So in my blogging travels I ran across this piece about death and salvation, and the authors attempt to refute the argument that Yahweh would have to be either impotent or evil.
Here’s how he starts out:
Within the atheist paradigm the taking of ones life is the pinnacle of injustice and life on earth is the hallmark of reality. Thus it is no wonder that the most pervasive and prevailing argument that is raised against the existence of a benevolent God is how can He sit back and allow so many men, women, and especially children, to die at the expense of so many random acts of violence and nature? To quote the impertinent Sam Harris “God is either impotent or evil.” The obvious fallacy of this summation is that its predicated on the naturalistic assumption that life ends at the grave.
Um, not really. Whether or not life ends at the grave, your God would have to answer for all of the things you just mentioned. A perfect being would be unable to do anything that is not perfect. Do you consider cancer, Ebola, starvation, miscarriages etc perfect?
Even if I were to take your unsubstantiated claim that your Gods existence is true, and I knew I would wake up in heaven after I died, that wouldn’t negate the suffering I (and many, many other people) would still be going through.
This is to insist that someone can be the beneficiary of Christs’ atoning death without having a conscious knowledge of Christ. We can better understand this reality through patriarchs in the OT such as Job.
So anyone can go to heaven, even those who don’t have a knowledge of Christ. That’s interesting.
Do you believe that people like me, who were Christian at one time but no longer believe, will reach heaven? And furthermore, do you believe that we deserve eternal torture for our non-belief?
But what about all the innocent children that have passed-away without ever having the opportunity to account for such measures? while not explicitly expressed in the scriptures, I personally believe in the salvation of all infants.
Why do you personally believe this?
I would suspect it’s because you’re a kind person and so you must create a route around what your scriptures teach. Many Christians do this. They either cherry pick around the bloody bits and uncomfortable scriptures or they find scripture that can be used to negate the awful parts or they embrace what it actually says and become people I wouldn’t want to hang around with.
And while I do believe, such as in the case of the Amalekites, that children are often visited by the sins of their fathers, by no means do I believe that God condemns children to hell. In such cases as the Amalekites, we are to understand that God is merely stemming the flow of wickedness.
What sort of benevolent, perfect God would hold children accountable for their parents actions?
Imagine if our court systems worked this way – when a father or mother is incarcerated, we blame the offspring as well and punish them as if they too had broken the law. In what realm is this considered just?
Your God ‘stems the flow’ by committing genocide?
Now go and strike Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey. -1 Samuel 15:3
Let me get this straight…you think that an all-powerful, benevolent, all-knowing God can only stem this wickedness through genocide? There really is no other way?
And it was necessary to kill even the animals?
And it needed people to do it, although such a being could do it with a thought?
If there were something horrific you needed to accomplish and you could do it easily, would you send your children to go do it?
Therefore, in the case of children I see it as Gods grace that they be taken from the influences of their reprobate fathers, less surely they be raised to despise the name of the Lord.
So let’s put this into practice today. Using this bit of wisdom, you could feel justified taking children away from anyone who doesn’t follow your faith and certainly those who find your god vile.
Because of our limited perception and our naturalistic world-view, often times God’s way can seem rather mysterious.
An all-powerful being that seems mysterious could only be mysterious by choice.
It’s mysterious because it’s an unsubstantiated invisible, supernatural being.
But if there does exists a creator of the universe, and if He is supremely aware and capable, we ought to leave some room for his ways to be altogether above our own understanding.
I suppose but his actions would still be above all else, reasonable and rational. Your God is not.
Take for example the Adam and Eve part.
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (NIV, Genesis 2:15-17)
Having perfect knowledge of what was to happen, this God would know that they would eat this apple and be condemned.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
This God does not know where they are? Why is he willing to take on form (makes noises when he walks) but refuses to now?
And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
Does he not know the answer? What need does a mighty deity have of asking questions like these? An all-knowing deity would know the exact moment this event would occur.
After that, this doddering deity cursed them and all of their offspring. Nothing described as being ‘compassionate, just and all-loving’ would ever do such a thing. In fact, it would be against its nature. Even humans know that you shouldn’t hold the unborn accountable for what people do while alive. That’s utterly ridiculous.
Also, there would be no reason for this God to get angry in the first place. You only get upset when something doesn’t go your way. This scenario and every scenario playing out throughout the universe would be known by this deity and everything would be going according to plan.
There are so many of these sorts of inconsistencies that this God is not reasonable or rational. It is often blood soaked, irrational and inconsistent. These inconsistencies show you that it doesn’t exist. Just like a square circle doesn’t exist.
From the Christian perspective death is but a birth into the next life, ultimately it is God that will bestow ultimate justice and judge everyone according to the light that they received.
If this were really true, Christians wouldn’t use medical care. They would rejoice when loved ones were killed. That obviously isn’t the case, thankfully.
Thanks for the food for thought, David. I wish you luck with your religion. I hope in your private moments, you will reflect on this post and all of the inconsistencies and irrational bits of the bible you hold so dear. I hope you’ll take an honest look at its content.