, some dire.
            But punishment (execution, death, curse, etc…) is a forced consequence not depending on “free” choice. I can’t help it if you do not see the difference between “free Will” with consequences, that can also be death—and the choice of obeying an ultimatum with “punishment” as the only other option!

            Give e a better example if you want to correct me on this.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            What typical mistake? Where is the equivocation? I didn’t use free anywhere unless you want to point me to it. All I recall writing is that choice, in my view, has same meaning with alternative. Free choice, as far as I can tell, is yours to defend.
            Consequences follow alternatives; if I jump off a building I might break a leg or two same way taking the stairs I might be mugged if it is in a dangerous neighborhood.
            So again, tell me how my example is bad while explaining your use of free choice. Free from what?

            Like

          • We seem to be talking passed each other. We agree on most. I was talking about FREE choice/will. Hence, I read your comments as if you were defending choice as freely taken.

            Obviously, we both read each other wrong.

            Like

          • “All I recall writing is that choice, in my view, has same meaning with alternative.”

            And I say it is not obligatorily so.
            If you want to dismiss the idea of punishment as NOT being the result of “forced” choice (as opposed to a choice freely taken), I’m not sure we are understanding each other.

            Again, you change the meaning of the same word (equivocation) when you say “So again, tell me how my example is bad while explaining your use of free (1) choice. Free (2) from what?”
            • (1) Free choice= a choice not imposed (as in ultimatum). The Oxford dictionary defines the usage as “Able to act or be done as one wishes; not under the control of another:”
            • (2) Free (from what) has another meaning here. Again this definition is closer to Oxford’s “Not physically obstructed or fixed”

            Do you see how your wording is wrong? It’s like your use of “alternative” that confuses choice under duress and freedom of choice, both with consequences, but only the prior with punishment as sole consequence.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            You accuse me of equivocation without showing where.
            You are also saying things I have not made any pronouncements on. I don’t know what you mean when you write punishment as not being the result of forced choice.
            I didn’t change the word. In your last paragraph you said my example was bad. I asked you to show how. The two are additional questions.

            Like

          • “So again, tell me how my example is bad while explaining your use of free choice. Free from what?”

            If I misread you, maybe this will correct my last comment.
            Free from what?”
            Free from punishment (imposed consequence), not natural consequences.

            If you freely choose to eat a fruit you trust is safe for consumption, and you die of poisoning, that is a consequence.
            If you eat a fruit in disobedience to a person with a gun on your head that told you not to eat it, your death is a punishment.
            —In this case, there are no other alternatives than “obey or die”. It can be called a choice, but it is not “freedom to choose” from different options without punishment. That would be free-choice/will.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            In both cases they are consequences; one was not anticipated and in the second you had knowledge of what would happen. They are still choices.

            Like

          • //They are still choices.//

            Okay, I give up. You do NOT get it. Choices—yes! FREE choices, NO.

            Have a good one. If you are unfortunate to have a gun to your head, and you have to hand your wallet or get shot, remember, it’s a choice.
            And if you think it’s a FREE choice, good luck to ya.

            You can be so smart on some things, and this is just disappointing.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            Where have I in all this said it is a free choice?
            I said choice and alternative are synonyms. You disagreed and I said clearly that was my opinion.
            Do we have freedom when we have a gun to our head? Of course not. We are under the will of the powerful person to do as they please

            Like

          • //I said choice and alternative are synonyms.//

            Well, they are certainly not.

            “As nouns the difference between choice and alternative is that choice is an option; a decision; an opportunity to choose or select something while alternative is a situation which allows a mutually exclusive choice between two or more possibilities; a choice between two or more possibilities.
            As adjectives the difference between choice and alternative is that choice is especially good or preferred while alternative is relating to a choice between two or more possibilities.”

            http://the-difference-between.com/alternative/choice

            Like

        • acquiescentsoul says: “Free will is extremely messy!”

          Here’s the problematic word: “Free”
          Do we have will/choice? Yes, we do.
          Is if “free” will/choice? Absolutely not.

          We make choices based on what options we know about.
          These choices are never based on complete information… but are taken based on reason and rationale. In that sense, our free will is very limited.

