Atheist Ramblings
by Stephen F Roberts
issue 3.4
January 2000
Things I ramble about:

I would make a better god
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Why I would make a better god than god...

...Fundamentalists often tout god as all great, all good and all everything... But when pressed for details, the god they present usually turns out not to be all that spectacular.

...Based on one of these debates, I made up a comparison of myself versus this fundamentalist's version of god (and a few other fundies I've debated over time)... now admittedly, this version of god may not be your version of god, but sadly, it is many people's version of god, so I wanted to look into it more.

...So here it is: Why I would make a better god than god

  me god
Would design the windpipe so people couldn't choke while eating.
Clearly a weak design point... of many in the human body alone.
See the FAQ on 'jury-rigged design' on talk-origins.org.
Would make myself known to people.
i.e. show up occasionally. Leaving behind an ancient book of stories just doesn't work for most ppl. And this whole bit about having to love god and believe in him before he makes himself apparent to you just doesn't work either (what? would Shiva be apparent to me if I believed in him too?)
Would not deny people heaven if they happened to miss the signs I left.
God is often described as denying heaven even to good people if they didn't believe. If I were god, there is nothing a human could do during a finite lifespan that would cause them to lose eternal happiness and reward. Even murder is meaningless when talking about eternity.
Would apologize for my mistakes and correct them without mass murder.
God didn't like the mess on earth, so he killed off just about everyone with a flood... if I were all powerful like god, I would just fix it (and you mean everyone was bad except Noah?)
Wouldn't make people mean to prove a point.
During Exodus, god "hardened the Pharaoh's heart". If I were god, maybe one display would be enuf then I would soften his heart so he would let my people go... all that suffering for the innocent people of Egypt was not necessary. Most of them likely had never even seen a Jew, how could they be culpable... and killing the first borns? was that necessary?
Would never order mass genocide.
Repeatedly in the OT, god orders the Jews to kill their enemies or to launch attacks against them. In one particularly brutal display he orders them to kill every man, woman, and child, except the young virgins, who the men were to keep for themselves. (num 31) That kind of slaughter just isn't necessary for an all powerful deity and I wouldn't order it.

Would fix the 'sin' problem without making an innocent suffer.
Jesus was innocent, why did god feel the need to send him down here to 'atone for our sins' when god could have snapped his fingers and made it so? Why did people have to suffer for a simple fix? I would find a way to fix the 'sin problem' without the death of an innocent.

If I had to send Jesus, would make sure he didn't say silly things.
Cursing a fig tree for not having fruit out of season, calling the mustard seed the smallest of seeds, saying you have to hate your family... I would be sure to brief Jesus better on things to do and say.
Wouldn't need to rest after creation.
If I were all powerful, I don't think a rest would be necessary (Genesis).
Wouldn't leave an incredibly dangerous fruit with two innocents.
Adam and Eve didn't know not to disobey (that would require knowledge of good and bad, which they did not have).
Would not curse a child for the problems of their parents.
Making a child responsible for the 'sins' of its parents seems silly, making all of us guilty for the 'sins' of Adam and Eve is doubly so... If it were up to me, each child and person would start from a level field, not buried up to their neck before they even start.
Would teach compassion for all.
Sure Jesus made up for some of it, but there are still those abomination parts of the OT that cause problems to this day (most of Leviticus).
Would make sure that people copying and translating my holy book didn't make mistakes.
A bit of apologetics often touted is that mistakes and contradictions are due to 'copying errors' (which is funny, because many fundies also claim the bible has never changed). If god could have guided the initial authors, why not the one's who translated it? I sure would.
For that matter, I would make sure the truths in my holy book really are apparent.
A real truth should be visible to all who look, not just to a select few or to those who interpret it correctly. None of this vague language that has to be interpreted by special people or language that doesn't make sense until after the fact... Clear, simple phrases with clear, simple meanings... And as time changed and language evolved, I'd send a few revisions to keep things up-to-date with the vernacular. And I'd made sure no one wrote anything as stupid as 'no more revisions past this one' in my holy books (John)
Would have a word or two with people who claimed to speak for me, but who twisted my words.
Lots of people claim to be god's messengers, but they make wild claims that surely can't be true (calls for mass murder or to starve children just doesn't sound like god). When one of these people comes out, they are quickly denounced by other theists. Both groups can't be right... I would be sure to set the record strait.

...Well, that's just a short list... But it makes the point for now.

Back Issues:

- On Goodness
- My Quote
- The 100% Problem
- God and Hell
- The Problem with Faith
- The Missing Link
- Random Thoughts
- My beliefs
- The Design Problem
- Is there a problem?
- Know god, know fear
- Christians vs. Death
- RIFRA and You
- The Problem with Salvation
- A Question of Morals
- It boils down to faith
- The Wow! Factor
- Why not Faith?
- The Banana Trick
- Something to think about
- Why?
- Moral Absolutes?
- Why so scared?
- Perfect Deity?
- Apologetics
- A Funny Quote
- the 1500 year question
- Holier than thou?
- The Empty Tomb
- Evidence that also Demands a Verdict
- What scares me at night
- Prayer in Schools
- How legends grow
- a little error

Atheist Ramblings
Copyright © 1997- 2001
by Stephen F Roberts
sroberts.at.wildlink.dot.com
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