My Ways are Not Your Ways (audio of entire conference)

by Luke Muehlhauser on November 7, 2009 in Christian Theology,Resources

Yahweh slaughters the Amorites by throwing rocks from the sky.

Yahweh slaughters the Amorites by throwing rocks from the sky (Joshua 10:10-11).

Recently, the University of Notre Dame hosted a philosophy conference about the moral character of the God described in the Hebrew the Bible – the one who commanded rape and genocide and so on.

The university has made the entire conference available in streaming video on its website. There are ten major sessions, each about a specific topic, for example “Animal Sacrifices” or “What About the Canaanites?” Each session goes like this: the main speaker presents an argument attacking or defending the morality of the the Old Testament God in about 40 minutes. Another philosopher presents an opposite view for 15 minutes. The first speaker gives a 10-minute reply, and then there is a Q&A period.

The philosophers who attended include many of the top philosophers in the world – atheists and theists alike. You’ll recognize many of their faces from this page. And here they are, discussing a hot topic in Christian philosophy, free to watch! Ah, the internet is a glorious thing!

But many of us will not want to hear all the speeches from a web page. So I converted all the talks to mp3, organized them into folders, and uploaded them in one big ZIP file for you to download here. Enjoy.

Also see the philosophical debate over Paul Copan’s paper “Is Yahweh a Moral Monster?” at Debunking Christianity.

Update: The book from this conference has been released: Divine Evil?

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

snafu November 8, 2009 at 4:15 am

Adulation to the great deity of the internet, and joy and blessings to Chief Angel Lukeprog.

In all seriousness, I have a few spare hours over the next couple of days, but no internet connection. I’d just watched Louise Antony’s exchanges with great interest…but I had no time to spend doing all the conversions I wanted.

It’s much appreciated that you’ve made this available.

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lukeprog November 8, 2009 at 7:43 am

You’re welcome!

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Chuck November 8, 2009 at 11:36 am

The link to the zip file didn’t work for me. May be a Safari problem.

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lukeprog November 8, 2009 at 12:19 pm

Chuck,

Yeah, try another browser.

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skeet November 8, 2009 at 5:32 pm

thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you !!!!!!

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lukeprog November 8, 2009 at 5:53 pm

skeet,

You’re welcome.

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skeet November 8, 2009 at 8:48 pm

You’re only gonna say it once?

Dick.

(thanks)

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Michael November 9, 2009 at 12:58 pm

It seems that if one wanted to get an ‘inner’ perspective on the Hebrew Bible, it would seem far less relevant to ask atheists & Christians. Why don’t we ask the people who recorded it, the Jews?

For one reason, Judaism has a long oral tradition that goes alongside all of the Hebrew Scriptures, so looking at one part without another gives us (at very best) a partial view. Eg. the Jewish oral tradition (Talmud) says that in Joshua, the “about 36 people” killed because of Achan stealing (ch.7) was only one person, but with the holiness of 36 (half of a Jewish court, the Sanhedrin). If we read the text only, we would never know that.

But if we’re going to evaluate a holy book, it seems only logical to ask the people who gave it to us in the first place. Otherwise, we’re groping in the dark.

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Geoffrey of Ballard November 9, 2009 at 11:28 pm

@Michael Although I’m looking forward to hearing these debates, I definitely agree with you.

My whole understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures was changed after listening to this discussion between Rabbi Wolpe and Sam Harris.

http://www.jewishtvnetwork.com/?bcpid=533363107&bctid=1329234778

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morrison May 6, 2010 at 10:59 am

Genocide!!!
1. Deuteronomy: Moses
2. Joshua
3. David

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bertrand morrison June 7, 2010 at 2:49 pm

1. Moses+Jesus=Adolf Hitler
2. Joshua+David=Adolf Hitler
3. David+Stalin+Jesus=Adolf Hitler
4. Jahwe+Joshua+Ezra=Adolf Hitler
5. Jahwe+Loyola+Jesus=Adolf Hitler
6. Jesus+Jesuit+Inquisitor+Nazi=Hitler
7. Jesus+Jesuit+Ku Kux Clan=Hitler
8. Jesus+Pavelic+Hitler+Bush=Moses
9. Genocide=Childrens Bible

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Robert November 19, 2010 at 6:45 am

The book from this conference is now published: Divine Evil?: The Moral Character of the God of Abraham (links to Amazon.com)

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Luke Muehlhauser November 19, 2010 at 7:32 am

Robert,

Thanks for the heads up! I added it.

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