God, liar or ‘withholder of the truth’?
Recently, I asked some apologists to explain why, when they claimed that lying was a moral failing, did their god seemingly have no problems with bullshitting left right and centre. I cited the following verses as evidence of his willingness to mislead
2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 (King James Version)
11And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
1 Kings 22:23
Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.
And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.
Today I got a jaw dropping reply on the Please Convince Me blog from a new poster there….
In each of the instances you sighted, the truth was given to the people in question FIRST. In each instance, the people rejected the truth and refused to believe it. As a result, God simply removed the truth from them, giving them exactly what they wanted. In the absence of truth, what remains is a lie. So to say that God lied in these instances is similar to saying that he turned off the light. When light is gone, darkness is all that remains.
Oh, I see! It’s NOT a lie, it’s just the same as turning off a light, the light (in this instance) being ‘the truth’! God ISN’T lying, he’s just NOT TELLING THE TRUTH! Hmmm, I should have spotted that, round one to you, theist.
The 1Kings passage that you sighted is a perfect example. In that instance, God sent a prophet to the king telling him not to go into battle. If he went into battle he would fail. The king didn’t want to hear that, so he tried some prophets of other gods. These guys were false prophets to begin with, so anything they might say would already be a lie. God simply controled the lie they told. Keeping in mind that he had ALREADY OFFERED THE TRUTH, and they had rejected it.
And here, these prophets were ALREADY LIARS, so God making them lie wasn’t really making them lie at all…..or something.
Of course, the correct answer if asked ‘Can God lie?’ is ‘No, because God doesn’t exist’