Yahweh Condones Thievery--Well, Only in Certain Cases...;)

According to Christians it's ok to "steal" as long as it is from an oppressor, and as long as you are putting it to "better use." This, according to Bill Pratt over at "Tough Questions Answered." where he implies there are "conditions" to the commandment of "Thou Shall Not Steal." For the sake of argument, let's assume that Bill Pratt is correct.

It has been shown (by myself and many others) that the Bible has many contradictions in it, and Bill's example is just one more example to put in the file cabinet. Apparently, with their clever(?) use of Humpty Dumpty semantics (i.e., making words mean whatever they want them to mean) Christians now consider their thievery not to be thievery when it is put to a "better use," or, when it is thievery against a non-follower of Yahweh--which seems to be ok with him. Let me explain.

Bill used Exodus as his example of taking things and putting them to a "better use":

The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians. (Ex. 12:35-36)

Which Augustine goes on to interpret as the following:

"The Egyptians not only had idols and crushing burdens which the people of Israel detested and from which they fled. They also had vessels and ornaments of gold and silver, and clothing, which the Israelites leaving Egypt secretly claimed for themselves as if for a better use. Not on their own authority did they make this appropriation, but BY THE COMMAND OF GOD.

So, according to Augustine and apparently many other Christians, it's ok to "secretly claim something for yourself" i.e., STEAL if it's for a "better use," AND if God commands it. But didn't God also command that his followers NOT steal?? This is a contradiction, and illustrates how insidious the "Divine Command Theory" really is. i.e., whatever God says is right, is right--especially since no one knows what or if a god has said anything at all--it's just the words out of the mouths of men.

However, if we take a "God's words" into consideration, and consider them to be "God's words," are actions in any case right or wrong then because god says they are; or are they right or wrong because they are right or wrong? (Euthyphro dilemma) If we follow the Divine Command theory in that whatever god says is right is right--in this case the Christian god Yahweh--this would mean stealing, and the slaughter of innocent children, pregnant women and their unborn fetuses would be considered right. (As all are ordered to be done by the Christian god.) If this is the case then, there is no standard for good, as murder and stealing would be considered "good." However, according to most Christians like Bill Pratt, true objective morality cannot come from "non-absolutism"--but in this case, this would be making reference to the non-absolutist Christian god, since according to Bill Pratt, Yahweh's commands are not absolute--they are subjective. This is evident in Bill's post, and many others written by Christians on the web and other places. So Christians claim that you cannot have objective morality unless you have absolutism, and then they turn around and say that their commandments, i.e., their "Christian morality" are NOT absolute!--a contradiction.

Now, Bill Pratt could take the other horn of the dilemma, and claim that thievery is not thievery when it is done to a "non-Yahweh" follower, and the object of their thievery is "put to better use." However, this is subject to what I have already stated. i.e., that if Bill Pratt is right, then Yahweh's laws are NOT absolute, as Christians have argued--they would be subjective as it would depend on who the thievery was against, and of what "use" it is.  Bill's example has led to Christians "stealing" the land from the Indians on the grounds that they claim they are putting it to "better use," and these Christians called it "Manifest Destiny." (The Anglo-Saxon expansion across North America "under God.") It is also the same logic that Hitler used against the Jews.  Also, the enslavement of Africans, and North and South American Indians and their genocide, was justified by the same type of thought.

I am not an absolutist, as absolutism has proven to be a weak position to hold. Nor is it the case that objective morality is dependent on absolutism. I have argued this point in other posts in my blog, where I have argued against absolutism and proved that objective morality is not dependent on any god or absolutism.

I have to give some credit to Bill though, he is one of the few apologists that has not blocked me yet....:) Maybe not for long....lol.

Cathy Cooper