For something to have integrity it must show a unity of structure, a framework of coherent intent that binds the whole together; biblical morality has neither. From its first pages, a patriarchal order is established that is unbalance and biased; therefore unity is lacking at the most basic, fundamental level. What seems to start out as an integral whole in the first chapter of Genesis – with male and female made in god’s image – quickly erodes away. Beginning in chapter two, rules are set up based on obedience instead of morality and decrees are meted out which are neither moral, nor just. The ultimate judge of what is moral is found in the flourishing and well being of the individual, and the community, both of which are not consistently found in biblical decrees. When the well being of a person is compromised because of unjust treatment and bias, the integrity of the whole begins to disintegrate resulting in a loss of unity. This can be seen clearly in the decrees and commands of the biblical god, beginning with the curses of Adam and Eve.

Gen.3:16-17 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

Purposely cursing humanity with sorrow and pain does not cause flourishing and well being, thus moral integrity is sorely lacking in the biblical narrative of god’s interaction with the first humans. Well being of an individual or community is always the optimal state of existence and its lack is the driving force behind progressing forward to balance the inequity. Sickness and disease continually push humans forward to find cures; hardship and struggle elicit ideas to lessen burdens, all with the goal of well being in mind. Flourishing is the intent of life and anything with moral integrity contributes to that end. Sadly this is not found in the curses and decrees of Genesis where the biblical god chooses to arbitrarily inflict pain, sorrow and hardship upon humanity for the sin of disobedience. There is nothing even remotely close to moral integrity in the edict of grievous labor, and suffering placed upon the first couple, which seems to be a common theme throughout the Bible.

A false connection between the biblical god and moral integrity has been unwittingly propagated by Christians for centuries, because of misguided and erroneous teachings. The immoral statutes of Genesis are only the tip of a very large iceberg which hides under the banner proclaiming “God is Love”. It is only through opening ones eyes and viewing the Bible from an objective perspective can the truth be clearly seen. Another good example of the lack of ethical behavior and justice is found in Exodus.

Exo.20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

Exo. 34:7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

According to the biblical standard of morality it is perfectly acceptable for punishment to be inflicted by Yahweh upon children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great, grandchildren for the sins of their father…where may I ask is the justice in that? How anyone could think that this kind of action promotes the well being of a people is beyond me. Yet, this is what is found throughout the biblical text, revealing that moral integrity is sorely lacking. The flourishing of human well being is the quintessential definition and sign of moral integrity; it is the true test of knowing whether or not an action is beneficial to an individual causing them to thrive. It is obvious from many passages in Scripture that domination and oppression are elevated biblical concepts and ones attributed to and sanctioned by its god, as is exemplified in the verse below.

Psalm 144:1-2 Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.

Teaching people to go to war, and fight while subduing others under their rule is not something that promotes the flourishing and well being of humanity as a whole. Yet, this is exactly what the Bible is full of; its pages are literally overflowing with one battle after another, most directed by Yahweh for the purposes of conquering, subduing and killing people. During many of these battles little concern is given for the human rights of the conquered, especially the women who are often times taken as “war booty” to be sex slaves for the men, all of which is explicitly condoned and sanctioned by Yahweh. Anything that takes away from the well being of an individual and denies their human rights is immoral and unjust, this is especially evident in the treatment of women as property.

Judge 21:11-12And this is the thing that ye shall do, Ye shall utterly destroy every male, and every woman that hath lain by man. And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead four hundred young virgins, that had known no man by lying with any male: and they brought them unto the camp to Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan.

Deuteronomy 21:10-12 When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the LORD thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house;

Num.31:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying…17) Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

These examples that I have given are by no means rare. On the contrary they are more plentiful than the verses that speak of god’s love, which in and of itself shows a complete lack of integrity in the area of biblical morality. The accusation of “cherry picking” is many times used as an attack on those who point out questionable passages, but the mere presence of these immoral verses should tell the reader something about the author’s moral and ethical standards. If one were to take upon themselves a project of great magnitude, which would include copying only those passages in the Bible that truly reflect 21st century morals on human rights, I would dare say it would be a scant book indeed. Much of the Old Testament would be removed and a good portion of the New. For anything to have moral integrity, it MUST promote wholeness and the ultimate well being of the individual and the human community at large, it also must include just and fair treatment of individuals, which is not true of much of the Bible. That is why any religious text, purported to be given by a god MUST pass this test of moral integrity, otherwise it should remain classified among the works of men. Below is one example of many from the Bible that would NOT pass the test for moral integrity, as it does not promote the well being or flourishing of the human community, nor is there anything remotely resembling  justice.

 Deut.6:10-11 And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full;

Deut 7:2-3And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.

The lack of ethical and moral integrity in the Bible is obvious from just the sampling of verses that I have presented, because they all have one thing in common – an absence of concern for the well being and flourishing of the human community – this disqualifies and thus invalidates much of the Bible, showing it cannot be used as an ethical judge or moral guide. This then brings one to the question of where does moral integrity come from. I have covered this subject to some degree in my article titled Biological Foundations of Morality. Another excellent article written by my husband can be found here: Logic of Love: A Natural Theory of Morality.

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