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Why blood sacrifice? An atheist objection

This question was raised in the debate below (see the video below). Matt Dillahunty asks

This is to me bizarre. What is it about killing something that God needs you to do in order for God to forgive you?

This question is presented as yet another evidence of the foolishness of the Bible and thus the foolishness of believing in God.

The first response to this objection is ‘So what?’ In what way does this objection make it less likely that God exists or that the Bible is reliable? Suppose I tell you that I only eat food that starts with the letter ‘k’. That is bizarre. But it doesn’t make what I said untrue. And it certainly doesn’t make my existence any less real. Second, what is bizarre to you might be perfectly reasonable to me. Yet even if it is bizarre to us both, how does that affect the possibility of God’s existence. It doesn’t. Quantum mechanics is utterly bizarre. But it is real.

Suppose the main character Link in the game Zelda became self-aware and asks himself why he needs to collect ‘spirit orbs’ to increase his health. That seems such a bizarre thing to him. So he concludes that no reasonable world creator would propose such a thing. Also, he can acquire health in other ways (by collecting fairies say). So this nonsensical ‘spirit orb’ thing is evidence that the world he is in didn’t have any creator at all!

There is no logical reason to use a practice that we consider bizarre as evidence that the Creator of that world does not exist. It is a non-sequitur. The Creator can mandate anything He likes and create the world anyway he wishes. The rational response of beings inside this world is to try to understand why He has created the world as it is. And billions of people have found a satisfactory answer to that question – the answer is not bizarre to them.


  1. RaPaR

    “Not bizarre to them” does not mean not bizarre. True, sacrifice was a somewhat rational response to an angry god – or gods – thousands of years ago, rational being subjective to the times of course. However, today it would considered lunacy. This is the issue with faith; you get away with believing in something for which there is no concomitant evidence and there are others that applaud you for it. “If we all just make believe there’s a man up the sky, then we can all seem normal believing so.” There’s nothing rational about that at all.

  2. agrogers

    Thanks for the comment RaPaR. I think your point and my point in this post are missing each other. I wasn’t suggesting that there are no bizarre things found in the Christian religion. And i was not defending the evidence for a belief in God.

    I was trying to make the point that a bizarre command found within a religious system in no way helps to invalidate the religion. I believe that was Matt’s intention in raising this point.

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