Sometimes when I argue that Yahweh, the god of the Bible, would be evil if he existed, and is not anything even remotely close to the "greatest conceivable being," the reaction I sometimes get goes down the line of, "God is by definition perfect, and everything he does and commands is morally perfect, and Yahweh is god, and so everything Yahweh does and commands is perfect by definition and any amount of 'reason' you try and use to refute this is totally and utterly futile. Period."
That is in a nutshell the argument that I sometimes get when debating theists over whether Yahweh is good. Formally, it might look like this:
1. God is by definition perfect.
2. Yahweh is God.
3. Therefore, everything Yahweh does and commands is perfect.
Now of course this doesn't represent the view all Christians have. And many Christians attempt to justify each of the premises. But even if I grant premise (1) in the same sense that a bachelor is by definition an unmarried man, it is impossible to go from that to premise (2). In fact, I think premise (2) is refuted by premise (1). And so it is frustrating when I encounter Christians quit often who just seem to take as an uncontroversial axiom that Yahweh is morally perfect and that everything Yahweh does and commands is perfect. They fail to step outside their bubble and acknowledge that the axioms they grant inside the bubble, are not granted outside the bubble. It must be demonstrated that Yahweh is morally perfect and that everything Yahweh does and commands is perfect. It is simply not a given.
Welcome to Atheism and the City. This blog is about exploring atheism through contemporary urban living. I live in New York City, the secular metropolis, and I have an avid interest in all things religion, science, philosophy, politics, and economics. I am an atheist, a humanist, a philosopher and a thinker, and the purpose of Atheism and the City is to write about my thoughts and experiences on the subjects and topics that I have a passion for. Feel free to respond to any post whether or not you agree.