Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

NOTICE, in response to attempts to play the “the God of the OT is a moral monster” distractive rhetorical games

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Earlier today, I have had to deal with an attempt by a commenter who — for cause — was already of an ilk I have asked not to comment on threads I post here at UD, as such are simply rudely disruptive and distractive; making no genuinely positive contribution to serious dialogue.

Given his insistence on being further disruptive, I was forced to shut down comments for the thread.

I have taken time at my personal blog, to respond for record to the cluster of issues raised in that earlier post, and have placed as a footnote to the original post, the following:

I have further explained what is going on, here, highlighting the implicit, enabling antisemitic significance of attacking the God of the Bible as a “bronze age tribal deity” and “moral monster,” by playing at Bible difficulties games as distractors from uncomfortable issues for new atheists — and yes, Dr Dawkins and co, this explicitly involves you; for the God of the Old Testament you decry in your notorious passage is quite plainly the God of Israel. You therefore have some explaining to do, at minimum for enabling anti-semitism as well as anti-Christian bigotry and bashing. I have also provided a cluster of ten initial links for those who have genuine difficulties that they want to follow up, and I have further responded to the specific distractive case used by J below to try to disrupt this thread. Bible discussions, of course, are obviously not on-topic for this blog.

if you think that is over the top, consider this slightly adjusted version of Dr Dawkins’ remark in his The God Delusion, which simply brings out explicitly the MEANING of his reference to “the God of the Old Testament”:

The God of the Old Testament [read: The God of the  Jews] is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully . . . ” [Cf. Lennox- Dawkins debate, here. For a quick initial response to this sort of rhetoric, cf. CARM here and JPH of Tektonics here, here, here and here. Also cf. Vox Day’s short book length critique of the new Atheists in a free to download format here. (Available from Amazon here.)]

If Dr Dawkins and other New Atheists do not intend or would be uncomfortable with that direct implication, then they have some fairly serious explaining to do as to why they have used this sort of talking point to publicly bash the God of the Bible, and Christians for the past several years. (NB: For about five years now, since this was published as a NYT bestseller,  Dawkins’ book and others of like ilk have led to a major wave of related rhetoric in public and all over the Internet.)

On sad track record, I do not, of course expect the ilk of the hate mailer exposed earlier today, to seriously respond or take to heart such concerns.

But this notice is by way of record and reference for those who do care about fairness and reasonableness.  END


F/N: I see where, else where, J complains that his ilk of atheists are being banned for posing “uncomfortable” questions that we do not wish to discuss.

This is a gross and irresponsible misrepresentation.

J knows or should know that detailed Bible discussions are well off topic for UD, and that his posing of an out of context misreading from Deut 22 was intended to derail discussion of a case of hate mail in response to the raising of a serious issue, the implications of the Bibi Aisha case for cultural relativism stemming from his evolutionary materialism.  (Such new atheists also know that — as my response in my own blog highlighted — there are a great many sites, forums and accessible books, online or brick and mortar bookstores, libraries and expert theologians who are able and willing to assist with genuine cases of Bible difficulties. So, it is quite evident that this is just an irresponsible toxic talking points game, compounded by turnabout accusation tactics, intended to distract attention from, derail and poison discussions that the new atheists do not want discussed.)

J also knows that for cause — habitual, rudely disruptive, grossly disrespectful and counter-productive behaviour plainly tracing to the sort of contempt epitomised by Dr Dawkins’ notorious dismissal of those who differ with him: ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked — he and ilk have been asked not to interfere with threads I have posted, and are subject to moderation and banning at UD for the same cause of disruptive misbehaviour. (Such can easily enough find a new sock puppet identity and actually respond to issues on the merits instead of derailing by toxic distractors, if they actually cared about issues. They plainly don’t, save to distract attention.)

J also knows or should know that I took time in-thread to point to the proper understanding of the case from Deut 22, in light of its textual, cultural and legal context as a case law summary.

(I have subsequently given a more detailed discussion in my own blog, where Bible discussions are on-topic; which we can expect will be also ignored and irresponsibly twisted into toxic talking points, including the coded accusation that I am a “preacher.” J and ilk need to know on this latest epithet that the tradition of physicists and the like who are preachers or amateur — or even professional — theologians of some significance, is longstanding and quite significant, including the likes of Pascal, Newton, Faraday, and Maxwell etc. If there is any seriousness on the real or imagined Bible difficulties they raise, they would pay heed to the references and suggestions in the just linked on addressing such, for which UD is not a proper venue.)

J’s unwillingness to reflect on whether he may in fact have misunderstood the context and has improperly equated an issue over seduction that a girl has gone along with [by breaking a major cultural rule that teens are not to go out to secluded areas alone], with a different case where a girl undeniably raped in Iran was gaoled for fornication and forced to marry her rapist as the only way to get out and raise her toddler child — the result of the rape — in a healthy environment.

Notice (and pardon going off topic for a moment), only a few vv above, it is clear that in a different case, stranger rape by encounter in the countryside — say, for a girl gathering firewood, it is presumed that the girl screamed for help but was not heard, and the man is liable to the full and rigorous penalty; that is part of why we can be highly confident that the case being — predictably — misunderstood and misused by J and ilk is that of two ill-advised teens going off alone in violation of a major cultural rule that such youngsters are not to go off unsupervised,  and ending up in seduction (or, “one thing led to another” ending up with an over-excited boy unwilling to stop when “no” is said . . . ) followed by “he said she said.” This is utterly different from the case in Iran, where the woman — presumed guilty of fornication and provoking the man sexually in the law, absent all but impossible to get proof to the contrary — would have had to produce FOUR witnesses to the actual physical course of events, to prove her innocence.

Finally, all of this irresponsibility, hostility, slander, willful distortion and evasion of key challenges stemming from the longstanding amorality of evolutionary materialism  go to why recent surveys are showing that such atheists are not respected or trusted in the community at large.  The answer is: not, from mere prejudice against such, but for cause. As we have yet again seen.

If the new atheists want to be taken seriously, they need to learn to act responsibly.