Yahweh viewed through 3 Moral Calculators

Ethical debates are difficult because we are deluded into thinking our minds are unitary and that we make conscious ethical decisions before acting. But instead, our brains seem to have several independent moral calculators — each spitting out many often conflicting but convenient conclusions for the brain to choose from for post-hoc rhetoric to use both in self-delusion and for persuasion of others.

OK, that is rather cynical view of morality, but I largely believe it. Three of those calculators are:

  1. Means oriented (Deontologogical)
  2. Consequence oriented (Consequentialism)
  3. Virtue oriented (Virtue Ethics)

Using these three calculators, Massimo Pigliucci at “Rational Speaking” does a fun analysis of Yahweh’s act of sacrificing his boy, Jesus. Massimo’s conclusion, for those who want to skip his fine post, is that “most of His [Yahweh’s] followers are infinitely more moral than their God “. Massimo also has great podcasts if you are interested.

For more posts to explain my above terse claims:


Filed under Philosophy & Religion

5 responses to “Yahweh viewed through 3 Moral Calculators

  1. Ben

    I look at Yahweh’s actions through a very simplistic lens. If I treated my dog the way the Hebrew god treated his creation, I would be arrested.

    At least one could argue that in the act of sacrificing his son, he (lower case intentional) knew that ultimately no harm would come to Jesus (resurrection blah blah). I find the wholesale slaughter of Cannonites , and PUNISHMENT when they failed to kill every last living thing, disturbing to say the least.

    Tip of the iceberg…

  2. I think that one of the things which blinds people of faith to the moral failures of God (besides the faith that God is perfectly good and can’t sin) is being self-centered (as we all struggle with). In other words, it is not examined as “look what God has done.” Instead, it is examined as “look what God has done for me” in the sacrifice of Jesus. That shift of focus puts away the thoughts of judging the act itself for morality, and instead pushes thoughts towards the great cost Jesus/God paid for us and the love demonstrated by it.

  3. @ TWF:
    That is a great point! Thanx.

  4. @ Ben,
    I couldn’t agree more. And who better but us ex-Christians to understand that, eh?

  5. I’m with Ben. From any moral perspective, the actions of the Old Testament god are heinous.

    I find it darkly amusing that modern-day Christians will contort themselves into pretzels trying to justify Yahweh’s morally hideous acts. We live in a society that condemns genocide and slavery as morally reprehensible, but Christians are taught that their god is the epitome of moral goodness, so they’re in quite a bind!

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