          Also, we are not the drivers of our brain. We follow and choose what all the noise in our brain is dumping on us, uncontrolled. You want proof you are not the master of your mind? Try not thinking of an elephant. See? I made you picture an elephant. You cannot control that. Words are triggers for imagery, or what we can know of the subject, if blind for example.

          As for the alleged “free will” of Adam & Eve that the fundies believe in, God NEVER gave them “free” will/choice.
          About the tree of knowledge, his command was “obey or die”.
          This in plain English is called an “ultimatum”, not a choice.
          Death is a consequence, a punishment—not a choice.

          You may say that that could still “choose” to obey—which is true in a way —but it is still not FREE!
          EX: choice: “Give me your money or I will shoot you” is not a “free” choice, it’s a “Do or Die” ultimatum. This is not a matter of opinion. Sorry.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Ron says:

            Good post. Just one addendum:

            Christian theology holds that death entered into the world after A & E sinned, so they would have had no conception of what the threat “you will surely die” even entailed. It’s the equivalent of warning toddlers that running into traffic will get them killed.

            Liked by 1 person

          • makagutu says:

            It was a meaningless threat

            Like

          • Yes, for sure, Adam $ Eve could not have understood the extent of the punishment.
            But there are good reasons to say that Adam & Eve knew about death, thru the experience of animals—unless they were immortal, which would be an unbiblical allegation.

            In Genesis 1:24,25, it is said that on the 6th day God created the animals, making a clear distinction between the herbivores like the cow, and the “Beasts of the Earth” (or “wild Beasts”), the carnivores. The word used in Genesis is “Chayah”, and appears more than 120 times in the OT, referring to wild carnivore animals. The cruel cycle of Life was observable by the first couple according to Genesis.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            You are making that up. There is no record of deaths prior to the warning. There is no need to fill up spaces.
            There is no reason to say immortality is unbiblical. A&E when being turned out of the garden, the gods say they should not be allowed to eat of the tree of life. So we don’t know what would happen if they ate that tree first.

            Like

          • Ron says:

            vincedeporter,

            Is that a rabbinic opinion? Because the online version of Strong’s defines châyâh (H2421) as:

            – to live, have life, remain alive, sustain life, live prosperously, live for ever, be quickened, be alive, be restored to life or health;

            And chay (H2416: the word used repeatedly in Genesis 1) as:

            – living, alive; life: living thing

            Like

          • Well I may stand corrected. This is from research I did years ago. I will try to get back to my sources.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Ron says:

            Fair enough. Either way, most (if not all) evangelical theologians would reject such an interpretation.

            Liked by 1 person

          • The links I sent may be wrong on the word, because looking at an interlinear Hebrew Bible it would be “ḥay·yaṯ” or “chaiyat”, for the translation of “Beast”, and in context, carnivore.
            LINK: http://biblehub.com/hebrew/chaiyat_2416.htm

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            Is it not a contradiction when you say we don’t have freewill and then slightly after say we have a limited freewill?

            Like

          • Not the way I presented it.
            I say we have choice/will, but it is not free when the choice is “A or punishment”
            –nor can we truly have free choice on what we don’t know exist (for example, I cannot choose to travel a country I’ve never heard of).

            Free choice is between optuons like A or B (or more).
            Each choice has consequences for sure, but it’s not one optuon or nothing: like A or Punishment.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            What is choice?
            In my view, choice refers to alternatives. So that when I say I had a choice, it only means I had these alternatives; taking the steps, using the lift or jumping. To the extent that I am not trying to kill myself, I will not take option 3, but it is still on the table as an alternative. The choice I end up acting upon depends on how long the wait for the lift will be, how many floors do I have to walk down and how much time I have.
            I see no situation where your answer isn’t a contradiction

            Liked by 1 person

          • “You are making that up. There is no record of deaths prior to the warning.”

            Really? No, I m not making that up at ALL! Do your homework, please. In Genesis, when wild beast (carnivores) are defined as such in contrast to domestic animals BEFORE the creation of man, it implies deaths before man.
            *Which makes sense since we have unearthed many carnivorous mammals that date way before man walked this earth on 2 legs.
            Yes, evolution has hard evidence.

