God is a big jerk/not very intelligent.


Just reading this book by Mark Twain called “Letters from the Earth” and I wanted to get on here and discuss it. First of all, I must say, I had no idea how sarcastic Mark Twain could be. I am loving this book… if you haven’t read this book, READ IT! It’s excellent.

Okay here it is… If the Christian God is real, he is a big jerk/not very smart. Why? Adam and Eve were created (supposedly) and told not to eat of the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil for it will surely cause them to die. Great. They come into this world as a regular human being, curious of evrything, stopping at little to find answers, and are given three words that they could not possibly understand: good, evil, and die/death. So what did they do? Of course they ate the fruit! I would have! It makes logical sense, they had no clue as to what good and evil were (ALSO right and wrong) and the only way to find out was to eat the fruit:

 "How stupid we are!  Let us eat of it; we shall die, and then we shall know what it is, and not have any more bother about it" (pg. 84).

The original sin is God’s fault and we are still paying for it. Also, he mentions that God knows everything past, present, future and is in charge of keeping EVERYTHING in check. Having said that how could I call “him” a loving God. “He” is anything but! If he were a loving God he would not have created disease, pain, or even good and evil to begin with. When is he going to get over his grudge against Adam and Eve and stop killing us off?

While we’re on the subject, how evil is Jesus? He is most evil by far! Thank you for creating Hell Jesus! As if it wasn’t hard enough to get on God’s good side, now we have to pay for eternity in unimaginable agony if we slip up.

Also, his views on sex and how it plays no part in Heaven is kind of interesting. If you want to go into it I will back you up, but I mainly wanted to discuss the previous few points. What do you die hard Christians do to sidestep these major flaws? I don’t mean to be ugly, honestly.

Not that I believe any of the stories you are talking about, but I have to step in here and defend Jesus. I’ve never heard Jesus accused of creating hell before. He (allegedly) made wine out of water, forgave adulterers, cured diseases, hung out with losers and creeps, and had trouble with the local authorities. I like that.

Long before I stopped calling myself a Christian, I stopped literally believing in all that Adam and Eve stuff. I came to see it as a literary account–you know, metaphorical. I’m no fan of the Christian God, and no longer have a shred of belief in Him. But Jesus, while not my savior or anything like that, is cool.

Interesting MrO. I can honestly say I have said the same thing about Jesus and was slammed by people that said, “How can you believe in Jesus and not worship him?” Where I just sat back and took the slams because there was no way to get a word in edge-wise. I only brought up that Jesus was evil to see how people responded to be perfectly honest. >:)

While I am here… and this thread seems to be going nowhere anyway… my fault, I am new to this… I would like to say that I do believe in a god. I prefer to call this god the “Indefinite Life Producing Force.” I see this as the only way to look at God, and if this view is taken any further (i.e. God created us in his image) it just causes controversy, which is good for a laugh every now and then, but ultimately useless.

P.s. sorry for the crappy thread… what do you think about the book?

I always thought God was a little mean for making everything tasty bad for you. A nice god would have made broccoli taste like chocolate.

And what’s up with the platypus? I mean, * honestly . . . . *

Um, I don’t think you should do that around here…

Or maybe God is just so incredibly smart, his logic and methods are far above your puny understanding of how things are or should be?

As I pointed out in another thread, that is demonstrably false. The serpent had to cajole Eve into disobeying God, which shows that she (and presumably, Adam as well) had some idea of what good and evil were. To deny this, one would have to assume that they were so feeble-minded that they could not understand the simple command “Don’t eat the fruit.”

The tree was known as the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, but nowhere does the text say that it was the only means for knowing right from wrong. Moreover, such a description sounds clearly metaphorical to me. The context of Genesis also suggests that it it was referring to experiential knowledge. Prior to taking the fruit, Adam and Eve had no direct knowledge of evil, having nothing but an abstract concept of what it must be.

I haven’t read the book, but I love Twain’s writing, so I will have to find a copy. Sorry I can’t respond to the book specifically.

