Playing along with the christians and seeing what it makes of God.

Let us say for a moment that orthodox Christianity is correct in its drawing of a human being.

That is: that man is an autonomous being with free-will. They use this to justify God’s sending disobedient humans to hell.

Let us forget for the moment that we can’t even conceive of free-will; other than it meaning an uncaused cause which isn’t allowed because God’s the only uncaused cause right?

Well what is it about free-will that justifies God in sending us to a nasty place for a very long time if we don’t do what he says?

He may have the might to do so; but might isn’t right. Right?

2+2 doesn’t = 4 because the terminator says so; does it?

So you’re born and you have this thing called free-will. With this free-will you make choices that displease God. For these choices he hurts you forever.

Now where is the link between humans having free-will and God having such a right?

“There is a moral law!” They say.

Again let’s by-pass Euthypro’s dilemma (“Is something good because God says it is; or does God say it’s good because it is good”) and go with the flow.

Why do we; who have free-will, have to follow this moral code?

We could choose to; sure. But we could also un-choose to as well!

“Ah but that would break the law!”

“Ah but I don’t choose to follow the law!” You blow a raspberry.

We’re back to the question “What gives God the right to punish humans forever because we have free-will?”

We didn’t choose to be born.

We didn’t sign the contract that bound us to abide by the moral law.

We didn’t even choose to sign the contract that bound us to abide by a contract signed by us.

So what does this make of the orthodox God?

It makes him a playground bully who beats you up because you won’t play his game his way!


10 thoughts on “Playing along with the christians and seeing what it makes of God.

  1. Basically that’s the rationale behind my becoming atheist. There’s nothing anyone can do in a finite time on earth that could justify even having your knuckles rapped for eternity. Eternity is a long time. The idea of a God that would actually torture anyone for eternity cannot, to my moral sense, be justified. Such a God cannot, MUST NOT exist. So, at the very least, the idea of eternal torture must be abandon by any God claiming to be Good.

    And I would credit my Christian upbringing, with the moral sense that it instilled in me, with that moral judgment.

    • Well I would say that the question “Why is there something rather than nothing?” is unanswerable.

      We can come up with many stories such as a giant pink elephant did it, it came from nothing, it was always there in some form or other and so on. But there is no procedure by which we can decide which one if any of the stories we can construct is true.

      So to say there is no God is just as provable as to say there is a God.

      I would say trash the moral judgement you inherited unwittingly from your Christian up-bringing.

      I myself was brought up a Christian. Most of my articles on free-will are in response to the Christian definition of the term.

      I was a proper bible believing fundamentalist Christian who street preached and what made me “back-slide” was the incoherences I discovered that one of which is articulated in this blog.

      There may be a God who is a cunt who created everything – that is one possible story.

      I’m what I term a sceptical agnostic. I believe there are certain questions language is just not capable of dealing with. Such questions are “What causes my experience?”, “Are other people conscious?” and so on.

      Now I believe that there is a reality similar to my experience of it that causes my experience.

      I believe that other people are conscious just like me.

      But knowledge epistemologically defined is “certain belief/opinion” and I belief that all we have are opinions with varying degrees of probability but that there is no single question about which we can be certain.

      • My cosmological position is that “stuff-in-motion” is eternal. It exists without any first cause or creation. It fluctuates and transforms deterministically according to its own natural properties. When enough accumulates to form a gravitational well you get a black hole, where the form is extremely condensed by its own gravity. At some point sufficient stuff crosses some threshold and explodes into a Big Bang event, and these occur throughout infinity like popping corn. The matter explodes outward and transforms into stars, planets, and the atomic elements. Eventually, it all gets scooped up in another black hole until it triggers another Big Bang event. And there’s a big sign saying “Creators Need Not Apply”.

        Nevertheless, like you say, early humans started creating gods left and right. I suspect it was an echo of our shared experience as newborns: we find ourselves thrust into a world cold and hungry and cry out a first prayer to the universe, which is answered by a mother’s warm embrace and milk to drink.

        So, later, when earthquake, flood, drought, and famine make us again feel helpless, we made gods of the sun and rain and anything else we thought might help. Randomly, these prayers were occasionally answered by normal events. So we prayed harder and offered sacrifices, etc. trying to figure out the key to getting gods to bail us out in a more reliable fashion.

        Monotheism came along as we sought some power to back up our ethical norms. The promise that our enemies and our criminals would ultimately be punished was comforting. And a single God with a single ethical code became a way to establish social order.

        Then Christianity came along and blew away a lot of the old Jewish rules of circumcision and animal sacrifice. Jesus taught loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. And even to love our enemies. And to value the lost sheep and to treat the despicable Samaritans as if they were our neighbor, because some of them were as good or better than us.

        So I still value the moral lessons of Christianity. But I was raised in the Salvation Army, a church known more for its practical good works in the world than most. They still believed in Hell, but they were also about loving and redeeming the sinner.

        As a person who values moral good, and wishes to see the progress toward a better good for everyone in the world, I consider anyone who professes to love good for others to be a potential ally, regardless of any other odd, but innocuous beliefs they might embrace.

