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August 9, 2012
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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
  • Drinking: tea
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:iconaddictionboy:
I raise this same argument all the time, and have never found such a great way to word it.
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:iconvordiak:
THIS MAKES ME BELIEVE THAT THERE IS HOPE FOR HUMANITY!!! (or those who think logically, at least)
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:iconlizzie-bitty:
Lizzie-Bitty Aug 13, 2012  Student Photographer
It sounds to me like you've made up your mind, and I also feel like no matter what I say, my reply will somehow make someone angry. (The effect of religion and politics, sadly.) But since you asked, I think I have a pretty simple explanation for Hell.

Let's say for argument's sake that God is exactly as stated in the Bible/Torah, that is, the source of all good. And let's say that for the sake of making sure that the love mortal-kind offers him in return for his is actual love, he gives them free will (because without the ability to reject or deny it, love isn't love.) Then there are people who love God and accept his invitation to join him in eternity. Obviously they go to Heaven. But then, there are the people who choose not to love God, either because they genuinely don't believe he exists, or they feel he owes them something and are angry with him, or some person who claimed to love God did something horrible which makes the person think that God can't be good if his proclaimed followers aren't, or because they wish to do whatever they want, including sin, which would separate them from God because God can't be in the presence of sin. Whatever the reason, the person decides not to love God, and would not want to spend eternity with him, and so must go someplace else. But God, as we stated for argument's sake, is the source of all good. What then happens if you decline the source of good, and choose instead to be wholly separated from it? Obviously, you go someplace void of that good, which leaves nothing but evil and pain. In this case, going to Hell isn't so much a deliberate punishment as it is an inevitable consequence of the choice. It's like someone who dislikes sources of light (light-bulbs, fire, the sun), and therefore avoids them, saying that said sources of light are punishing them by making them live in the dark.

Of course, whether or not you choose this explanation or not is your choice - your God-given free will. ;) (Kidding, don't shoot me, please.) Something I do wish to point out, though; your journal is very contemptuous, both to God and to Christians. If a Christian wrote a journal with the same contempt toward your faith, or lack thereof, would you think it acceptable, or would you call them judgmental, arrogant, and close-minded zealots? A code of conduct should apply to all, no matter what their faith. Also, I find it interesting that this journal is directed only at Christians, when the issues you are discussing apply to both Christians and Jews, and some possibly apply to Islam. Why then are you only angry with Christianity? Just something to think about.

(Random end-note, I'm so jealous of your photography.)
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:iconbobcat303:
bobcat303 Dec 12, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I find you incredibly worthy of respect. You keep your calm when your faith is being bashed, which I personally find to be the most contemptuous thing of all (of which my faith being bashed, etc etc).
I find people trying to defend themselves and their faith on here after being offended. I love how you find room to be kind for him, as well.
You are an amazing being. You have my good wishes.
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:iconlizzie-bitty:
Lizzie-Bitty Dec 18, 2012  Student Photographer
Wow... wasn't expecting that. I think maybe you are giving me too much credit. But thank you. :)
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:iconbobcat303:
bobcat303 Dec 18, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
:D
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:icondoraleepee:
doraleepee Aug 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
"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.”


God wanted a diverse world. He knew it wouldn’t work if we were ALL good or all bad. Have you ever read “The Giver”? Excellent novel to consider and think about. If there was no evil, how would we live? We wouldn’t have the luxuries we have now and God knows we wouldn’t be half as happy... And isn’t that God’s goal? To create a universe that doesn’t wholly revolve around himself? To make a planet that’s successful and people are for the most part happy in rather than a planet where people are neither happy, nor sad, nor angry? If we didn’t have evil, we’d more than likely have no emotions either, and I believe most of us want our emotions-for the good and the bad. It’s what makes us different from other animals- we FEEL. And it’s our consciences that let us down- not God. :no:

And one last thing-


"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.”


It’s God’s natural way of population control, if these “thousands of infants” didn’t die, how many people would be on this world right now? We have to have equal balance. Back in the day, it was animals that controlled our population. But now that God’s animals are overrun by humans, we need some way of balancing out. Imagine if these people didn’t die! More industry, pollution, fighting. It’s the natural way of life. We all have to go at some point. Like I said, if we had more population, we’d all self-destruct. The end of the world is pretty much fact, unless some ingenious NASA astronauts find a suitable planet to take refuge at. We’re just waiting for the day to happen and hoping that people will stop procreating long enough for time to slow. Our resources are already teetering. And as heartless as it may sound, people do have to die. That, or stop indulging in what they WANT and not NEED. Not all people need babies, that’s another population control- sterility. But with our brains still developing, we find ways around that. Sadly, it’s also the ways that will cause the humans’ destruction. Eventually, we’ll all just become like the dinosaurs. And the humans existence will just be a mark in another well-developed organism’s textbook.
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:iconmorphiul:
morphiul Aug 11, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
"As a Christian, you must believe that God created hell and indeed the capacity to do evil."
[citation needed] Speaking of which... have you even read a Bible before?