            This said, nowhere does it even hint in the Bible that animals were given immortality!
            Not that I give a damn what the bible claims—but I know it well enough to discuss the intrinsic mistakes it makes.

            The point being that both Genesis and evolution witnesses to death being rampant before the existence of humans.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            In your estimation, on what date after creation does A&E eat of the fruit?
            I am looking at my Bible as I write this and it says in Genesis 1:25 god made all kinds of wild animals, all kinds of cattle, and all kinds of creeping things of the earth and saw it was good. Nowhere as far as I can possibly tell does it say carnivores. You could point me to it. Or if it is in some commentary, that would be good too.
            Well, we both agree on one point, that we don’t give a damn about the bible. There is no contention there.

            Like

    • makagutu says:

      I don’t believe in God to get some kind of “get out of jail free card”, or some “get into heaven card”.

      Why do you believe in god and which god? Apollo? Juno? Were?

      His very nature is love, which I would define as being something that is good.

      Citation needed.

      Atheists always want to use all of these examples from scripture (that you don’t even believe to be true, or believe to be real evidence except for in the case against God) where Gods actions are quite horrifying.

      What would you rather we use? The stories of gods are told in poems and in [sic] scriptures. If we can’t use to evaluate the nature of your gods, what are we to use?
      And a small correction, the bible and other religious books are works of man. What I argue is that no one has demonstrated that they are not.

      An atheist claiming that God is not good isn’t a claim at all. How can one define (or give attributes to) something that they believe does not exist?

      You are right to a point, that is, I have no business talking about gods I don’t believe exist. I however have the freedom to respond to claims made by others about their gods.

      Like

    • Arkenaten says:

      @acquiescentsoul

      So … your god commanding genocide is like cleaning your kid’s cut, is it?
      Yeah …. I can totally see the correlation between a scabby knee and wiping out an entire race of people.
      This, folks, is the absolute rock-solid definition of *Love* …. tra la la.

      Oh, and atheists do not blame Yahweh for anything.

      Atheists do not beleive in gods … not yours or anyone else’s.
      That would be like blaming Harry Potter because your broom won’t fly around and sweep the leaves out of the back garden on its own.
      Only someone indoctrinated into religion or a willfully ignorant bloody half wit believes in gods.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ron says:

      acquiescentsoul,

      By what objective standard did you conclude that God is naturally good? Because the Bible presents a deity exhibiting a severe deficiency of said goodness. And Romans 9 presents a strong counterpoint to the “free will” argument.

      “How can one define (or give attributes to) something that they believe does not exist?”

      In the same manner we can render an opinion on fictional characters like Darth Vader, The Wicked Witch of the West, Cruella de Vil, Maleficent, Captain Hook, Hannibal Lecter, Lex Luthor, Count Dracula, Nurse Ratched, Annie Wilkes,Travis Bickle, etc.—i.e., based on how they are presented to us by their author.

      Like

  6. melouisef says:

    Ask the Queen of England.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. renudepride says:

    Very good questions, my Kenyan brother. Ones that none of us, in our finite wisdom, have any original answers. Oh yes, there are those who “think” they have the answers by regurgitating what their bibles supposedly say. However, we all know that those are not definitive answers but mere hearsay. There is no clear definition of god because there is no cohesive determination of which god is the ultimate “all powerful.” Is it the Hindu one? The Buddhist one? The Christian one? And if it is the Christian one, then which one? The Orthodox one? The Catholic one? The Protestant one? The choices are endless! I propose we put all the deity candidates in one place and let them wrestle for the title. Winner takes all! Naked hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. God couldn’t save HIMSELF from logic, evidence, and reason! Let alone save humanity.

    Like

  9. God is invisible.
    Farts are invisible.
    –Why can’t God make himself more obvious than farts?
    Is he not more than gas?

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      You are asking too much of god
      You haven’t heard that if god were more visible we wouldn’t believe in her. What I don’t understand is why no one has stopped believing there is a sun somewhere

      Liked by 1 person

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