Was Abraham a Psychopath?

Voices from God telling you to kill children?


Hi Moshpodders, this is our first blog post not linked to one of our Moshpod Podcast episodes.  Every blog post we do will be linked to a podcast we haven’t used, so it’s kinda like an extra listening list and a way we can have a rave about some ideas outside the show. Hopefully it will also help more people find our Podcast.

Compare the Abraham and Isaac saga in the Christian bible  with the Luke Batty murder, a recent crime that has shocked Australia to the core. I’ll include a link to one of many news articles that cover the gruesome details if you are not familiar with the story, this was just the first article that popped up for me.


It’s one of the most repugnant things any of us can think of, for a father to turn on his own child. Absolutely nothing excuses it, we seek understanding in psychology, talk of schizophrenia, depression, insanity –  we can have pity for the dude for the suffering he was going through but lets be serious, if he wasn’t suffering someone would need to fuck that dude up.

I think everyone would agree that this most violent despicable act is unforgivable under any circumstances. Considering there was no doubt of his guilt, I mean the guy beat the poor kid to death with a cricket bat in front of a crowd of his little buddies, he had a knife, killing him on the spot was probably fair enough. It is hard to know what would have been better for the witnesses and the poor mother, wether he could have said something after the event that would have shed light on his insanity (God was talking to me??), or wether just seeing him catch a few rounds in the chest provided better closure. Generally I don’t agree with the death penalty (or summary executions for that matter) because 100% guilty is a rare thing, but this guy, he should have wanted to die after what he did anyway and if not he should double die so it’s really win win.

The pod I’m linking today explores the brutality of the Abraham and Isaac story for a previous Easter so I’m reviving it, it’s from RadioLab back in 2009 and it’s called “In Silence”, link at the bottom of the post.

I thought I’d do a post about it because I’ve always been fascinated how this bible story is often used as a gold standard of good “faith”, when the act that God wants Abraham to do is one of the most black and white evil acts you can get. This pod explores the story, and other collateral damage that a jealous Old Testament God reaped in the name of demanding fealty.

Possibly the most amoral thing about this kinda god is that he stopped Isaac from being killed, meaning he could, but this is literally one of the only times he ever has, so how messed up is that, why didn’t he stop Luke Batty’s father from beating him to death, why doesn’t he save just one of the 1000’s of children that die every day, like I’m not saying all of them, just one every now and again. Seems to me like this particular brand of god has given up on us, evolved into something else, gone impotent or died.

So if you hear voices telling you to kill children, I can be reasonably confident in saying it isn’t god, and if that’s true now then surely it’s conceivable that it was true then and Abraham was just a psychopath too.

Check out the RadioLab podcast “In Silence”, they explore this issue in a far less polarising way. Also check out Moshpod episodes for a collection of great pods and more crazy repugnant discussion.

Also look out for more discussion of psychopathy in an upcoming episode of Moshpod we are working on, working title, “Show me the Money!”

Thanks for reading, thanks for listening, comments most welcome!

Posted by Bang.


RadioLab Podcast, “In Silence”, 2009. (listen or download from link below, 26 minutes)




3 thoughts on “Was Abraham a Psychopath?

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