A benevolent, loving god?... Hmph!

192 posts / 0 new
Last post
Tin-man's picture
A benevolent, loving god?... Hmph!

(I apologize in advance for the length of this. It is something I wrote long before joining this site, during a period when I was trying to put all the jumbled thoughts in my head into some type of order. For those of you patient enough to read to the end, please keep in mind I actually saw many things far worse over the years.)

On a balmy summer evening in the projects, most of the residents are sitting out on their porches socializing with their neighbors while numerous children run about laughing and playing within the courtyard areas. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the peaceful scene is shattered by multiple gunshots erupting from every direction from a variety of different handguns and rifles. Screams of terror fill the night as two rival gangs decide it is a fantastic time and place to use uncontrolled violence to settle their differences concerning who has the right to sling dope on that particular turf. Hundreds of bullets mindlessly zip through the air as parents frantically run and call to their children to try to protect them.

I was part of a drug task force team at the time, and we responded to the call with pretty much every other officer in the precinct area. Multiple shots could still be heard as we neared the location. To say it was total chaos when we arrived would be an understatement. Cries of despair and wails of horror, along with the yelling of the outraged and confused, blended together with the blaring of dozens of police sirens to create a mind-numbing symphony suitable for a psychopathic nightmare. There were people running everywhere in the darkness, with the red and blue strobes of the police cruisers casting demonic shadows across the killing grounds.

Dead bodies and the wounded were scattered everywhere across a two-block area. (The incident had been what we called a “running gun battle.” Sadly, they were rather common events during those days.) In the process of helping search the area for the fucktards responsible for the shooting, it seemed like every corner I turned there was a dead guy I had to step over to get to the next building. Not really sure what the total body-count ended up being that night, and – honestly – I am not really sure I ever even wanted to know. On the plus side, at least there were a few of the thug shooters who met their demise during that conflict. Unfortunately, there were almost as many innocent bystanders who got caught in the crossfire. However, out of all of those who were killed or injured, there is only ONE from that night who will be forever seared into my mind.

After conducting the initial sweep, my team and I returned to the courtyard where the confrontation had started. Medics, detectives, and evidence technicians had arrived on scene by then, and we started assisting with securing the crime scene as best we could. Small knots of family and friends were gathered here and there consoling one another, while some individuals wandered aimlessly about with looks of shock and stunned disbelief upon their faces. With the sirens having been silenced at this point, the haunting cries of anguish, pain, and loss were more clearly heard as a constant background to the barking of orders, the chirping of police radios, and the rumble of rescue vehicle engines. During this relative lull, I was walking quickly across the courtyard to meet with a teammate when I glanced over at a middle-aged woman sitting on the concrete of an apartment front porch. And without consciously realizing it, I suddenly found myself stopped – frozen in place – just a few feet away. Because that is when I saw him.

He was a young boy, probably ten or eleven years old. He was lying across the lap of the woman, with his head toward her right arm, facing away from her. She had him loosely cradled in her arms and was rocking him gently as though helping him go to sleep. Tears were streaming down her face as she looked down upon him, but she made no sounds. On the concrete next to her, a dark red pool was growing larger as blood dripped steadily from a gaping hole near the top of the young boy’s head. His eyes were wide open but lifeless, looking through me into nothingness. His limp little body twitched and spasmed randomly in the final phase of traumatic death. As I stood there staring, I was filled with a mixture of rage and sorrow that is difficult to explain, and – as if reading my thoughts – that is when the woman lifted her head and looked straight into my eyes. I vividly remember that look. There was no anger or hatred in her gaze. There was not even the look of accusation or blame that police are so often accustomed to getting from victims. When her eyes met mine, the only thing I saw in the bottomless pit of her unimaginable grief was a single, unanswerable question: “WHY?”

Subscription Note: 

Choosing to subscribe to this topic will automatically register you for email notifications for comments and updates on this thread.

Email notifications will be sent out daily by default unless specified otherwise on your account which you can edit by going to your userpage here and clicking on the subscriptions tab.

