On ethics

Bioethics or otherwise.

Twice I have read from different sources about some of the researches being done in China involving human and humanoid cells which have been claimed to cross the line over what’s allowable.

What in your view is the red line that shouldn’t be crossed and why?

Food for Thought: Guns and Crosses

Guns and Crosses

Supposing Jesus had walked the earth in the 20th Century, and had faced a firing squad for his execution, instead of being crucified.

Then the gun – instead of the cross – would be the Christian symbol. Churches would be having a machine gun placed prominently everywhere. Christians would hang pistols or revolvers around their necks.

Pastors and priests would often say such things as “Carry your own machine gun” or “Shoulder your own artillery” in church services. There would be mass shootings every Good Friday, especially in the Philippines.

When praying, instead of making the sign of the cross, Catholics would mime pointing an invisible pistol against their temples – ready to blow their brains out. The pope would regularly mime pointing a rifle at the huge congregations. Or an RPG launcher.

Cemeteries would be full of machine and sub-machine guns: Hotchkiss, LSATs, Ultimax, Bizon SMGs, Daewoos, and so on. Huge, rotary cannons would adorn churches spires – M61 Vulcans, GAU-Avengers, and the Gryazev Shipunovs.

Interestingly, all this would be considered normal… and pious. In fact, any criminal bearing a gun would be getting an initial benefit of doubt – he could be a devout Christian, after all. And so it would be, that occasionally, a gun-wielding robber would be proclaiming, loudly, thus:

“I’m not a Christian. I’m a heartless thief. Stick your hands up!”

Chronicles of YHWH 25: Israel at Peniel

Israel at Peniel

One night, while Jacob was minding his own business at a place called Peniel, YHWH sneaked upon him, and started pinching him, provocatively. Infuriated, Jacob stood up, and gave YHWH a heavy beating for the whole night. A badly surprised YHWH dislocated Jacob’s hip joint in a bid to incapacitate him, but Jacob still managed to overpower him. Finally, at daybreak, YHWH begged for a truce:

YHWH: Please let me go, man. My body is aching all over.

Jacob: No, I will not let you go until you bless me.

YHWH: How can you ask me to bless you after beating me up like that for a whole night?

Jacob: You started it. You are the one who came and started pinching me for no reason at all.

YHWH: Yeah, but you didn’t have to beat me up like a step-son. I can hardly move. My left eye is swollen shut. My ribs are probably broken. You punch and kick like a mule.

Jacob: Look, just give me your blessings, and I’ll let you go. Otherwise, I’ll keep slapping you until you soil your loin cloth.

YHWH: No – don’t slap me again. Those slaps are too painful. My ears are ringing. I will bless you. What’s your name?

Jacob: I’m Jacob, son of Isaac.

YHWH: Fine. From today, your name will be Israel – for you have beaten God into a pulp. Now, please let me go back to heaven in peace.

And so Jacob – now Israel – let YHWH depart. And YHWH limped away, painfully. He never visited Israel again in a physical form.


N/B: For access to all anecdotes in this series, check out List of all “Chronicles of YHWH” notes.

Chronicles of YHWH 18: Deadbeat Dad

Deadbeat Dad

With his hands securely stapled to the cross, Yeshua looked up into the skies, and cried: “Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani!”, which loosely translates to “Father, father, you are a Deadbeat Dad!”. YHWH disagreed with this assessment, and so the two held the following conversation.

(It should be noted that YHWH remained completely invisible throughout this exchange.)

YHWH: I’m not a deadbeat, Yeshua. I allowed you to walk on water some time ago, remember? Didn’t you like the experience?

Yeshua: I did, but that’s in the past. Look, I’ve just received the worst beating of my life. Then they’ve nailed me to this wooden truss. It’s embarrassing. Get me out of here.

YHWH: No. LOL. Tell you what – I’ll instruct one of the solders to nail down your feet too. Your sandals keep falling off.

Yeshua: No! Please, don’t do that, father! I’ll never call you a deadbeat dad again! You are the best dad in the whole universe! The beginning and the end!

YHWH: Yes, that I am! Ha ha.

Yeshua: Get me out of here, please. These human crazies are planning to drive a spear up my ribs.

YHWH: Ouch. That will likely hurt. But nay, you are stuck to that cross until I forgive ALL of mankind for eating that apple in the Garden of Eden. I’ve currently forgiven about 40 percent of them. The more you bleed, the more I forgive more of them.

Yeshua: I don’t get how that works, dad. Why forgive the humans only after they have tortured me – your own begotten son?

YHWH: It’s a complex thing, son. Much too complex for you too understand. But essentially, your blood acts as detergent to clean the sins of the humans. After you die, I’ll completely forgive the humans of that Garden of Eden… misunderstanding.

Long silence.

Yeshua: I really don’t understand how that works, dad.

YHWH: I know, son, I know you don’t understand. I’m very mysterious. Nobody understands my ways. Even the angels up here are looking at me with strange expressions.


N/B: For access to all anecdotes in this series, check out List of all “Chronicles of YHWH” notes.

