@takirkpatrick from Twitter, reposted by a friend on Facebook -
The question is not "Why would a loving God send someone to hell?"
The question is "Why would anyone choose hell over a loving god?"
Nonsense. As a Christian, you must believe that God created hell and indeed the capacity to do evil. It's part of the divine plan for billions of people to grow up and encounter such information during their lives that they would "choose" hell. For example me, since I encountered critical thinking. It now dictates to me that the bronze age literature is laughably unconvincing, demonstrably self-contradicting, and is frankly barbaric. The justifications religion uses for various laws are nothing more than an argument from authority - a logical fallacy in itself - and a flawed one at that! Arguments from authority only work if the party being convinced respects that authority. Needless to say, even the existence of god (not merely respect for him) is not something anyone should just take for granted. As a Christian, you may believe that I choose to go to hell, but it's merely my best interpretation of reality via a skill which has served me very well in all aspects of life. In other words, there is no way in hell, pardon the pun, I could force myself to believe in God any more than I could make myself believe that 2+2=5. My mind rejects simply rejects this absurdity.
A human being can't choose to teleport from point A to point B, or do any other of the infinite number of actions open to more capable creature like god. Similarly, god could have simply created a being equally without an ability to do evil. Yes, having free will, but bound by a different set of laws which does not include the concept of evil any more than it currently allows for actions which are other than good, evil, and neutral.
Sounds easy enough, but god works in mysterious ways, right? To the contrary, it is the mind of the believer which works in mysterious ways when they try to reconcile facts with a preconceived notion of reality. I am talking about confirmation bias - the complete opposite of the scientific process. I reckon about a thousand helpless innocent infants just died a horrible death from hunger in the time it took me to write the above. During that same period of time, thousands of Christians thanked Jesus for how he blesses them daily, being self-important enough to forget about those children. My observation is that only deranged psychopaths starve those whom they love to death.
But flip one switch, and everything falls into place. Something which is VERY mysterious in the supposed presence of an all loving and all powerful agent is instantly explained in full detail by observable natural factors in his absence. It's no longer mysterious or, indeed, surprising. It's exactly what you expect to find in a world without god.
Oh, and before I finish let's not forget to blaspheme the holy spirit. Now I will definitely burn for this one, and only, unforgivable sin. But wait, god is all-forgiving so surely he can forgive that? Furthermore, he is all-powerful so he can do anything, right? I guess even simple words like "all" can acquire an air of mystery around them to someone reading the bible as inerrant. How does an all-knowing creature change its mind about something exactly? Did it make a mistake in its initial judgement, or did it acquire new information? Clearly, both of these are impossible. But then there is always that other possibility...
Listening to: the fridge
Reading: finishing up Omnivore's Dilemma
Playing: mostly bike and weight lifting
Eating: awesome strawberries