Tin-man's picture
I admit I debated long and

I admit I debated long and hard about posting that story (OP). As I said in the OP, it was written as a means to sort out my thoughts long before I ever joined the AR. Actually, it is only a small excerpt from a much longer paper I had started that was gradually forming into something of an autobiography. Anyway, in case I did not make it clear in the OP, my overall goal with the incident was to question how anybody could possibly believe in (much less WORSHIP) some entity that claims to be so kind and loving and benevolent, yet allows things like that to happen to the children he claims to love and care about so much?

Diotrephes's picture
Tin-man,

Tin-man,

If there is a God as popularly depicted in the fairy tales why wouldn't he run such dramas to see how his test subjects would react to such horrors? If he created the universe why would he have to use real people as victims and perps? He cold easily delude the chosen test subjects into thinking that what they are experiencing is real. The object could be to see if the test subjects will change their outlook and work to make things better in the drama. Isn't that what happened in the Job drama?

So when people who believe in their favorite deity get covered in crap maybe their deity is simply testing them to see if they will really follow his commandments. If the fairy tale says that God beats the crap out of the ones he loves why do the believers get upset when they are beaten? They should take it as a sign that their deity really loves them.

Tin-man's picture
@Dio Re: "If there is a

@Dio Re: "If there is a God as popularly depicted in the fairy tales why wouldn't he run such dramas to see how his test subjects would react to such horrors?"

Hmmm.... Ya know, I never thought of it like that. You just might be right. After all, an omniscient God running tests on his beloved subjects would certainly take all of the guesswork out of how they might behave, and therefore help relieve him of any doubts he might be having. (Oh... wait....)

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Wow,. what a story TM. Your

Wow,. what a story TM. Your writing style is strong and realistic. I wish it were fiction. But I suspect you have edited out some of the reality.
Dont stop writing. Dont stop sharing.

Have a hug Bro. Huuuuuuuggg!

Tin-man's picture
Thanks, Old Man.

Thanks, Old Man.

Yeah, that was a bad night. Wish I could say it was the worst of them all.

faith in God follower's picture
Why do you blame and question

Why do you blame and question GOD for this madness TIN-MAN; ITS NOT gods fault if people act out there hatred for one another here. Don`t blame God because much of the time the people we call innocent die unspeakable deaths. What you needed in that black neighborhood was some good all bible school. Not drug dealers who were caught up in this worlds philosophy. The me get me anything and everything at this persons expense. I blame the fathers the parents for allowing this cancer to fester where they live. Blame the absentee Dad and parents who are not there. Blame sin, yes sin that brought this on. todays lousy culture the music the violent lyrics the violent video games you know there is a whole host of reasons here. So before you criticize GOD take a good look at humanity in the 21st century.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@FIG/AB/Billy

@FIG/AB/Billy
"What you needed in that black neighborhood was some good all bible school"

oh yes cos good christian white folks have been such good beacons of morality right? People are people regardless of color, race, sexual orientation, although many white christians seem to to think differently. I use the term 'think' in the context of racism, fear and bigotry all espoused in your bible.

If we look at any century past it is characterised by murder, genocide, racism, empire building, burning, knifings assassinations yet in the secular 21st century we have less and less of those things...in direct correlation to the waning influence of religion. Its not rocket science Billy, it is history. Pay attention to it, you and your ilk are on the losing trend.

Tin-man's picture
@FIG Re: "Why do you blame

@FIG Re: "Why do you blame and question GOD for this madness TIN-MAN; ITS NOT gods fault if people act out there hatred for one another here."

Ahhhhh, FIG! Figgy-figgy-figgy. *HUGE GRIN* Right on time. I knew I could count on you, little man. You are more predictable than a broken clock. And you never fail to put a smile on my face. I'm so giddy right now it is difficult for me to choose where to begin. *giggle* Let's start with this....

Funny, but I do not recall ever mentioning anything at all about what particular race the neighborhood was. Fact is, that was intentionally left out entirely, simply because the race of the individuals involved does not matter in the least little bit. As it is, the area I worked also had a few white and Latino neighborhoods. Hell, for that matter, I spent a majority of my childhood growing up in a housing project area. Of course, in all fairness, I can totally understand how a person of your intellectual caliber would naturally and immediately jump to the assumption it was a black neighborhood. I would expect nothing less from you in that respect. Again, you are so very predictable.

