"It is due to God
creating man in His image that murder is wrong. Therefore, the right to
life is a God-given right."
Peter, where does the Bible
define this as a matter of individual rights? The passage you mentioned
nowhere mentions the concept of individual rights. How does the Bible define
the concept of individual rights? Why didn't Jesus speak of individual rights,
such as the right not to be enslaved? Jesus nowhere speaks against the
practice of owning slaves, but it seems that this would be an issue of top
priority on Jesus' list of moral issues if he were an advocate of individual
rights. If we were to look in the Bible for a clear, explicit and fully
developed theory of individual rights, which book(s) in the Bible do you think
we should consult? It seems to me that you are inserting the concept of
individual rights, a modern concept, into your interpretation of the passage
you quoted (Genesis 1:27), which nowhere says anything about the concept of
individual rights. And if the Bible gives us the key to individual rights, why
did it take almost 1700 years for the first nation built explicitly on man's
right to life, liberty and pursuit of happines to come into existence,
particularly in light of the fact that, when Christianity was the dominant
philosophy in Europe since the Dark Ages, governments which identified and
protected individual rights did not emerge? Indeed, a rights-based government
did not emerge until religion was on the retreat from the advent of science
and the Age of Reason (an age when "faith" was exposed to be the
fraud that it is). I think each of these questions need to be addressed if one
wants to claim that "rights are god-given."
Furthermore, I wonder how the concept of
individual rights can be rationally integrated into the rest of the Bible. For
instance, does biblegod observe and honor an individual's rights? I don't
think the Egyptians who lost their first born in Exodus 12:29 would think so,
and I would find myself in agreement with them. Apologists will say that
"God has creator's rights, and thus has the right to take away someone's
rights." This simply means that rights are a matter of whim, not of
reason, since biblegod could revoke someone's rights simply because he got
pissed off. Hardly a sound basis for a rational theory of individual rights.
Peter mentions "the image
of God." What exactly is this referring to? God is said to be
non-corporeal, i.e., he has no body. So any supposed "image of God"
could not be an image of a physical form, could it? Is "image of
God" supposed to be a reflection of God's intellect? How could it be? God
is supposed to be both omniscient and infallible, but man is neither of these.
So it is hard to see how one could hold that the "image of God"
refers to God's intellect. Could "image of God" refer to his moral
nature? I don't see how that could be, since Christians hold that God cannot
sin while claiming that man cannot avoid sinning apart from the intervention
of God through salvation (and some even dispute this). Either way, I don't see
how one could hold that man is created in the moral "image of God."
The only way I could see that "image of God" could apply is if this
is taken to mean the emotional nature of God, for throughout the
Bible God is portrayed as very emotional, usually in degrees of anger and
rage. So, it seems that Christians think they were created in the image of
anger and hatred, since biblegod frequently exhibits these emotions, and
biblegod is said not to change (so he must always be one hellova pissed off
Anyway, just some thoughts.