All general questions, comments and requests for post topics can be sent to...
FoxholeAtheistBlog@yahoo.com
And visit the Facebook fan page at...
Facebook Fan Club

Quote:

"Faith is not a good reason to believe in any one thing. It's a bad reason to believe in everything. Faith is not synonymous with any one idea; it is synonymous with any strongly held idea, true or not. But one thing faith is not synonymous with is a logically justified idea."

April 25, 2010

Quick Stories: Death by Bear?

Basically, the prophet Elisha ran into a large group of kids. The kids laughed at Elisha and mocked him for being bald. I guess that wasn't common in those times? Elisha cursed them in the name of God, and then of course God couldn't let a member of his click get picked on by some kids so he did what any mob boss would do to discipline young kids... He sends two female bears after the children. The bears rip the kids to shreds and eat them. How many kids were there?... 42 to be exact, at least by the Bible's account. This story can be found in Second Kinds chapter 2.


The issue I have with this story is not that it's horrific, though it is. Thankfully, it never happened. There is no God to send she-bears after kids, this is a stupid story. My problem exists in the fact that so many Christians paint their God as a man of love and compassion. They make bold claims about his perfection and his omni-benevolence. However, they make many claims about him being all sorts of "omni" characteristics. And most of those characteristics contradict one another. Let's just take the omni-benevolent one for now...

What is kind and loving about sending bears to rip apart 42 children for mocking an old man? Sure, what the kids did was insensitive, but that's what kids do. And I wouldn't expect kids who lived thousands of years ago to be any more kind than children today. Couldn't the God who created the entire universe be able to show the kids they were wrong without having them killed? Couldn't he just soften their hearts to Elisha's condition the same way he hardened the Egyptian pharaoh's heart when Moses asked him to release his people? Couldn't he just send down an angel to explain the situation to the kids, to explain the importance of Elisha to the Lord, and therefore, the respect that Elisha was due?... I'm not going to claim that any of these actions I suggest would be "easier" for the Lord, since he's an all powerful being, and therefore any action no matter how taxing it would seem would be equal to any other action no matter how relaxed. So the question isn't about which response would have been easier for an all powerful being, but which response would have been representative of an omni-benevolent being?

How can Christians claim their God is the acme of love and kindness when it's quite clear that he is not? Some Christians would say that since God is perfect, anything he does, no matter how evil it may seem to us, would be good. But isn't that just a huge excuse to keep from critically examining the facts!?!?... Perfection is both futile and relative. No one can be perfect, it's just an unreachable goal. And perfect is relative to the situation at hand. Given the situation of the mocking children, isn't there a plethora of alternate responses you can think of that in relation to having bears kill them, would seem quite perfect?

No matter how you rule, it is quite obvious, that this story and many like it, are not read to you in church for a reason.

6 comments:

riggs said...

yeah and i'd like to call bullshit because i think 42 adolescents could take two bears. easy.

riggs said...

oh and don't think that even the dumbest stories aren't read to the congregation in church... they are. i remember this crock of shit story and not because it's something i would want to read

SgtHaile said...

They actually read this one to you? I had to wait till seminary before they read it to us, and only then because they wanted us to know which passages not to read to our future congregations.

Tom Williams said...

I remember finding about this story while I was reclassing to 25B (formerly 74B). It's such a crock of shit, but I love it.

Darren Wong said...

To be exact, the passage only mentioned that the bear killed 42 children. It didn't deny the possibility of other children getting injured, psychologically scarred, amputated etc. That's terrible if you think of it.

SgtHaile said...

Darren is right. For all we know, the bears might have killed 42 children and wounded 5,000 others. Damn Bears!

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on the Foxhole Atheist Blog do not necessarily represent those of Atheism or all Atheists, seeing as how Atheism has no tenets, dogma or doctrines. So Suck it!