Let's see, what's next?... Oh, yeah. You said, "What you needed in that black neighborhood was some good all bible school." Okay, easy part first. I had absolutely zero control over what type of schools were in that area, nor any other area anywhere in the entire city. So that is a rather moot point. However, if it makes you feel any better, in that particular neighborhood and the area immediately surrounding it, there were almost as many churches as there were private homes/apartments. Quite literally, there was a church of some denomination or another on almost every... single.... block. Hell, there were even a couple of blocks that actually had two or three different churches almost right next to each other. So, suffice it to say, your "Almighty" god had the area pretty much saturated. (Except for that night, of course. And several others when he must have been on vacation or something. Like I said, that is not the worst thing to ever happen in that area.)

As for who you happen to blame for all of these things, I quite honestly do not care. Your remarks on this matter are - at BEST - quite laughable. Because until you have been in the places I have been; done the things I have done; seen the things I have seen; and lived the life many of those people have been dealt..... Well... In trying to be polite, let's just say your "opinion" on the matter is worth less than a drop of rat's piss. (Come to think of it, that may not be fair to the rat. There may actually be SOME amount of value to that drop of piss.) Nevertheless, once again, thank you for being so consistent and for helping put a smile on my face this evening. Feel free to go back to picking your nose and eating the boogers now. Run along.... (They're so cute at that age. *sigh*)

LogicForTW's picture
Your comment feels like out

Your comment feels like out right trolling to me, and/or racist.

"What you needed in that black neighborhood was some good all bible school."

mykcob4's picture
Ah Billy

Ah Billy
Do you know the people that you are blaming? NO! FUCK NO you don't. You are just a racist hateful asshole!
There is no fucking god you idiot that is the whole fucking point moron!

Sheldon's picture
He doesn't blame god, he's an

He doesn't blame god, he's an atheist. He's quite clearly drawing a logical inference from ubiquitous suffering and the absurd claim that an omnipotent omni-benevolent deity exists but allows it all to happen.

Have you never heard of theodicy? Religious apologists have struggled with it for thousands of years.
-------------------------------------------------

"What you needed in that black neighborhood "

What has skin colour got to do with it you racist moron?

thelargerbowl's picture
Why would be blame god? If he

Why blame god? If he is all powerful and can do anything and created all of this, it only goes to prove my long standing point that he is a lazy complacent thing! He sits idly by and does what? What exactly is your god doing while all this is happening? Crying? Laughing? Jacking off to it?

Let me guess! The devil did it? Free will? We live in a fallen world? Nope, you didn't even mention the usual xtian responses I would get from brain washed people with a low IQ! You blamed it on culture, a lack of bible school and where they lived??

I truly would love to see the look on all of the faces of the gun nuts if there were a mass shooting at an NRA meeting! Where are the thoughts and prayers? Did that help the mother that said WHY? You have actually made many points. Believers question nothing like this happening. They accept it. They blame the victim(s). They attribute it to not going to church or school enough. They think there is a better place where the complacent thing can make it all better just by having you worship it!

You have really made me realize just how dangerous the bible and your belief in god are!
What is even more dangerous are the people that question nothing and accept it as this god's will! May the day come when the bible is put in the fiction section, or better yet, banned! One more thing, you are a racist too!

Sheldon's picture
I;ll never understand how

I'll never understand how religious apologists can simultaneously claim that their deity is omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly benevolent, but has to create a universe with ubiquitous suffering. I mean just leaf through the bible and the barbaric sadistic monster in there seems to bear no resemblance to the arguments theists are offering. And bear in mind the OT deity at least stopped when you had died,, it took gentle Jesus meek & mild to come up with idea of torturing people after they had died, forever.

What's even more baffling are the people who claim to have spent their lives studying these religions, who have no trouble coping with the cognitive dissonance that must result.

