HT: Dwindling in Unbelief


Samphire said...

The play was an extremely powerful piece and I recommend that it be seen in full. Strong though it is, this extract qualifies as "quote mining" when seen only in isolation.

AdamH said...

Of course, if the final conclusion is that there is no God, and there was no revelation from God, then Judaism is a fraud and is destroyed.

So Hitler won after all.

zilch said...

So Hitler won after all.

Huh? How does that follow? Either Jehovah exists, and Judaism was not and is not a fraud; or He does not exist, and Judaism is and always was a fraud. Or are you saying that Hitler had the power to kill God?

Tyro said...

Interesting. What's the title of the full work from which this is extracted?

I thought the point about God's treatment of the non-Israelites was spot on. Surely "God" is everyone's god, so did he make the Egyptians (and others) just in order to die?

I see the OT as a story of how one god amongst many comes to triumph though I haven't thought much about the inconsistencies this creates in the context of the modern interpretations. This highlights those problems very well, using emotion and logic together.

exapologist said...

The film is called "God on Trial". It's divided into 9 parts on YouTube.

There are several conclusions that the main speaker asserts, but the one I have in mind here is the conclusion that the God of the Hebrew Bible -- the God of the Old Testament -- if he exists, is not good. He gives a long series of examples of God doing bad things in the OT.

I should note that I'm using 'Q.E.D.' in somewhat loose sense: I'm not asserting that the premises deductively entail the conclusion (although I suspect that a sound argument of that sort could be given). Rather, I want to make the weaker claim that the assertions in the scene provide the materials for a cogent argument, as that term is used in standard critical thinking texts (acceptable premises that are relevant to the conclusion, and that, when taken together, make the conclusion more reasonable or probable than not): In my judgment, the premises are acceptable (given my background knowledge of the OT, the points the author makes accurately desribe the behavior of Yahweh as depicted there), relevant to the conclusion (i.e., they have a positive bearing on the truth of the conclusion), and provide adequate grounds for the conclusion (i.e., when taken together, they make the conclusion more likely than not). The argument is therefore cogent.

Perhaps, though, someone has a defeater or two for the argument? It would be interesting to discuss that argument in this thread!

Samphire said...

I think, exapologist, that the argument makes a mockery of the idea of the Trinity. How could gentle Jebus meek and mild be inextricably bound up within the personality of a such a rabid, self-obsessed god?

It is hardly surprising that Paul was more successful in preaching to the Gentiles in the Jewish diaspora than Peter was in preaching to those Jews who had stayed home in Jerusalem.

BobCMU76 said...

I see the premises as

God punishes the innocent for the sins of others (principly the children of the sinner)

God punished the enemies of Israel with reprehensible cruelty (extirpation of Amalekites, random systematic slaughter of Moabites).

And here they sit, being punished for sins not their own, being selected for slaughter indiscriminately in the process of eventual intended extiration. Being treated as God's enemies were, in their history.

QED -- they've become God's enemy.

For that excerpt at least... I'm not sure if a different conclusion is reached in the whole of the film.

I often think of a simple prayer I learned as a child

God is great.
God is good
And we thank Him for our food.

And every phrase there is arguable, including simply "God Is".

The exerpt does not question God is great

It is a full frontal assault on God is good

And if we equate and we thank Him for our food with God is our our side, a compelling case is made that such is no longer true.

But no Amen in the exerpt, if one equates such to God is

So, the counter arguments are to be directed in support of God is good, and God is on our side....

And I won't indulge either. Because God more or less says to our theodicic accusations... "What of it?" And to our claims to own his allegiance to the exclusion of any others, He simply scoffs.

How we respond to that is an issue. And telling God that He's no concern of mine is an acceptable response. He's made it known we're no concern of His...

But then.... He tells us with the other side of his mouth that we're His every concern. Another koan?

Tommy Holland said...

I can't help but agree.

"My God is not good. He's just powerful, and he's on my side."

If we perform acts of evil to other people and they perform the same acts to us, then it appears that which God we serve is irrelevant--almost as if he doesn't exist.

Johnny P said...

Wow, this is a truly inspiring piece of drama that I missed on the Beeb when it was on, due to not knowing. it nailed so much of what we debated about The Problem of Evil chap;ter in the pub the other day in our philosophy / theology group.

it seems almost impossible to defend the omni-everything god.

klas_klazon said...

Isn't that Stellan SkarsgÄrd speaking in the beginning of the clip?