I've been arguing with theists for a year or two, and they usually dance around the evil old testament yhvh stuff in a variety of equally unsatisfactory ways, but this is a new one. I'm actually pasting here another atheist's longish post and a theist's brief response, both from a local forum.

Atheist: "Amongst other things Yahweh's motivations for killings and ordering killings mentioned in the bible are:
The desire to show off an demonstrate how powerful he is. Exodus 6-13 tells how Yahweh repeatedly 'hardened Pharaoh's heart' so Pharaoh wouldn't let the Jewish people go just so that Yahweh could keep on showing his power culminating in the murder of every 1st born Egyptian.

Exodus 7:3-4 And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments.

Exodus 10:16-20 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said, I have sinned against the LORD your God, and against you. 10:17 Now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my sin only this once, and intreat the LORD your God, that he may take away from me this death only.... 10:20 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go.
Jealousy at people for worshipping gods other than him there are numerous instances of this such as Deuteronomy 13:6-10 6 “If your brother, the son of your mother, your son or your daughter, the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is as your own soul, secretly entices you, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which you have not known, neither you nor your fathers, 7 of the gods of the people which are all around you, near to you or far off from you, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth, 8 you shall not consent to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him or conceal him; 9 but you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. 10 And you shall stone him with stones until he dies, because he sought to entice you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
Anger at people for failing to obey every arbitrary order he gives - by gathering sticks on the sabbath for example.
Racism Not being of Yahweh's chosen ethnic group and happening to live on certain bits of land is reason enough for Yahweh kill/have people killed.
Homophobia this is the predominant Christian understanding for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah .
Epic Grudge holding - Being descended from people who did something to upset Yahweh hundreds of years back is reason enough.

The motivations and actions mentioned would suggest that the god of the bible is a blood thirsty, racist, petty, grudge holding, homophobic, narcissistic asshole with an incredible capacity for jealous rage against anyone who worships gods other than him. Let's look for example at a single passage from the bible:

Deuteronomy 20:10-18 10 When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. 11 If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. 12 If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. 13 When the LORD your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. 14 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the LORD your God gives you from your enemies. 15 This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.

16 However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. 17 Completely destroy [a] them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the LORD your God has commanded you. 18 Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the LORD your God.

So here Yahweh in full on racist psycho mode instructs his 'chosen people' to march up to cities and demand that the inhabitants surrender and become slaves to the Israelites. If they refuse to be enslaved then with Yahweh's assistance the Israelites are to kill every male and then to take the surviving women as slaves.

Enslavement however is the lenient treatment for distant cities, for people unlucky enough to be unwittingly living on land the deeply racist Yahweh promised his 'chosen people' they don't even get the chance to be enslaved instead everything that breathes from adults, to newborn babies to their pets.

So do tell us what do you think ordering enslavement and genocide in this manner tells us of 'heart of the identity of' Yahweh?

Theist: "...you don't seem to understand the Israelites worshipped false Gods as well and they often rejected the God of David. When Aaron finished the golden calf, he said "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt." (They weren't, they were false gods like the Golden Calf was a false god.)

The quotes you give are in relation to false gods and are nothing to do with the Christian God who is wholly good."


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I agree, nothing you can say will change them, outside of putting them in a rubber room and deprogramming them as if they were cult members.....And if this god is their idea of a "loving" god,I'd sure hate to meet an unloving one.




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