Greensnake's picture
My guess is that these

My guess is that these religious apologists are loophole worshipers. If there is some possible loophole (and there always will be in arguments about the world of atoms and energy) then they take refuge there. It's a case of going fishing with a teaspoon instead of a big net, the justification being that a big, fat fish might just leap into that teaspoon! I suppose it's possible, but that's a hell of a way to find supper. The essence of good reasoning, our only real road for approaching truth, are the skills that lead us to the most probable answers rather than those that are merely possible. Opting for the merely possible at the expense of the probable defines these apologists in a nutshell. You see it in how the Bible (or Qur'an) is interpreted to defend dogma, and you see it in the insane notion of a loving god who creates hell. You see it in the defense of a hide-and-seek God who, nevertheless, is all over the place in the Old Testament.

Ever notice how apologists often offer a whole bunch of different explanations for a Bible contradiction? It's "take your pick" rather than an attempt to find the truth. The truth is irrelevant here as the only concern is to find loopholes. The more the merrier! They seem unconcerned that all of these answers are wrong with the possible exception of one, whose identification is of little concern.

Sheldon's picture
Very good post I must say, I

Very good post I must say, I can only agree. For me when evidence is requested they start to build a shaky house of cards, there's no real substance to each card, but they ignore it and simply move on to the next card. Never addressing the response of course.

LogicForTW's picture
I too have never seen a good

I too have never seen a good theist response to:

You say your god is all knowing, all powerful, all good. Yet evil exist in the world.

.

Usually they pivot and say something along the lines of: "god gives us free will." Or they will admit that their god is not necessarily all good. A few may suggest the antichrist or Pandora's box or the original sin with the serpent and the apple. All answers only open an even more squirmy can of worms that create even greater logical and reasoning inconsistencies.

1. Why would a god give us free will to do evil if he is all knowing? Life is a test? That does not sound like an all "good" god to me. If a parent couple decided, hey we created and gave birth to this baby. We will now give the baby away to an orphanage, leave some vague and badly outdated rules for the baby, with the instruction that if the baby follows our vague rules correctly for 50 years we will

2. It is impossible to be all knowing and for there to be free will, to be all knowing would mean every decision has already been set. The location of every electron of every atom in the universe is already known and known and calculated out to where they will be in any given time based on interaction with other electrons rotating around other atoms. If God was truly all knowing he knew Dylann Roof was going to massacre a church in Charleston. He knew before Dylann Roof was ever born. Dylann roof had no choice in the matter he was always going to massacre a bunch of people in a Charleston church. Additionally god could of prevented the massacre of his poor, rightly confused, worshippers but chose not to... Because god works in mysterious ways? What an incredibly weak argument.

3. If your god is not all good where does the god stand? 50% good 50% bad? A random mix based on his whim that day? Why would anyone continue to worship even just a partially "evil god"? In fear? How come those that worship and pray to a god have no better outcomes in this world then those that pray to other gods or no god at all? How are people even supposed to know which god is the correct god to pray to and worship? If a god does not really care if you worship the wrong god, (certainly not what it says in most religious books that claim to be the authority on god!) Then what is the point of worshiping the god at all, he does not care! Hope for heaven in the afterlife instead of hell? Hoping for something (heaven) that makes no logical or reasonable sense when examined and there is not a shred of evidence for?

LogicForTW's picture
@Tin Man/ Original post.

@Tin Man/ Original post.

I got a chill down my back reading that last part. Normally I want to jump in with questions or my 2 cents, but instead I will simply say thanks for sharing, and if you are willing, you should share more stories that you feel are relevant.

Tin-man's picture
@Logic

@Logic

Thank you, Logic. Sincerely.
Before today, my wife is the only one with whom I have ever shared the events of that night. Was hesitant about posting it on here because I was not sure if it would be beneficial to anybody. Moreover, I was really not sure how I would feel about it myself. To be honest, I'm still not completely sure. *nervous laugh* Regardless, thank you again for your comments. They do mean a lot. And in the interest of being candid, between yours and Old Man's comments, I find myself getting a bit choked up for some reason. Damn heart....

Sheldon's picture
I agree with their comments,

I agree with their comments, it was hard to read, but thank you for sharing that, it can't have been easy.

ROYISM 's picture
@Tin Man

@Tin Man

That was a wonderful piece of writing. Very passionate. Someday if you write a book, I would surely have a copy on my bookshelf.

