An eye for an eye

As we are often told, God loves us all, yet encourages revenge, but his son, Jesus, contradicts his father. In Matthew 5, Jesus allegedly addresses his disciples during the Sermon on the Mount, and begins to teach them his expectations. In part 5:38 he brings up the ‘eye for an eye‘ statement from Exodus 21.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.” – Matthew 5:38

So as you can see here, do not resist an evil person, and turn the other cheek. But in Exodus 20, God addresses Moses and gives him the Ten Commandments, and the following chapter, 21, he presents a full set of rules, which takes me to two major points.

Point number one is slavery. Many theists constantly make the claim that God, and the Bible doesn’tcondone slavery, but in Exodus 21: 20/22 not only does God claim that beating a slave is acceptable if they heal, but it’s their right as a slave owner as the slave is their property.

“Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.” – Exodus 21: 20/21

A section later, God addresses violence, and especially assaulting a pregnant woman.

“If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.” – Exodus 21: 22/25

So here God is basically saying that if you get punched, punch back, if you get kicked, then kick back, if you are killed, then someone is within their right to take revenge and kill the killer, which is premeditated, which is murder. Allow me to quote the Ten Commandments. The sixth commandment in Judaism, Protestantism, and the fifth commandment in Roman Catholicism.

“You shall not kill”

Which towards the latter part of the twentieth century, both Jewish and Protestantism changed it to:

“You shall not murder”

But Catholicism didn’t.

“You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment” – Matthew 5:21/22

The above and below quotes clearly contradict each other. God endorses revenge, as in ‘eye for an eye‘, but claims you can’t murder, and Jesus claims you must ‘turn the other cheek‘.

“Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” – Genesis 9: 6

No wonder theists get confused and cherry pick as these are examples of blatant contradictions, and theists claim they are absolute, objective moral requirements? Really? No doubt I would be accused of taking it out of context, or I don’t have the capacity to understand as I’m an atheist, but this is wrong. I understand English very well, and contradictions are contradictions, however you look at it.