God the Tyrant

I occasionally get into informal debates and discussions with religious individuals on the moral implications of their belief systems. These conversations usually involve myself and one or more Christians, since Christianity is the most common religion in where I live and the one I am most familiar with. I have however heard similar discussions involving Muslims and members of other faiths. Often in these conversations the I am told that if the alleged god in question were to have done things in any way other than the way he did them, that this would make him tyrant.

This is the response I get to questions like “why could god simply have created us with a much smaller capacity to engage in the behaviors he considers sinful?” or “Why can’t God simply reveal himself to us in a demonstrable unambiguous manner like he did in the old testament?” The all to common response is that these things would compromise, if not eliminate our free will, and therefore, would make God tyrannical. I reject this claim for a few reasons and have my own for consider the gods people believe in to be tyrannical, which I will share below. For the sake of argument I will assume that we humans have free will, which is in itself a highly debatable proposition.

To start I reject the notion that a hypothetical God could not tweak the beings he creates in a wide variety of ways while keeping their free will intact. After all, there are a wide range of personality types within humanity as it exists today. Why could a God not have made more of the population such that they would be like the most reasonable, or peaceful people alive today? He could have made us less quick to anger, given us a smaller capacity for jealousy and have made us less able to enjoy alcohol, all while keeping our free will intact. He could also have tweaked us in the opposite direction as well. The point is that no one would argue the people alive today who are less inclined towards theft murder and blasphemy have any of a less free will than those who are more so inclined.

The same applies to the issue of why the alleged god does not demonstrably and unambiguously reveal himself. The bible clearly depicts him doing this in many of his books. For example, in Exodus God appears as a pillar of cloud during the day and fire at night, and yet nowhere in the book is it ever implied that those who witnessed such theatrics from God lost their free will as a result.

It is for those reasons that I reject the notion that doing such things as described above would make the hypothetical creator being a tyrant. Furthermore, I do not believe that any Gods exist, however I would dare to say if the god that most Christians and Muslims worshiped was real I would certainly consider it tyrannical. This is not for the reasons I discussed above, but because the god both of these religions worships demands complete and utter submission, from everyone and couples this demand with the threat of force.

This being is a totalitarian in every respect. Not only does he threaten us with force (in this case eternal torture) but he demands we love him for it. In addition to his demands of full submission, he wants full sycophancy. He demands his subject constantly grovel and praise him. It is for this reason that I consider the God of Abraham as Christian and Muslims imagine him to be tyrannical. It is for this reason I am happy that there is no evidence that such a being exists.

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5 Responses to God the Tyrant

  1. Ted Luoma says:

    The most interesting thing is that God had no compulsion to reveal Himself at all and would be completely just in sending everyone to hell as none of us are righteous. For a judge who turns a blind eye is corrupt. God would be infinitely corrupt if He did not adhere to His moral standard.

    • Mr. Wilson says:

      I reject the notion that sending everyone to hell would be perfectly just. As I hinted at above if we our none of us our righteous, than that is the way God made us, and the idea of punishing one’s own creation for being the way you made it is incredibly problematic. I would actually figure an all powerful creator of everything would be under no compulsion to do anything. You say “God would be infinitely corrupt if He did not adhere to His moral standard”. That may be so, but since I consider this being’s alleged moral standards to be immoral and rubbish, than a corruption of those standards may actually be an improvement.

      • Ted Luoma says:

        Well, His moral standards are the Ten Commandments. Even the wicked borrow from these and agree that murder and stealing are bad. I think the problem that many have is that people feign innocence when, in reality, we are all corrupt.

        Further, even if we throw the Ten Commandments out the window, those that find themselves in hell are those that reject Christ. Assuming that heaven and hell exist, why would anyone want to eternally remain in the presence of someone he rejects? Hell is merely the complete absence of God and the good that comes with it.

        By the way, God did not create man in his fallen nature. He created Adam and Eve without sin. As we are ultimately all sons and daughters of Adam and are not direct creations of God as Adam was, we are born with his (Adam’s) sin nature.

  2. This post is based on logical errors as is characteristic of all atheist arguments against the existence of God.

    Here is the offending premise taken from this post in the author’s own words:

    “To start I reject the notion that a hypothetical God could not tweak the beings he creates in a wide variety of ways while keeping their free will intact.”

    Here, the atheist conjures an alternative reality and then grants himself the authority to tell everyone what God can’t exist because he doesn’t act the way the atheist thinks he should in this alternative reality.

    Such thinking is completely irrational.

    We have to accept reality the way it is and then reason out the attributes of God based on that reality.

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