Here are my 2 cents. The theology as I understand works as follows: God created man with free will, as in with the ability to choose between good and bad. Therefore, the very idea of good exists because of the ‘evil’ that exists alongside in contrast. If you argue that God should not allow evil to take place, then by default you are asserting that man should not be given free will. Because if god interferes and stops people from doing evil, then I wouldn’t be able to do evil even if I wanted to… meaning my free will has been suspended.

But then what about God’s goodness? If He is good, then he can’t let these bad things happen, right? Well, the life of this earth is just a precursor to an eternal life, so any suffering that we undergo here will be compensated for adequately…. think of it like a surgery… yes it’s painful, but then the health and happiness that follows is worth the pain.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ ROYISM

@ ROYISM
I agree, a great piece of writing from TM and welcome back Royism,

I take issue on several counts, your first paragraph makes some sense in your context, your second paragraph confuses logic with what is written in your books ( I refer to all Abramaics.) God reveals himself as capricious, infanticidal, torturer of babies, incestuous.murderous, genocidal, cruel, encouraging the defacement of the dead ( 2000 foreskins!).
He has no 'good' at all it seems on reading all of the books and texts, and he/she even creates his own 'evil' rival to 'tempt and torment' all of mankind.
How does this reconcile with your vision of a "perfectly good' being?
In the words of the great "and what about bone cancer in children"? Your last sentence is no comfort at all.

It sounds to me like a man made long con to ensure obedience from the unwashed and vulnerable.

ROYISM 's picture
Hey Old Man Shouts…

Hey Old Man Shouts…

Nice to catch up with you again. Here is my response to your points.

You said: “God reveals himself as capricious, infanticidal, torturer of babies, incestuous.murderous, genocidal, cruel, encouraging the defacement of the dead ( 2000 foreskins!).”

Well… first off, I can only speak on behalf of my theology (Islam), so if you can bring proofs for your claims from Islamic texts, perhaps I can try to address them.

You said: “In the words of the great "and what about bone cancer in children"? Your last sentence is no comfort at all.”

Whether suffering is inflicted by man or by nature… the fact is that suffering has to exist for ‘good’ to have any meaning. When there are diseases, goodness manifests itself in the form of people trying to assuage your pain… be it doctors, health workers, blood donors, those donating for the treatment expense and so on… However, for the suffering the child underwent, it will be duly rewarded in the hereafter, which is eternal bliss. The temporary suffering will pale into insignificance against that eternal bliss.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Royism

@ Royism

I dont often get the chance to debate with Sunnis as all too often they are removed from the debate or resort to death threats...so...

Your theology is based on the Torah, it is the same deity either yhwh, god or Allah. The stories are the same, The capricious nature is the same.
Mohammed allegedly merely 'reinterpreted' and restated the previous corrupted messages from Allah. He who apparently encouraged Mohammed to marry a 6 year old, make war on neutrals, lie about peace treaties, massacre 'unbelievers' and destroy 'pagans'. None of which seems 'peaceful' in our out of any apologist context. It has a lot in common with the Jesuits of the christian persuasion.

Your next paragraph deals with suffering as a precursor to paradise. Have you considered that if paradise is just that, paradise for everyone (except the perpetual virgins and servants) then the suffering to get there is superfluous?
One person lives a reasonably 'good' life, dies in bed, goes to paradise or eternal bliss
A child racked by pain, consumed by a disease (that is monstrous in its conception) dies and...goes to paradise/eternal bliss? where exactly is the reward for suffering? Is that not imperfect?

1. Edit spelling
2.Edit punctuation

ROYISM 's picture
@ Old man shouts…

@ Old man shouts…

You said: “He who apparently encouraged Mohammed to marry a 6 year old,”

Yes, Mohammed (PBUH) married aysha when she was 6 and consummated it when she came of age at 9. If you think, that’s immoral, tell me what you think is the right age for marriage and based on what you arrive at that figure.

You said: “…make war on neutrals, lie about peace treaties, massacre 'unbelievers' and destroy 'pagans'.”