"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."
Yes... because free will is TOTALLY about "You can either choose good, or good." That makes us free, right? Even then, are you saying we should be coded with what God views as 'good?' How then are we free to choose? We are only free to choose how to do good and how to worship Him?

"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."
"Oh, I can't be thankful for anything because bad things happen!" Is it immoral to say I'm thankful for what I have, even if others are less fortunate? Would it then be hypocritical to say I'm sorry for those less fortunate?

"My observation is that only deranged psychopaths starve those whom they love to death."
Yes. You are right. Your point?

"It's exactly what you expect to find in a world without god."
What do you think a world WITH God should be like?

"Now I will definitely burn for this one, and only, unforgivable sin."
[context needed]

"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?"
It can't. Again, your point?

For someone who likes logic and evidence-based analysis (or at least, I'm guessing you since you also seem to like the 'scientific process'), I saw very little of it here. Even when explaining aspects of the Christian faith, or even God himself, you fail to provide even one researched verse to support your claims. I'm sure you have plenty of really good, thought-provoking questions for a Christian like me, but I for some reason highly doubt you've bothered to look for a single answer on your own.
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:iconivanandreevich:
IvanAndreevich Aug 11, 2012  Professional Photographer
| [citation needed] Speaking of which... have you even read a Bible before?

Show me a SINGLE Christian scholar / apologist who disputes that. God created everything FYI.

Yeah, unlike most Christians I've read the bible.

| Yes... because free will is TOTALLY about "You can either choose good, or good.

You can feed a homeless kitten or you can feed a homeless puppy. The possibility of slicing the puppy to pieces and feeding it to the kitten need not be a subset of things which are possible in a universe.

| Is it immoral to say I'm thankful for what I have, even if others are less fortunate?

Nope. However, when you say how kind and loving god is based on your personal experience you are not being objective. God is a psycho monster based on more objective measures of suffering in nature and humanity.

| Yes. You are right. Your point?

Either god is a deranged psycho, or he doesn't exist.

| What do you think a world WITH God should be like?

It would have a number of features which could not be explained by natural factors.

| [context needed]

[link] Have you read the bible?

| It can't. Again, your point?

Have you read the bible? God either pretends to or changes his mind all the time. He even acts surprised at some facts occasionally.

| you fail to provide even one researched verse to support your claims.

What did I claim that's controversial? Theological equivalent of 2+2.

If you haven't read the bible, it's not my fault. The references are very easy to find if something specific is needed.

| for some reason highly doubt you've bothered to look for a single answer on your own.

I have, and I found the one and only answer which makes sense.
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:iconmorphiul:
morphiul Aug 12, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
"Show me a SINGLE Christian scholar / apologist who disputes that. God created everything FYI."
Hmm… ok. The Bible does say he created the Earth and the universe. Where does it say anything about hell? Hell was the product of the fallen angel, FYI. Hell was not created by God. Hell was created when angels freely chose to separate themselves from God. Since angels and human beings were given free will, God allowed for the possibility of hell, but he did not directly create it, much like God did not create suffering or evil. Rather, humans with the abuse of their free will did.

"You can feed a homeless kitten or you can feed a homeless puppy. The possibility of slicing the puppy to pieces and feeding it to the kitten need not be a subset of things which are possible in a universe."
Interesting response to say the least.. So you want a world where evil is not possible? How is that free will? You can choose between good, and another kind of good. Basically, having what God calls 'good' engrained into you, therefore you have no choice. You must now worship God and accept his definition of 'good.' He created a race of robots. When God is supposed to be loving, this makes no sense.

"Nope. However, when you say how kind and loving god is based on your personal experience you are not being objective. God is a psycho monster based on more objective measures of suffering in nature and humanity."
There is suffering, therefore no God? Haven't heard that one before! So, you think God is 100% obligated to clean up after our mess?

"It would have a number of features which could not be explained by natural factors."
So, a world where there is no possible explanation but God?

"[link] Have you read the bible?"
I think you misunderstood me =) I asked for context, which you do not show. What you are most likely referring to as the 'unforgivable sin' needs more context than "God won't forgive me for this *cries*." I'm merely trying to see if you understand the 'unforgivable sin' beyond 'blasphemy is bad.'

"Have you read the bible? God either pretends to or changes his mind all the time. He even acts surprised at some facts occasionally."
Accepting someone's repentance and changing His mind are two very different things.

"What did I claim that's controversial?"
You make claims about the nature of God and the beliefs of Christianity, and provide no evidence of them. You just assume everybody is on board. That's just dangerous, and rather dishonest of you.

"I have, and I found the one and only answer which makes sense."
Well, way to misinterpret what I said… you have questions about God, and probably are ware of numerous 'contradictions' people like to throw around. I still doubt you've looked into them beyond "Hey! A contradiction! Therefore God's not real! Moving on…"

You know? Maybe you have read the Bible. But I can see you still don't understand it. Lots of people read it, but many interpret it incorrectly, or simply can't understand it at all (mainly because of the time gap of the original translations and the drastic differences between the original languages it was written in). I'm willing to admit this is why there are so many ignorant Christians, and so many confused readers in general.
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