Instigator / Pro

The god of the Bible is morally evil.


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics

After 4 votes and with 3 points ahead, the winner is...

Publication date
Last updated date
Number of rounds
Time for argument
Two hours
Max argument characters
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Winner selection
Voting system
Contender / Con

No information

Round 1
In the debate surrounding the moral nature of the God of the Bible, it is essential to consider the context, history, and cultural influences in which the text was written. I have taken the position that "The God of the Bible is not morally evil,", and to do such one must analyze the various aspects of God's character as portrayed in the scripture, and examine the theological and philosophical arguments which support this assertion. 

Firstly, let us address the nature of God as described in the Bible. The Judeo-Christian God is often referred to as omnibenevolent, which means possessing infinite goodness. This attribute is explicitly stated in various passages throughout the Bible:

  1. Psalm 100:5: "For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations."
  2. James 1:17: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."
  3.  1 John 4:8: "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."
These verses demonstrate that the fundamental nature of God is intrinsically good, merciful, and loving.

Critics often point to instances in the Bible where God appears to be cruel or vengeful, such as the Great Flood or the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. However, these events should be viewed within their historical and cultural context, as well as through the lens of divine justice.

A closer examination reveals that these actions are intended to punish evil and restore balance in the world. In the case of the Great Flood, the Bible states in Genesis 6:5, "The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time." The flood was a response to the overwhelming corruption and wickedness of humanity, with the aim of preserving the goodness and purity of creation.

When considering the justice of God, one must also recognize the concept of free will. The Bible teaches that God has granted humans free will, enabling them to choose their actions and forge their own paths. This freedom necessitates the possibility of sin and suffering, as humans are permitted to make morally wrong decisions. Consequently, the existence of evil in the world is not an indication of God's malevolence but rather a consequence of humanity's free will.

Furthermore, the Biblical portrayal of God's character is not solely limited to the Old Testament. In the New Testament, God's love, mercy, and forgiveness are exemplified through the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. John 3:16 states, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." This verse emphasizes God's willingness to offer salvation and redemption to humanity, despite their sinful nature.

Moreover, several theological and philosophical arguments support the claim that the God of the Bible is not morally evil. One such argument is the moral argument for the existence of God, which posits that the existence of objective moral values and duties requires a moral lawgiver. This lawgiver must be perfectly good, as any moral imperfection would result in an imperfect moral law. Since the God of the Bible is the source of all moral law, it follows that He must be morally perfect and not evil.

Additionally, the doctrine of divine command theory provides further evidence for God's moral goodness. This theory asserts that moral values are grounded in God's nature and that His commands are the ultimate source of moral obligation. As such, what God commands is good, and what He forbids is evil. Therefore, to claim that the God of the Bible is morally evil would contradict the divine command theory, which posits that God's commands are the foundation of moral values and duties. As the ultimate moral lawgiver, God's nature must be inherently good, and His commands reflect this goodness.

Another argument supporting the moral goodness of the God of the Bible is based on the idea of God's providence. Providence refers to the belief that God governs the universe and orchestrates events to achieve a greater good, even in the face of apparent evil. This concept implies that God has a plan for creation, and that His actions, even those that may seem morally ambiguous or confusing to humans, are directed towards a higher purpose.

For instance, the story of Joseph in Genesis can be seen as an example of God's providence. Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery out of jealousy, which led to a series of events that eventually placed Joseph in a position of power in Egypt. This turn of events enabled Joseph to save his family and the people of Egypt during a time of severe famine. In Genesis 50:20, Joseph says to his brothers, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." In this example, God's plan ultimately led to the greater good of saving lives, demonstrating His goodness and wisdom, even when human actions may have initially appeared evil.

It is also important to recognize the limitations of human understanding when evaluating the moral character of God. As finite beings, humans may struggle to comprehend the full scope of God's actions and intentions, which can result in the misinterpretation of certain events or judgments in the Bible. The book of Isaiah (55:8-9) addresses this limitation, stating, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."

In conclusion, the position that "The God of the Bible is not morally evil" can be supported through various Biblical references, theological and philosophical arguments, and by considering the context and purpose of God's actions within the scripture. While some passages may seem challenging to reconcile with a benevolent God, a closer examination reveals a God who is ultimately just, loving, and committed to the greater good. By acknowledging the complexities of divine justice, human free will, and the limitations of our understanding, we can arrive at a more nuanced appreciation of the moral character of the God of the Bible.

  1. Psalm 100:5
  2. James 1:17
  3. John 4:8
  4. Genesis 6:5
  5. John 3:16
  6. Genesis 50:20
  7. Isaiah 55:8-9
In addition to these Biblical references, I provided an overview of several theological and philosophical arguments, including the moral argument for the existence of God, divine command theory, and the concept of providence. Some key figures and resources associated with these arguments include:

  1. William Lane Craig, "The Moral Argument" (video):
  2. Calvin, J. (1960). Institutes of the Christian Religion. The Westminster Press.
  3. Plantinga, A. (1977). God, Freedom, and Evil. Eerdmans.
  4. Adams, R. M. (1999). Finite and Infinite Goods: A Framework for Ethics. Oxford University Press.
  5. Lewis, C. S. (1952). Mere Christianity. HarperOne.
  6. William Alston, "Some Suggestions for Divine Command Theorists" (article):

Round 2
Round 3
I retain my argument