Putting aside whether one views Genesis as allegory or literal, you don’t need to know good and evil to obey one simple command, so I don’t follow the premise that they had no real choice. Also, if you are going to assume the accuracy of the story, it would perhaps make sense to consider the pivotal role of the other character who is not mentioned, namely the serpent. Why is it that God gets blamed for all of man’s mistakes, but the devil doesn’t?

Was the main part of the OP a quote from the book, just a paraphrase or Deathstatic’s ideas formed while reading the book? What? Maybe a cite would help.

It was a paraphrase. “Letters from the Earth” was Twain’s satire on a literal interpretation of the bible. It was written near the end of his life (when the fundimentalist movement was picking up steam), is extremely bitter, and I don’t think it was published until after his death, because it is pretty controversial.

If you look at a lot of his later works that deal with religion and the afterlife (“Letters from the Earth”, “The Diary of Adam and Eve”, “The Mysterious Stranger”, “Captain something or other’s Visit to Heaven”, etc.), he seems to be concerned that a literal interpretation of the bible and popular conceptions of religion make G-d out to be a really frightening, irrational creature.

Hell seems to have especially bothered Twain. The idea of anyone, no matter how bad, being tormented forever, was an idea that he saw as irrational and unjust. As he put it in an essay

Thanks Capt. for an excellent reply. I was actually wondering if Deathstatic should have indicated it was a direct quote and if it was a paraphrase then that was not necessary.

Getting along in years, I can understand how such matters would concern someone like Twain or any senior citizen that hasn’t dealt with such matters prior to facing the end of life.

Hey, Guinastasia, why would I not want to do something like bring up Jesus for the fun of it? GOD forbid (hehe) that I challenge people’s comfort zones. Especially if they are so accepting of that comfort zone that they hear no other view points other than their own… please.

Yeah, I paraphrased most of it. Thank you for the help in porcedure guys. I directly quoted the “how stupid we are!..” in the original post.

you may have misdescribed your intent somewhat - the way that you first phrased it was “I only brought up that Jesus was evil to see how people responded” - posting specifically to ‘get a reaction’ is called trolling and is deeply frowned upon 'round these parts.


Ahah! My deepest apologies. Perhaps we should move to get this thread deleted? Is that possible, my learned straight dope acquaintances?

I wouldn’t think it necessary to get the thread deleted (although, of course, I am not a figure of any authority in this place); the ‘character of God’ debate is not without merit.

Okay, here it is: I apologize about the Jesus comments and wish to retract them. The debate of whether God is a loving God or an evil trickster, abusing us for his amusement continues. Unless, or until, a moderator decides this thread is not necessary.

Thanks for the replies guys… everybody except ProjectOmega that is.

Did God not create the devil? Having perfect knowledge of what it was going to do? Seems like a cop-out to me to say a lot of these things are the devil’s fault when God ultimately knew what was going to happen and created the devil anway.

My take on this is that God is not an evil trickster, but a lot has been said about him (not excluding parts of the Bible, nor things that I myself may have said in the past) that paint him in an unfavourable light by today’s standards (which are probably not entirely objective anyway).

[sub]BTW, Deathstatic, credit to you on your handling of the controversy in this thread; a troll would have dealt with it completely differently (probably some lame stuff about ‘sociological experiments’ or some such).[/sub]

“Trolling” as I understand it is posting something exclusively and specifically to arouse people’s ire and hopefully induce a flamefest.

It’s quite acceptable to take an unpopular stance in which you yourself believe and which are prepared to defend. And it’s quite acceptable to, making your intent clear, play “devil’s advocate” and say what is in error from a different perspective that you understand but which you do not yourself hold. For example, I could suggest what a Biblical literalist would find erroneous in any of the “God’s an idiot and/or evil” posts above because I have some grasp of how Biblical literalists think, even though I am not myself one.

The “Letters from the Earth” can be found at this site. Intriguing read and written in Twain’s entertaining (though highly caustic) style.

For those unfamiliar it is a series of letters written by Satan to St. Michael and St. Gabriel regarding his observations of earth and mankind. Some great, quotable stuff.