Mr. Deity: Is the Noah’s Ark tale “One of the most moral stories ever told”?

Here Mr. Deity sheds his persona of God and simply becomes Keith Dalton, going full-out against religionists. In his latest video, “The Way of the mister: In defense of killing babies,” he takes apart an column by Dennis Prager (see below), defending the Noah’s Ark story as not only historically accurate, but, despite its aqueious genocide, “one of the most moral stories ever told”! Dalton is as biting as ever.

Below is Bill Maher’s original tirade about Noah’s Ark (you’ll have to watch this on YouTube by clicking on the link in the screenshot below, for embedding is forbidden).

Dennis Prager is a Jewish conservative columnist and radio talk-show host who’s constantly decrying the erosion of America’s “Judeo-Christian values”. And here’s his original essay defending the morality of the Noah Story, “Noah: One of the most moral stories ever told” . Have a look, but only if your stomach is strong!

That piece shows the ability of apologists to rationalize anything, no matter how hideous, as part of God’s benevolence. I look forward Prager’s explanation for the Holocaust.

 

 

 

 

 

37 Comments

  1. eric
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Prager’s piece is horrifying. It devalues the lives of animals utterly, and devalues the lives of any human not meeting certain standards of goodness. This is a morality where every being is just property (either man’s or god’s), goods to be disposed of as one wills, with no weight given to their feelings or desires. How could anyone see that devaluation as moral?

    • Greg Esres
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      “certain standards of goodness”

      Can we say “idiosyncratic standards of goodness”?

      • reasonshark
        Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        We can say “out-of-touch myopic pseudoethics”, if you like.

    • Achrachno
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      I have sometimes argued that it’s impossible to be moral within the context of religion. Prager has apparently decided show that I’m right.

  2. GBJames
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    sub

    • francis
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      //

      • Diane G.
        Posted June 1, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

        //

  3. moarscienceplz
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    “I look forward to Prager’s explanation for the Holocaust.”

    I don’t know for a fact that this is Prager’s position, but I have already heard an explanation for the Holocaust – it was a necessary precursor to the re-establishment of Israel. In other words, the omnipotent deity, creator of the Universe, could only generate enough sympathy among the gentiles to support a new Israel by allowing (and possibly facilitating) 6 million Jews to be murdered.
    Some god. Personally, I think I’d rather worship Satan. At least he never tries to pretend he is a goody two-shoes.

    • Greg Esres
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      “When God saw how cruelly human beings treated one another, He decided that He would start over. ”

      In other words, murder everyone so that another human being can’t be cruel to them.

      • Vaal
        Posted May 28, 2014 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        GOD: “Dammit you humans, haven’t I told you that murder is wrong – you can’t kill people just because you are pissed off with them!!! Stop it!

        Now you’ve got me so pissed off I’m going to murder everyone as am example! I’ll start over again, giving people all the same traits and since they will look to my behaviour to be the Standard Of Morality, of course things are going to turn out right the next time.”

        And the God of the bible wonders why every plan He makes goes wrong. He’s like the Wile E. Coyote of Deities.

        Vaal

        • TJR
          Posted May 29, 2014 at 3:01 am | Permalink

          That Moral Code would have been mine if it wasn’t for you meddling kids!

    • Daoud
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Yeah I was immediately going to jump to that being the defence. Could also argue that the millions dead from WWI were worth it and part of God’s plan because it led to the Balfour Declaration which set the stage for the creation of Israel.

      Thank YOU very much God. Such a swell guy.

      • lkr
        Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        …and the hand of god repeatedly batted away machinegun bullets so that AHitler survived WWI, etc. etc.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted May 29, 2014 at 12:28 am | Permalink

          Adolf was obviously God’s chosen instrument. Just like Jesus was. And Pontius Pilate. Can’t get away from it, if God has chosen you to do his bidding, you’re stuffed.

          • bric
            Posted May 29, 2014 at 3:02 am | Permalink

            Hitler does seem to have literally believed this –
            ‘I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews I am fighting for the Lord’s work.’

            – Adolf Hitler, Speech, Reichstag, 1936

          • Posted May 29, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

            And Judas.

            If Christians were consistent they would revert Judas as a saint, because he really had a hard task, according to the stories. (Betray someone that the people loved, etc., for a pittance.)

    • Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      Dinesh D’Souza justifies the Holocaust by explaining that god wouldn’t have contravened the Nazis’ free will. That would’ve just messed up the whole system, don’t you see? Ensuring someone’s right to commit murder is more important than ensuring someone else’s right to live. It’s what makes the system work!

      What’s that? Couldn’t god have created a universe that wouldn’t have given rise to the Nazis? No. No no. Because reasons.

      • eric
        Posted May 29, 2014 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        I’ve always felt the free will defense to be complete baloney. So, you’ve got a larg holy book consisting of stories about God talking directly to people and intervening directly in their lives. And you use that book to argue God can’t talk to us directly without destroying our free will.

        Evidently, consistency is not one of their hobgoblins.

  4. Daoud
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    “When God saw how cruelly human beings treated one another, He decided that He would start over.”

    “[Humanity] the only one created ‘in His image'”

    I think the logic would follow from this that humanity was acting cruelly because they were created in the image of God, who therefore must also be excruciatingly cruel, the proof of that being the massive global extinction by the flood (and you know, being such an overall petty dick elsewhere).