None of these statements are true. Just give me one example of the prophet fighting neutrals, lie about peace treaties or massacring unbelievers or destroying pagans.

You said: “One person lives a reasonably 'good' life, dies in bed, goes to paradise or eternal bliss
A child racked by pain, consumed by a disease (that is monstrous in its conception) dies and...goes to paradise/eternal bliss? where exactly is the reward for suffering? Is that not imperfect?

I think I will have to explain a little more about the conception of afterlife in Islam. The very purpose of life (according to islam) is success in the hereafter, meaning avoiding hell fire and attaining paradise. And there are grades both in hell fire and heaven. The worst of the sinners suffer in the lowest grades, where the pain is way greater. The lesser sinners suffer less. And similarly, the most good get the highest grades in paradise, where the pleasures are highest, and the less good get only their due share.

There are many ways to gain rewards that will take you to paradise. It depends on our circumstances. Let’s say I am a poor man. If I am patient through my hardships and live an honest life that will be good enough to see me through. If I am well off, I am more accountable to God regarding my wealth, and if I don’t spend it in alleviating the pain of others, then that would lead me to hell fire. So, you see, how with more blessings you have more responsibility… For a child that dies young in pain, the way to heaven becomes that much easier… its parents will benefit because they were patient during their grief… Therefore, ultimately, suffering will become a reward for you. Whereas, a man who has not suffered, will have more things to answer for, because he was blessed with health and wealth. If he does not expend these blessings in the right way, then the very fact that he had these blessings could become a burden for him in the next life. Hope that was clear.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Royism

@ Royism

Marrying a 6 year old, with milk teeth and unable to comprehend the whole ceremony much less consent? Thats ok with you?
Then consummating the 'marriage (forced union) , in other words a 30+ bearded man raping a 9 year old who is unlikely to have attained menarche, who, according to some reports was still playing with dolls, again, that is acceptable to your religion?
That is the story of a grown man raping a child. No better and a lot worse than the story of yhwh raping another older child in Mary.

Please don't try and defend this part of your religion. Even devout muslims I have known have shuffled with embarrassment when I asked if they would allow anyone to do that to their daughters.

I can reference at least 100 verses in the Qu'ran that tell of war with non-believers, mostly because they are non-Muslims. Some are graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill "infidels" wherever they hide. Muslims who do not join in the fighting are called 'hypocrites' and warned that Allah will send them to Hell if they do not join the killing. I am sure you already are aware of each verse. I can quote many of them to you if you insist...and don't go that tired old 'context' argument. They are graphic and clear in their reference.

Lastly, what you said sounds reasonable except it is utterly meaningless.
What proof have you of any of this lovely premise?

Anyone ever returned? Confirmed this multilevel condominium of pleasure? Anyone ever?

Totally clear. I await your proofs.

ROYISM 's picture
@ Old Man Shouts…

@ Old Man Shouts…

You said: “Marrying a 6 year old, with milk teeth and unable to comprehend the whole ceremony much less consent? Thats ok with you?”

What happened was a betrothal… a sort of agreement between Aysha’s parents and the prophet… and this could have been annulled without any problem if Aysha had wanted to after she came of age (age 9), which is when the consummation of marriage took place.

You said: “Then consummating the 'marriage (forced union) , in other words a 30+ bearded man raping a 9 year old who is unlikely to have attained menarche, who, according to some reports was still playing with dolls, again, that is acceptable to your religion?”

Aysha had attained puberty at 9, and that’s why marriage was consummated then. Aysha herself would beg to differ with your opinion that girls don’t attain puberty at that age… there are reports from her regarding that. However, I would like to hear what according to you is the ideal age for marriage and what your basis for your figures is… only then I can judge how far short Aysha falls of that age and why, if at all, this marriage is so ill-advised.

You said: “I can reference at least 100 verses in the Qu'ran that tell of war with non-believers, mostly because they are non-Muslims.”

Please reference one verse that you think best explains your position… let’s examine it.

You said: “Lastly, what you said sounds reasonable except it is utterly meaningless.
What proof have you of any of this lovely premise?

