1. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    Not to mention “Wash your hands with soap”, as I seem to recall being mentioned in The God Delusion.

  2. says

    I dunno. Point made and all, but I still have the obvious quibble…

    As in, notwithstanding that this deity does seem to have missed some opportunities, I dunno how different history would really have been. As I rather expect if they’d made it a round twenty, and put in that whole gamut, war through chattel (and let’s throw in the soap thing, too), good ideas as those all are, the various followers would simply have ignored those, too, with roughly the same gusto they ignore the first ten…

    Let’s face it. Not only is this ‘God’ character pretty much hopelessly incompetent at legislating, but he’s actually worse at enforcement.

  3. Alverant says

    Did they even HAVE soap back then? If not that would have been a great opportunity to show how great God is by having instructions on soap-making in the bible or have Jesus teach people how to do it. As it is, there’s nothing in that book that wasn’t known at the time. It has no new knowledge.

  4. says

    Now most probably she meant that tongue-in-cheek anyway, but the problem would appear to be that such commands would not have been as popular as the real ones, and much less likely to be propagated via conquest and forced conversion…

  5. Bjarte Foshaug says

    Actually, my main problem with the Biblical God isn’t so much the commandments he didn’t make as the ones he supposedly did give us – not just “failing to prohibit”, but positively requiring all the atrocities on Pollitt’s list and much, much more. Whenever atheists criticize Christians for not practicing what the Bible says, what they fail to consider is that it would be infinitely worse if they did practice it.

  6. busterggi says

    Aw heck, it wouldn’t make any difference what the commandments say because believers violate them constantly and Christians believe all they have to say is, “Oops, my bad” and everything will be okay.

  7. says

    Bjarte, #6, as my own comment on the matter may be ambiguous, I can assure you, for my part, I very much prefer believers who violate those directives that anyone should. Much as it would make a simpler world if they simply up and confessed aloud they can see their allegedly brilliant deity’s program really never was all of that, I’ll still take pragmatic hypocrisy over fanaticism any day.

  8. says

    Hey! To be fair Keeping The Sabbath Holy is VERY important and working on it is a capital offense unlike, say, rape (depending on circumstances).

    I say sarcastically. The “God” character in the Bible is one of the biggest monsters in all of literature.

  9. brianpansky says

    i also like to point out how bizarre it is to give commandments as if that will produce any result.

    an all wise all powerful entity could have raised a generation of virtuous people and changed the world. surely such a supreme being is better at parenting that at least some of the humans?

  10. Abdul Alhazred says

    It would have been about as effective at preventing all those bad things as the Ten Commandments are at preventing the things the Ten Commandments actually does prohibit.

  11. Margaret says


    Did they even HAVE soap back then?

    A quick google says that the Babylonians invented soap around 2800 B.C.E.

  12. Claire Ramsey says

    You are so lucky to get to go to Women in Secularism 3 and speak there and be in the audience there, do admit. . .

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