  2. Yeah that’s one possible story. That the other side of a black hole is a white hole or a big bang. Big suck and a big blow. I like to imagine that in my mind sometimes.

    But all because you can tell a story about how a belief came to be does not mean that that belief is not true. I think if it’s a case of the genetic fallacy.

    • But the problem with Hell is that it is a penalty that cannot be morally justified.

      Justice seeks to rebalance rights. The criminal breaks a law that we created specifically to define a right that we agree to respect and protect for each other, such as the right to life or the right to property. Within the context of justice, a penalty may (a) repair the harm done to the victim or the victim’s rights (when feasible, you can’t bring someone back to life of course), (b) correct the offenders behavior so that he is unlikely to repeat the offense, and (c) restrain the offender (prison) until he is corrected.

      The offender has a right as well, (d) to a penalty that does no more than is reasonably necessary to repair, correct, and protect. Anything beyond that (for example, vengeance or retribution) is, by definition, unjustifiable.

      It’s not really about free will. It is about the morality of the penalty itself.

      I think free will is used by theology to avoid holding God directly and personally responsible for all sin. If God is all-knowing (omniscient) and all-powerful (omnipotent) then he might have created a world where humans were not tempted to sin or created humans with a nature that was resistant to temptation to sin. But if God is omniscient and omnipotent, then he deliberately chose to create a world where humans would be tempted to sin and gave them a human nature that sometimes chooses sin. That would make God the responsible cause of sin and earn him whatever penalty (just or unjust) that follows rather than us.

      As to free will itself, it has significance and meaning within secular morality and secular justice. If a man is forced to commit a crime against his will then he is not held as responsible as a person who deliberately chose to commit the crime. The penalty required to correct someone who deliberately chooses to harm someone else would most likely need to be more severe than the penalty (if any) needed to correct the behavior of someone forced to commit the crime against their will, someone who would not have deliberately chose to.

      So, we can’t abandon the concept of free will. It has significant meaning outside of religion.

      • You talk of justice as if it were an objective thing. I think justice is just a concept we fabricated to make ourselves feel better in the act of unleashing the same emotions and actions in us that we are punishing the criminal for.

        The thing we didn’t choose to be born.

        We didn’t choose to be born where we were born.

        And I don’t remember the meeting where we all gathered and agreed what the rules should be.

        I refer you to a poem and a more formal post I wrote on this subject:

        As to free-will I believe you are acting as the party in 1984 when you define the act of choosing without outside force to be free-will. We already have a word for choosing and it’s – surprisingly enough – choosing!

        We have gone over this subject of free-will enough times in the past and said all we’re going to say to one another on the subject. My stance is that you are playing deceitful word games. You’re stance is that we have to maintain a belief in free-will in society in order to avoid an increase in criminality. I have not and will budge from my position and you have not and will not budge from your position therefore further discussion is pointless and I will not engage in it.

      • CJ: “I think justice is just a concept we fabricated to make ourselves feel better in the act of unleashing the same emotions and actions in us that we are punishing the criminal for.”

        So you’re okay with that? If not, then you must have some idea of what justice ought to be. I’ve given you my opinion of what justice ought to be.

        CJ: “My stance is that you are playing deceitful word games.”

        My stance is that words of common sense that have significant secular meaning should not be sacrificed in lashing out against religion. Doing something of your own free will is different from being forced to do it against your will. Is that a “deceitful word game”?

      • Yes because free-will has acquired its meaning via centuries of use – you are attempting to appropriate it for a good end but it is deceitful because in the sub-conscious associations and meanings attached to that term is the christian theology.

        Free-will has a definite definition “all things being the same a person could have chosen differently” which is mutually exclusive with determinism.

        You are talking about choice when you use the term free-will. Most people won’t look into the definition or think about it they will just think it means what it has always meant.

        And as to saying someone doesn’t have free will if they are forced to make a choice. That is again being deceptive. We already have language to deal with that: he was forced to do this or that.

        You are backing a form of ,mass mind control. Just as the greeks or romans or whatever thought it a good idea to make up a story about a nasty place one goes to when they die if they behave naughtily you are using the term free-will to try and make people feel guilty.

        Did you read the blogs i referred you to? because in them I say there is no justice. We are not being just in punishing the criminal we are just saving our own necks and we’re damn lucky we have might on our side.

      • CJ: “We are not being just in punishing the criminal we are just saving our own necks and we’re damn lucky we have might on our side.”

        Damn straight. If the criminals outnumbered us, we’d really be in a fix. But, then again, so would they, because they hold their own lives dear just like we do.

        So the question is, “How do we move from a world where I am free to murder you, rape your wife, and train your kids to be my army to a world where I respect your right to live, your wife’s right to control her own body, and where kids have a right to grow up in peace?”

        My answer is that in America, we agreed to constitute a nation where we live under laws that our elected representatives reach agreements on our behalf as to the rights that we will respect and protect for each other.

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