Debate:Does the Bible display poor ethics and morals?

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The bible is an interpreted work and poor interpretation lead to a poor set of ethics derived from that interpretationRebiu 15:28, 8 April 2007 (EDT)

I've never read the bible completly, but a lot of what I have read is soo violent and a lot is degrading towards women. I am not saying the WHOLE bible is that way, but it seems that way. Yes, lets kill anyone who breaks the silliest of rules. It says thou shalt not kill for one of them comendment things, but then its like PUT THEM TO DEATH YAY FER KILLING PEOPLE. Overal, it's a poor display of morals and ethics and makes it sound okay to be mean and hurt other people and destroy stuff AtheistKathryn 23:29, 12 April 2007 (EDT)

Its all open to interpretations. I mean, don't kill, don't steal, don't cheat on your wife, obey your parents, it's not like those are a bad set of morals. Now, when the Bible contradicts itself is when you have to apply your own judgment. At least, thats how I view it.--Elamdri 23:46, 12 April 2007 (EDT)

Lot was described as a righteous man, but offered to send his young daughters out to be gang raped. Czolgolz 09:45, 13 April 2007 (EDT)

Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. --Gen 19:8

I'd say that's a bit more than an offer. He's begging these strangers to gang-rape his daughter in order to leave him and his guests alone. Less than the best example of fatherhood.--Charlesincharge 01:52, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

Your assumption is that righteous people are never described as doing wrong in the Bible, which is completely fallacious. The Bible repeatedly shows its human authors doing wrong and getting punished by God. Moses was punished by not being able to enter the Promised Land for his pride. David was punished for his sins with Bathsheba and wasn't allowed to build God's temple. The apostles are presented as bickering doubters focused on themselves. Sodom was so wicked that Lot did that to stop what he knew would be homosexual rape. Ironically Lot's own daughters ended up drugging him to get pregnant by him later on, after Lot ignored God's command to flee to the mountain, and asked that another wicked city be spared so he could live in it. (Genesis 19:20) Point is, Lot's whole family was a mess, and Lot in at least one case tried to get around God's command. Lot may have been righteous in other ways but like other Bible figures is shown to have done what was clearly wrong. That shows the Bible is committed to telling the truth, unlike the Quran which glorifies its human author, Mohammed, rather than realistically presenting his weaknesses. --Joshua Zambrano 03:34, 5 September 2012 (EDT)

i think it's only fair to point out that the ten commandments were only intended to apply to other jews (judaism being the religion of moses tribe) therefore Thou shalt not kill, means thou shalt not kill other jews (or christians) and so on. what the bible basically says is that you can do anything to someone who is not of your religion, and that there is nothing morally wrong with that. in todays multicultural society that is obviously not an accebtable source of morals. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bolly Ottihw (talk)

It's really "yes and no" but I'll post here.
The Bible puts on display the poor ethics and morals of a number of people. The first that comes to mind is King Herod. Some of the ancient Egyptian kings were pretty bad, too. Then there was the king who wanted Abram's wife and was going to kill him to get her. I tell that one in Sunday School, whenever the kids get too rowdy to pay attention to theological stuff. The good examples of Ruth and Esther make the little girls sit up and pay attention, too. --Ed Poor 13:47, 17 April 2007 (EDT)

I am reminded of a novel by Irving Wallace, Seven Minutes where a book publisher is being prosecuted for selling a pornographic novel. His attorney, reads several passages from novels/books and asks a community person as to whether or not she thought the passages were pornographic - and in the novel, she concludes three of the four passages as fine, while the fourth passage, she declares as pornographic - the three passages she claimed were NOT, were from books that were BANNED, while the fourth passage was selected from the Bible. The author goes onto say that ofcourse he was not implying anything about the Bible being pornographic - but that when passages are taken out of context, any conclusions can be drawn. The Bible includes stories that describe good and evil - and so can be taken out of context. Peter McWilliams had, in my opinion, the best analysis of the Bible in a book titled 'Aint Nobody's Business if you do" User:Seekcommon

Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. --Gen 19:8


The bible defines the standard of morality therefore one cannot apply a assesment of the bible ethics from a moral perspective.Rebiu 15:27, 8 April 2007 (EDT)

I have to definitly dissagree with the above statements. We really have no way of knowing wether the nations the isrealites were forced to destroy were ever warned of there imminent doom. But i can say with reasonable certainty that they were. I say this because Nineva was an evil nation who did things detestable to the Lord. God sent Jonah to warn them that if they didn't, then they would die. We really have no way of knowing if God gave them warning. Secondly, if you mess up, you have to pay the price. Moses was God's most reverent prophet, but he never got to see the promised land. Moses disobeyed. God doesn't believe in killing innocent civilians for the sake of them being innocent. He believes in punishment. And who knows, maybe in the afterlife, how he'll judge his people. DfairlyXED13 8:40, 13 April 2007 (EDT)

There is of course a distinction here between the God of the old testament and that of the new. The God of the new testament is a forgiving God, and the God of the old testament was a vengeful God. I would argue that ethics and morals vary civisilisation to civilisation, and era to era. You can only judge the God of the time by the morals and ethics of the time. Until we hear differently, we must assume the current God is that of two millennia ago. Proberts84 10:46, 14 April 2007 (EDT)

From Eye For An Eye To Turn The Other Cheek

The contrast between the Old and New Testaments are stark. In the Old Testament the Israelites are told to kill all their enemies, even their wives, children, and animals.

Yet in the New Testament Jesus says pray for your enemies and if they take your shirt let them take your shoes as well.

I the think a more accurate pattern is that God is preaching against violence. He is telling the Israelites during those savage times, an eye for an eye, not a life for an eye. Kill your enemies but do not kill for the sake of killing.

Jesus is furthering this by saying that all violence is wrong. Still a hard concept for us today. How many of us would not defend our families or our country with violence?

Pacifism would not have worked in the savage BC times and so God was taking it one step at a time.

Contuning this, if Jesus appeared today, how far do you teachings would have furthered?

Only When Misused

The Bible is a book of history that is unparalleled by any work of the same time period. Bible writers recorded the events of their day as inspired by the Bible's ultimate Author, God. (1 Tim 3:16,17; 2 Peter 1:21) Where other cultures are (in)famous for their rewriting less than flattering histories to show themselves as great peoples, the writers of Bible books (from Moses to the apostle John)were candid and revealed the flaws of themselves, their contemporaries and others.

  • That the Bible records something happening doesn't mean that it condones or advocates what was recorded. That would be like saying a newspaper displays poor ethics and morals for reporting current events.
  • The Bible tells us that it was written for our instruction. (Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:11; 1 Timothy 3:16,17) By presenting us with information on how peoples lived in the past and the consequences of their behavior, we know how to live our lives.
    • We learn the importance of controlling our temper by Moses' failure to give God credit for providing water to the Israelites in the desert. (Numbers 20:1-11) The consequence was the loss of being able to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land.
    • We learn the harsh consequences of allowing sexual immorality to dominate our thinking by king David's sin with Bathsheba. (2 Samuel 11:1-27; 12:1-18; 1 Kings 1:1-48) Only David's heartfelt repentance over his sin and the covenant God had previously established kept the king and Bathsheba alive; their adultery was sin enough to justify the death penalty under the Mosaic Law.
    • We learn the need to not be too quick to speak from the apostle Peter's assertion that he would never deny the Christ. (Matthew 26:31-35)
    • We learn that God has a purpose for every human who is willing to listen to His Word. (Psalms 37:9-11, 37-38; John 17:3; Revelation 21:3-6)
  • Properly regarded and used, the Bible can become a light on our road of life (Psalm 119:105) and a means to discern what our motives (and the motives of others) truly are (Hebrews 4:12).

BibleBrown 18:08, 23 December 2007 (EST)