It’s been a while since I’ve focused on this issue, but it’s an important one. According to the Bible, (and many, many theists) their god is a trickster who deceives people to bring about their ruin. Let’s take a look at some passages:
And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
Or, as I see it: He speaks in parables to obfuscate the truth, otherwise anyone would be able to ask for forgiveness. This seems to me like a mystery cult thing. It’s about exclusivity, alienating the out-group while reinforcing the notion that you’re inherently special just for being a part of the cult. Of course, it also makes it pretty clear that their god doesn’t care for everyone, just his arbitrarily chosen elite. This is hardly an omnibenevolent god being discussed.
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
I find it interesting that Satan is “loosed” from prison instead of escaping. Anyone care to provide more information on the original word and its meaning?
As I see it, it’s describing Satan as being released from prison instead of escaping. Of course, if we’re talking about an omnipotent, omniscient god, it’d be kind of hard to do it on his own, anyway. He is directly or indirectly allowed by this god to escape and spread deception to get people to worship him. Naturally, an omnipotent, omniscient god would know the outcome of this action. What makes the victims of the deception culpable?
Of course, the eternal torment part is standard pointless cruelty. Frankly, it seems like this god only created the universe so that he’d have something to be cruel towards, and that the whole Goldberg device of The Fall, Jesus’s bureaucratic blood sacrifice, and setting up an exclusive religion were all specifically geared towards tormenting people. The deception only serves as a feeble excuse to target innocents who were deliberately entrapped by his machinations.
2 Thessalonians 2:8-12:
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
So, the god of the Bible essentially lies to the people who have been lied to by Satan so that they continue believing in Satan’s deception and be tormented for eternity for being trusting. He does this instead of challenging the lie or telling the truth so that they can consider alternative claims, gather evidence, and make an informed decision.
Apparently neither the biblical god nor Satan consider simple honesty to be the best policy. If I were a superstitious person, I’d be wondering if the biblical god and Satan were one and the same, pulling a cruel prank for the evulz.