Interesting discussion

Over at Nate’s blog, there is an interesting discussion following a post, never going back, that he wrote yesterday. He writes about something I find to be quite interesting even from where I stand and that is about being open-minded and ready to listen and consider the arguments of the other side, whatever this side is and concludes by writing

I am still an open-minded person. But I also know enough about Christianity now to know what it is and what it isn’t. I didn’t lose my faith by forgetting things, but by learning things. And if I had known years ago what I know now, I never would have been a Christian in the first place.

sentiments which yours truly agrees with. He, however, ain’t the object of this post. One of the christians who has commented on the post has asked several questions or made assertions that I think shouldn’t go unchallenged and since they are quite a number, allow me to attempt to answer them here.

His first assertion reads

Atheists always, and I mean ALWAYS, blame God for the evil that men do. And because the atheist has blamed God for the evil that men do and declared Him guilty, God must therefore not exist.

which I contend is wrong on all counts. First, atheists don’t blame god. For, tell me, how would they, if atheism is the lack of belief in the existence of gods? Speaking for myself, I believe men act as they do and no other way. If blame is to be laid anywhere, I believe it is temperament, training and environment that a person grows up would be responsible. The christian has said god is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, all the atheist is asking is why would a god with such a CV sit silently while his minions butcher each other? Is this too much to ask?

Next we are told

And then there is the other thing atheists ALWAYS do and that is lay out a set of personal standards that God must adhere to, or else he doesn’t exist.

But how can this be if the theist has not even gone beyond telling us what god is? We haven’t been told why the god of this particular apologist is necessary. And no, the theist creates god in his image and only gives him a big ass! Or as Voltaire[?] so aptly said, if god didn’t exist, it would be necessary to invent him.

And how ridiculous does this sound

Consequently, you are an atheist because you gave up your ability to reason.

I need not say anything about this except to ask, if one believes that a god who could create the universe by speaking a few let there be can only redeem mankind by drowning, earthquake or committing suicide and still claim to be using reason?

The person claiming atheists have abandoned reason, takes the existence of god as a given because he has been told so and writes

God created man with free will. If God intervened to stop evil, we would no longer be human because we would no longer be free.

which you and me know is far from true for there are many times humans have intervened to stop evil acts of others, and no one human being, I know of, has ever claimed omniscience or omnipotence. Next, how did god create man or because it is written in the bible it must be true? Forgive me, but unless reason quit through the door, how could one making such an assertion claim to have any left? And I would want a demonstration of what this author understands by free will and how he can show that humans have it.

God gave the human race the Bible which is the greatest compendium of ethics, human nature and social justice in human history.

You read that? I have read the Bhagahavad Gita and I can tell you, compared to the bible, it [the bible] pales in comparison. In fact it doesn’t even start to walk. So to claim the bible as being the greatest compendium of ethics in human history can only be construed to be statements of an ignorant person.

It is the existence of God that has kept man from destroying himself.

Far from it, it is the resilience of man, the desire to live that keeps man alive. It is for the love of god that man has killed his brethren, burnt them at the stake, ostracized them from society, put them in jail for holding contrary beliefs. So no, the existence of god, whatever god, has not been proven and as such, a claim like the above is meaningless!

God’s existence provides an objective, true standard of excellence for ethics, human development, personal behavior and justice without which man becomes a murdering, self-destructive, demented fiend.

If the god of the bible were to exist and to provide a standard for justice, the we sure would need to kill such a god. A god who punishes its creation for eating a damn fruit, drowns almost all men alive, kills children for the sins of their fathers, kills children of slave girls for the faults of the king [a king he hardened his heart] can’t teach man how to live with another! I refuse to accept that!

That’s why the greatest mass murders in human history were committed by atheist regimes that made it a point to reject the Christian ethics of Western culture.

This line has been repeated so many times one may actually believe it is true. Here is one response to this claim.

Yours truly wishes to stop here since some or most of the other claims and assertions he makes have been ably responded to by Nate’s very many guests.

blog break 4: bestiality, morality and an observation

Folks, I don’t know how much of what happens here in the neck of the woods gets beamed on your news screens. Last week we were treated to a news story of bestiality in Mombasa involving teenage girls, some tourists and dogs or so I hear. I don’t at the moment know what is it that transpired in Mombasa though I do hope this will be known in due course.

One of the commentators writes

…..this is a manifestation of moral depravity our society suffers when such acts as bestiality, abortions, homosexuality and casual murders become ingrained in our systems and values.

Why anyone would think homosexuality and abortions are an example of moral depravity is still beyond me.

He goes on to argue for moral divine command. He tells

Mankind too subscribes to a deity whose divine command sets standards of engagement. In our cases, the holy books provide such guidance

I don’t know if the author is aware of the dilemma in the Platonic dialogues where it is asked if something is right because gods command it or gods command it because it is right. To tell us the holy books are a guide it would be nice to know if he would stone his neighbor to death for working on Sabbath.

He then lists chapters in the OT where there are various curses and punishment for different acts. He lists exodus 29:19, Leviticus 18:23, 20:15-16 and Deuteronomy 27:21. My observation has been that injunctions are only issued on things that are going on already and rarely in anticipation of the said acts. In short for the authors these passages to give such warnings, this was already a problem. What we need to ask as students of history is what would drive man to have sex with brutes? Anyone with information on what contributes to such drives would do great justice if they could share their knowledge or direct me to studies on the same.