    There is absolutely nothing defensible about it, or in the Pentateuch. I can actually appreciate and like stuff in the Gospels and some of the other stuff, but the Pentateuch is the worst of the bible imo. Saying that you risk sounding anti-semitic though :(

  5. ascanius
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    dispiriting that in 2014 we still have to argue about bible babble.

    but inroads are indeed being made into all the craziness, thanks in large part to determined energetic and very smart front line fighters like jerry who aren’t afraid of mixing it up.

  6. Kingasaurus
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Prager’s the guy who once said Bertrand Russell was “morally confused” for being a pacifist regarding the first World War.

    Somebody is morally confused here, and it ain’t Russell.

    • Achrachno
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      I wish Prager were merely confused, but he’s much worse than that.

  7. dbgb1986
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Explanation for the Holocaust: “God gave man free will.” (But even though God is all powerful and all loving, apparently He was not powerful or loving enough to combine that free will with sufficient compassion and sufficient intelligence on the part of Hitler– or, simply, to strike Hitler dead with a typical lightning bolt… thus showing that God is less powerful or believable than Zeus…)

  8. Carlos del Solar
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    “When God saw how cruelly human beings treated one another, He decided that He would start over. ”
    It’s such a relief God decided to act in this way. Without it, we wouldn’t treat each other with love as we do now. Can you imagine? If God wouldn’t have acted as he did, there would be wars, crime, hate, racism, etc. Society is so perfect now after Noah’s flood that God didn’t need to intervene any further with actions like sacrificing himself to himself for the atonement of sins.
    Wait a minute; this craziness is too much even for sarcasm.

  9. tsbardella
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    I loved this so much. Thanks. It is going very well with my month long listen to Pinker’s “Better Angels of our nature” book I think of all the books I have read it is making me see the Hebrew epics as the stories they are not as good as the Odyssey and Tolkien esp the hippie fan fiction that came out of the Roman Empire

  10. Timothy Hughbanks
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    After a deranged parent kills all their children, they will often commit suicide. Not God – oh no, he waits 950 years and hands down a set of rules the first four of which are all about how the new kids should always remember what a swell guy he is.

    • John Scanlon, FCD
      Posted May 29, 2014 at 5:43 am | Permalink

      OK, but a thousand years are as a day to G*d, so he was probably still freshly traumatised from the things Noah’s contemps had said about Him as they drowned.

      The multiple personality disorder and suicidal depression came a bit later.

      • John Scanlon, FCD
        Posted May 29, 2014 at 8:17 am | Permalink

        …and by his own reckoning, the deity’s only been in the job for a week or so, so it’s understandable that he makes a lot of mistakes.

  11. Posted May 28, 2014 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    If I proclaimed that God came and spoke to me and told me to kill everyone in Montana, I would be sitting in a mental hospital. Yet, similar stories are in the bible and are embraced as fine examples of morality.

  12. mfdempsey1946
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    In 1993, filmmaker Duncan Gibbins (with whom I was acquainted) died from horrible burns he suffered during a Southern California wildfire while trying to rescue his cat (the cat survived).

    News footage showed Gibbins still alive in the renowned Sherman Oaks Burn Center, swathed in heavy bandages and moving one arm. It was evident that he would not survive his injuries.

    However, while he was still alive, Dennis Prager, who had a radio talk show then, wasted no time pontificating to his listeners about the dubious morality of putting oneself in such a dangerous situation in order to save a pet.

    It wasn’t this viewpoint that was so loathsome. It was Prager’s unseemly eageness to trumpet his moralizing over the airwaves without even waiting for what was plainly Gibbins’ imminent death.

    Since then, the sight of his name atop any article about any subject has been reminder for me of this sickening conduct.

    A recent glance at a couple of recent pieces bearing his name displays not the slightest change in his smug, tone-deaf, inhuman drive to preach smothering ultra-conservatism at any cost.

    So it’s no surprise to learn about his asinine fantasies regarding Noah and the Flood, especially any God who could perpetrate such an atrocity must be Mr. Wonderful.

    • Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      “smug, tone-deaf, inhuman”

      Oh, that is Prager to a T!

  13. Michael
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for introducing me to Mr. Deity. I’ve subscribed to his podcast and I’ve been laughing all day.

  14. wiseape108
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 4:17 am | Permalink

    It must be real. There’s a rule which states: “You can’t make this shit up.” It’s inviolable, like the other traffic lane always moving faster than the one you’re in – until you change lanes.

    It’s difficult to fathom the mind of a person like Prager. I mean, how many parts delusional to how many parts dishonest?

  15. Friendlypig
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    If God is all knowing that at some point before he created time and space he/she/it, by definition, must have known what was going to happen.

    So why did this infallible being screw up in the first place.

    Or, perhaps this God just isn’t infallible.

  16. KP
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Prager is full of it:

    The narrative speaks of the world where Noah lived: It is expressly stated in Genesis 9:10 that there were other animals in the world that were not killed by the flood.

    Only in the loosest interpretation:

    Gen 9:10- And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.

    The last “to every beast of the earth” is, I think, what Prager assumes means there were some beasts left on earth, but who knows?

    Also:

    Gen 7:21-23 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:

    All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.

    And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.


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