4. The Biblical God required Child Sacrifice for His Pleasure

Part of the reason I decided to do a commentary on the book God or Godless? is because the atheist does such a bad job. Here is part 4.

God commands child sacrifice. And with the Bible as my source, this basically cannot be denied. But only the Christian seems to get the significance of this: we are offered a “trilemma”, only two of the three following statements can be true, so you must reject one:

  1. Yahweh is God (and therefore morally perfect)
  2. The devotional killing of infants is not always wrong
  3. The biblical passages in which Yahweh approves the devotional killing of infants and children are correctly interpreted and inerrant

Christians accept 1 by definition. So it’s between 2 and 3. And our resident Christian rejects 3. Somewhere along the line these passages were either misinterpreted or, in fact, errant. This is shaky ground, and I am glad that the atheists pull the Christian up on this: if some of it is errant, why not most of it, or even all of it?

To me, this is the one time the atheist really got the jugular of this Christian: if you can doubt bits of it for no greater reason that you don’t like it you can quickly dismiss the whole book. What concept of God are you left with after that?

But that is not what I want to ask. I don’t know why perfect morality is so strongly ingrained into the definition of a God. I can’t understand it. The demand for worship and subservience, as a priority over morality, is a contradiction of this morality. I don’t know how this goes so unnoticed, and I don’t see why morality is such a big part of the definition: an evil Creator God is consistent with every argument for God.

8 thoughts on “4. The Biblical God required Child Sacrifice for His Pleasure”

  1. The source of this article is presumably the story of Isaac. But it is irrational to make the story of Isaac into a generalized norm commanded by God , especially since God ultimately prevented the sacrifice in the story (through the angel)

  2. I did what you said, and all I came across were a number of verses that forbid human sacrifice. A potential example is where some Hebrew warrior whose name I forgot sacrificed his daughter. But this was neither commanded nor approved by God.We have to distinguish between human sacrifice appearing in the Bible and it being presented as normative. You say “God commands child sacrifice”, but you don’t offer any support for the claim. I’m perfectly willing to admit that I might well have missed an example (after all, the bible is a large book), but what support do you have for that claim?

    1. Actually, I said that both the debaters I’m am commenting on accept it.
      In Exodus 13:2 the Lord said “Consecrate to me every first-born that opens the womb among Israelites, both man and beast, for it belongs to me.” (you need to get the Bible and read it in full context… it means ‘ritual sacrifice’)

      There’s then a bit in Leviticus about how the smell of burnt offering is pleasing to the LORD.

      I’ll level with you, off the bat, I don’t remember any child-sacrifice passages from when I read the Bible. I remember children being treated badly, and I remember how Lott treated his daughters. Children definitely can a bad wrap. But the two people in the book I’ve been commenting on–Christian and atheist–just agree that the Bible talks of it.

  3. Irrespective of whether the Christian agrees I don’t think I do. I’m dubious that consecrating every first born means ritual sacrifice, since the ancient Hebrews did not sacrifice their first born children to God- I know the Bible that well at least. The ancient Hebrews did sacrifice animals to God so I don’t find that bit in Leviticus you mentioned surprising.

    1. I think I agree. When I get the chance, and after the rest of the posts are done auto-uplaoding, I shall clarify that I was simply dealing with the content of the debate and that I’m not sure why the Christian was so fast to accept that it happened. I will also put the challenge to my followers to find any passages and verses, if you want to stay around for the discussion.

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