What is being discussed is the logic of the theology. If you agree that the logic makes sense, then I think the discussion is over… if you want to discuss the proofs for the belief, then that’s another discussion.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Royism

@ Royism
"Aysha had attained puberty at 9, and that’s why marriage was consummated then." She was NINE YEARS OLD, a baby, Incapable of consent to an act perpetrated by a powerful, influential 30 plus year old male.

That makes it rape. No "ifs", "context" "different back then". It was a premeditated act of rape and peadophilia.
The crime against humanity facilitated by her parents under fear of their lives no doubt. Nevertheless that makes them equally culpable as the main perpetrator and as careless of the quality of a child's life and existence.

Would you congratulate a middle aged man for refraining to have sex with your daughter/niece until she was 9 years old? That anyone should try and defend this wilful act is beyond my comprehension.

As regards the claim of menarche at 9 years old, I find it very unlikely, not impossible but, certainly convenient. I have spent time looking the average of menarche since these kind of records began. A well nourished well educated girl will average menarche at 13.8 - 14.5 years in 1900, later (up to 3 years later) for the children of lower classes. It is assumed that menarche was actually higher in earlier centuries, which would fit in with the scarce accounts of childbearing at the time.

This story casts the first dark dark shadow over the claim of 'perfect goodness' of both the god and prophet. That such an act be not only allowed but the perpetrator lauded for his 'patience' demonstrates the same kind of cruelty and contempt at the heart of all the Abrahamic religions.

I shall continue with the warlike verses in another post.

ROYISM 's picture
@ Royism

@ Royism

You Said: “She was NINE YEARS OLD, a baby, Incapable of consent to an act perpetrated by a powerful, influential 30 plus year old male.”

Firstly, a nine year old can come of age… as Aysha herself states. (You have also stated that it’s NOT Impossible)… So I think that bit is settled. Secondly, the age of consent… I am still waiting for your standard. What according to you is the appropriate age of consent… may be then I can think of judging this marriage based on your criteria (if it indeed is a valid criteria that is).

I think the rest of your arguments hinge on this point… so firstly, let me know what according to you is the appropriate age of consent and why you think so?

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
So in your twisted reality a

So in your twisted reality a 9 year old can form rational opinions, desire intimacy with a 30 plus year old,and your rationale for this she may or may not have reached menarche.
If you read my whole paragraph, you will see I said very unlikely in that age would a child of 9 years reach menarche, statiscally a very remote chance in the 7th century, and that it seems a much more convenient lie to facilitate consummation at an inappropriate early age.

Have you studied any reports of the way peadophiles justify their rapes? Especially those in positions of power and influence?
They would make interesting reading for you. Most common?: " He/she were ready for it, he she knew exactly what they were doing/ he she wanted it, He she /they were old enough, She said she had had her period so that was ok, he said he masturbated so it was ok to touch him" Sounds very familiar to your story don't they? Read them There are public records all over the world of this behaviour by sick middle aged men.

After all the Royal commissions , inquiries, thousands of psychiatric reports, suicides, the damage done to every abused child you expect anyone to swallow this "menarche so she was ready to be raped" argument? Really?

Most psyches and psychologists agree that the ability to tell right from wrong independently from authority does not fully develop until after the teen years even though in most legal jurisdictions in the West it is about 10 years old and many are now raising that bar to 12 years and above..
The age of consent has been progressively raised to 16 in most western cultures because we recognise that teenage judgement is impaired and pre teen judgement is a influenced by authority. Further that consent cannot be given where there is a power imbalance e.g Teacher/pupil, priest/pupil so you can imagine the pressures upon a 9 year old when confronted with the powerful , influential leader with the power of life and death over Aisha's parents and family?
That the same rapes and cruelties are inflicted upon children by religious" leaders"' to this day does not excuse for one second the actions of the founder of a religion in the 7th century.

What it means is that as humans we have recognised that maturity is not dependent on a flow of menstrual blood, it is more complex and requires life experience, the growth and settling of the teenage brain into adult form. We know that now.

"so firstly, let me know what according to you is the appropriate age of consent and why you think so?"
I cant see the relevance of my opinion on the suitable age of consent when we are discussing the undoubted rape of a minor child by an older, powerful male. Maybe you can, in which case I shall wait for it...

