If God doesn't value human life, why should we?

The Christian religion claims to embody all of Jesus's humanitarian teachings.  We should sell our possessions, feed the hungry, take care of the poor, and clothe the sick.  And that's all well and great.  That Jesus sure was a swell guy. 

The problem is his dad.

See, Yahweh is the polar opposite of his son.  Even though they are apparently the same entity -- simply different facets of it -- the characteristics of Yahweh are...a bit troubling.  Okay, terrifying.

Here is a list of six times God killed people in the Bible...but I'm going to highlight two incidents below. 

Yahweh murders his chosen people because they ask for food


As the Israelites wander out of Egypt, they understandably get pretty hungry. They don't like what little food God has given them, and according to them, there isn't even any water.  The people get to grumbling.  I'm sure that was really annoying for God. The audacity of them!
"Why have you led us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread or water, and we detest this wretched food!"
Can you blame them for being cranky?  They are starving, dehydrated, weak, and have low blood sugar.  On top of that, they are walking all day long, expending an enormous number of calories.  They are probably super hangry.

And what does God do in response to the Israelites' request for more food?
"So the LORD sent venomous snakes among the people, and many of the Israelites were bitten and died."

What a great dad. 

Yes, God was trying to teach them a lesson.  They were ungrateful and they didn't have any faith in him.  But -- and hear me out -- what if he actually gave them enough food?  What if he actually gave them water? Maybe THAT would earn the people's trust and faith?  Maybe THAT would show them that he's loving and wants to care for them? I mean, God designed their bodies.  He knows what the energy requirements are and he purposely failed to meet them.

(This is even more surprising in light of Matthew 7: 9-11: "Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!")

I can hear it now.  "God's ways are higher than our ways."  I know, I know!  But the all-powerful, all-wise, all-loving God SURELY could find a way to get through to these people without resorting to MURDER BY SNAKE, right?

Besides, God was ALREADY punishing them by making them wander in the desert for 40 years (on a trip that should have taken ~6ish days).  Add on top of that the fact that he's purposely withholding nourishment -- he's basically torturing them!  And then he KILLS them when they ask for food and water?

Seriously. People keep making excuses for this guy because he's "GOD" but if a human dad acted like this, he would be condemned by EVERYONE for being an abusive tyrant.  God should act BETTER than us, not worse.  It's almost as if humans invented this Yahweh guy!

Numbers 21 god sends snakes to kill the israelites
The God of the OT is a really far cry from pacifist Jesus...

Yahweh murders 70,000 unsuspecting Israelites as punishment for something David does

In this bright little story, David takes a census of his troops. Why? Because God tells him to.

"Again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and He stirred up David against them, saying, “Go and take a census of Israel and Judah."

So David, being incited by God to take a census, does just that. He takes a census. It takes almost 10 months. At no point during those 10 months does God intervene and say "No, just kidding, actually this is a trap."

For some reason, after David takes the census, he realizes his "sin" (apparently wanting to know how many soldiers you have is a sin, even if you do it as some kind of Yahweh-controlled zombie).  

As punishment, God says:

"I am offering you three options. Choose one of them, and I will carry it out against you...Do you choose to endure three years of famine in your land, three months of fleeing the pursuit of your enemies, or three days of plague upon your land?"

David chooses the plague.

So Yahweh sends a plague upon Israel and SEVENTY THOUSAND PEOPLE DIE.

People who had nothing to do with the census!!!!  I cannot yell this loud enough!!!!!!

As if things couldn't get any worse, God sends an angel to destroy Jerusalem but has a change of heart and calls his angel off. How merciful of him!

So let's review.

  1. God gets mad.
  2. God performs mind control on David and makes him take a census.
  3. David takes a census.
  4. God gets super mad because David did the thing.
  5. This gives God an excuse to kill more people, which he loves doing apparently. It makes him feel better.
  6. God almost destroys Jerusalem but relents.
  7. Everyone praises God.
This reminds me of every other season of 24 where someone in the American government attacks America in order to make everyone patriotic and anti-terrorist. Yeah, it's like that.

I really wonder how anyone can read this story and think it's real...but I digress.  The point is, God kills a lot of people. He does it without even a second thought.

We are disposable

Which leads me to my next question...

Why should we care about each other?

We are supposed to model ourselves after Jesus (who is God), and we are made in God's image.  The problem is that God doesn't seem to care if we live or die, or if we're hungry, or suffering, or sick.  

He only cares if he's being worshipped.

If we have no inherent value in God's own eyes...if he cares nothing for our suffering (which is obvious from the state of things even today)...then why should we care?

Why should we care whether people are starving if God doesn't care?

Why is killing (or abortion, if you are pro-life) wrong if God doesn't care about human life?

Why should we care for the sick if God uses sickness as punishment?

It seems that we are way better at taking care of our fellow humans than God ever was at taking care of us.  We nurse our sick neighbors, we give to charity, we have empathy and compassion for one another. These are all traits that Yahweh lacks. So where did we get them?

Turns out we had them all along. 

We should care about other humans because we have an innate drive to do so.  And this has nothing to do with being made in Yahweh's image.  We're better than that.

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