When studying the Torah, one of the most obvious "lessons" is that god seems to be very jealous. A good portion of the 613 commandments revolve around the fact that god wants you to only worship him. The first 2 of the 10 commandments have to do with this: 1. "You shall have no other gods before me" 2. "You shall not make for yourself any graven image...". In fact, god would be so upset if you worshiped other gods, that he declares the punishment for such a transgression to be death. The Israelite nation was told to destroy entire cities where idol worship is prevalent and kill all its residents.
But rather than condemning all those that do not believe in him to death, wouldn't it be more loving and merciful of god to just reveal himself to the nonbeliever? Or is human life so unimportant to the "merciful god" that he would rather let people live in doubt and than condemn them to death/hell for not taking this difficult leap of faith?
I know many of my readers will say that they see god all the time through "miracles" and other subjective evidence. But every religion attributes these events to their god(s). So if I happened to be born into a Hindu family than the cards are already stacked against me. Even if I recognized a so called miracle, the chances are I would attribute it to a Hindu god and not to the jealous monotheistic god. So apparently it is either not that important to god that people know he is the "one true god", or he just loves death.
And if one were to learn more of the Torah, I think the evidence points to god loving death. In the book of Exodus, god punishes the Egyptian people with 10 plagues, because the Pharaoh would not release the Israelite nation from slavery. The 10th plague - god's grande finale, he kills every single first born male in Egypt with no regard for age or deed. It did not matter if the first born was 1 minute old and had never done a bad deed. It did not matter if the person lived in a part of Egypt that had no Israelite slaves. Everyone had to die. And according to Jewish tradition, this event is not mourned, but rather it is celebrated.
The holiday of Passover is starting next week. At the Seder meal, where the story of the exodus from Egypt is told over, the plagues are celebrated as ten of god's greatest and most wonderful miracles. I personally think the story is fiction, but those that believe it to be true never seem to question the morality of this act. I know I never did when I was religious. It is just understood that god kills those that he deems deserve it and that we "mere mortals" cannot question these acts.
Of course the obvious next question is, why should anyone worship such a god? God is vengeful, jealous, violent and petty. Does that sound like an all powerful super being to you? Does that sound like a good source for morality? I know that the religious believer will tell me that we cannot question god, nor can we understand his acts. They would say that is seems immoral to us because we do not understand god and his plan etc. But I think that is a cop out. Believers in the Torah claim that it is the source of morality. Than I ask, where is the morality? Shouldn't god lead by example?
Of course there are plenty of more examples of the immorality of the Torah, but I will have to write about those in a later post.