There are many studies of the adolescent and pre-adolescent brain and decision making capacity. Perhaps. before you ask me my opinion, you should read up a bit.
I am currently re reading the qu'ran and Hadith to enter into debate with you about the warlike verses, do me the same respect and read about victims of child abuse, childhood development and so on...

ROYISM 's picture
@Old Man Shouts

@Old Man Shouts

Regarding menarche… Aisha herself says that girls hit puberty at 9, which reflects her own experience. That settles the issue on whether Aisha was prepubescent or not… so it’s quite unnecessary to dig into other statistics and so on.

You said: “Have you studied any reports of the way peadophiles justify their rapes? Especially those in positions of power and influence?”

Okay, so you are saying that the prophet (PBUH) was a pedophile because he married a 9 year old. You seem to be totally out of synch with marriage standards in the past. If you are going to apply this standard, you would have to call every single person from the past a pedophile… because girls married very, very early in the past compared to our modern times. In medieval Europe, England was infamous for getting their girls married very late… and that age was 14. That sounds terribly young for us, right? Moreover, this shows that in other parts of Europe, girls were married way younger than this… I don’t have to go too far back in time… in my grandmothers’ generation, girls were married off as young as 12 or 13…. that was a norm in India (irrespective of religion).

What you need to understand is that you can’t impose your standard of what you think is appropriate age of consent universally for all times… There are many factors that come into play here. Imagine, if you were a girl in 7th century Arabian desert… what is the most productive thing you can do, once you come of age. You don’t have university degrees to pursue. Moreover, we are talking of times, when the average lifetime was around 45 or so and an epidemic could wipe out an entire population. The need to be bear as many children as you can was an absolute necessity. So, once you hit childbearing age, the best thing for a girl to do is to produce offspring and strengthen the population. I mean, what better thing do you have to do???

You said: “The age of consent has been progressively raised to 16 in most western cultures because we recognise that teenage judgement is impaired and pre teen judgement is a influenced by authority.”

SO, is 16 your standard? If so, many states in the US still have the age of consent as 12. In some states it is 14. Would you call those legislators as pedophiles, because they don’t seem to agree with your standard? You don’t even have a commonly acceptable standard even in our times, and you want to use your yardstick to judge someone who lived 14 centuries ago????
You said: “Further that consent cannot be given where there is a power imbalance e.g Teacher/pupil, priest/pupil so you can imagine the pressures upon a 9 year old when confronted with the powerful , influential leader with the power of life and death over Aisha's parents and family?”

Aisha was already betrothed to someone before the alliance with the prophet came up… This shows that it was a norm in that society. If you read all the hadith related to this, you would find that there was never any issue concerning the age of Aisha… it was considered absolutely normal by everyone in the society… not just the Arabian society, in fact the whole world. That’s the reason, we find that even the harshest critics of the prophet (among orientalists) who picked an issue with everything including his polygamous marriages, wars etc… never raised the topic of Aisha’s age, up until the end of the 19th century. Marriage to young girls was the norm the world over…

You said: “That the same rapes and cruelties are inflicted upon children by religious" leaders"' to this day does not excuse for one second the actions of the founder of a religion in the 7th century.”

Islam does not say anywhere that the age of 9 has to be some sort of a universal standard for all muslims… In every era, societal norms are allowed to decide that (There is just one condition – the girl should NOT be pre-pubescent). So, if someone is practicing it at the cost of the girl’s education, career and so on, then that does not sit well with the principles of islam.

You said: “I cant see the relevance of my opinion on the suitable age of consent when we are discussing the undoubted rape of a minor child by an older, powerful male. Maybe you can, in which case I shall wait for it...”

It is relevant because if you don’t have an opinion on the suitable age of consent, then how can you judge a marriage that occurred 14 centuries ago in a life situation that’s far different from ours.

Pages

Donating = Loving

Heart Icon

Bringing you atheist articles and building active godless communities takes hundreds of hours and resources each month. If you find any joy or stimulation at Atheist Republic, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.

Or make a one-time donation in any amount.