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Author Topic:   God is cruel
Protomenace
Junior Member (Idle past 4740 days)
Posts: 15
Joined: 04-02-2006


Message 1 of 301 (300366)
04-02-2006 7:15 PM


First let's make some assumptions. Let's assume that god is real, god created me, and atheists go to hell.

Ok, so if god created me, didn't he make me the way I am? He made a person who requires empirical evidence to believe things. As we all know, god has supplied no such evidence. So I go to hell? Wait a second, that seems a little unfair god. It's not my fault I'm the way I am, it's your fault. You made me this way. Isn't that a bit cruel on god's part?

So, I have to assume that A. God is cruel. or B. God isn't real.

This message has been edited by protomenace, 04-02-2006 06:52 PM

Promoted to Faith & Belief by AdminJar


Replies to this message:
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riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 92 days)
Posts: 5746
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 2 of 301 (300369)
04-02-2006 7:25 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Protomenace
04-02-2006 7:15 PM


Not to worry
If God created it all, then everything you see is evidence of Him.

If you choose not to believe it is, then you are exercising your free will.

The bible says that if you don't believe, then the rocks will.

Our destinations are all the same, but the path there is different for each of us. I wouldn't say your going to hell for being an atheist, but if you feel like your going to hell for being one, then maybe you should start looking harder for God.

Sounds to me like you desire the truth.

John 3:21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Protomenace, posted 04-02-2006 7:15 PM Protomenace has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6649
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 3 of 301 (300372)
04-02-2006 7:36 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Protomenace
04-02-2006 7:15 PM


Hello, protomenace, and welcome to EvC.

When people discuss these types of questions, about the ethics of the deity, they seem to make three fundamental but unspoken assumptions. The contradictions arises because these assumptions contradictory.

(1) There is an absolute standard of morality. So far, I have seen no compelling argument for the existence of an absolute standard of morality. Morality, by its very nature, is (or seems to me to be) subjective. So God cannot be judged to be good or bad, just or unjust, cruel or nice; or, to be more precise, God can be both good and bad, just and unjust, cruel and nice. It depends on whose viewpoint that is under consideration. That God sees himself as just and that you see him as unjust is not surprising, and not a contradiction.

(2) Even if there is an absolute standard of morality, God does not necessarily exemplify it. Maybe God is cruel and mean and unjust. Or maybe he is more or less good, but not perfectly good according to this standard. In that case, you might be correct, but you'll just have to deal with it.

(3) Finally, God might exemplify some absolute standard of good and bad; however, the problem is that your own sense of ethics and morality, based as they are on the norms of one particular culture in history (North America in the early 21st century) may not reflect this standard. In other words, God is perfectly good and just in sending you to hell despite that he has not given you the ability to discern his existence (I believe this is close to the Calvinist approach). Your going to hell is good; that you don't recognize it is your own problem.

What is amusing, of course, is that religious fundamentalist make these same three errors. While the first two might be expected, it is funny how they assume that what is good and bad must be reflected in their own cultural biases. This is why they often get tied up when they try to rationlize the killing of the first born during the first Passover, for example, or the confusing threads ongoing about evolution disproving God because God is good and evolution is bad, or something like that.

Edited to add the last clause of the last sentence.

This message has been edited by Chiroptera, 02-Apr-2006 11:43 PM


"Religion is the best business to be in. It's the only one where the customers blame themselves for product failure."
-- Ellis Weiner (quoted on the NAiG message board)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Protomenace, posted 04-02-2006 7:15 PM Protomenace has not yet responded

Faith
Member
Posts: 31821
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 4 of 301 (300526)
04-03-2006 9:12 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Protomenace
04-02-2006 7:15 PM


First let's make some assumptions. Let's assume that god is real, god created me, and atheists go to hell.

Ok, so if god created me, didn't he make me the way I am?

Yes and no. Human beings were made in the image of God, that is, with God's moral and intellectual qualities, but Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ever since then we are flawed, we are spiritually dead to God and our moral and intellectual abilities are distorted.

He made a person who requires empirical evidence to believe things.

Since we are spiritually dead because of Original Sin, we have only a very faulty ability to discern God, and since our intellectual abilities are flawed our ability to discern empirical evidence is likewise not trustworthy.

As we all know, god has supplied no such evidence.

Bible believing Christians disagree. The evidence is abundant but we have lost the ability to recognize it.

So I go to hell? Wait a second, that seems a little unfair god. It's not my fault I'm the way I am, it's your fault. You made me this way. Isn't that a bit cruel on god's part?

So, I have to assume that A. God is cruel. or B. God isn't real.

I believe the fact that we are fallen creatures since Adam and Eve's disobedience explains it all.

1) God is not cruel, but the consequences that our sins bring upon us are very cruel indeed. But God, being a merciful good God, has given us a way out, even sacrificing His own Son to pay for our sins so that we can be set free of them.

2) God is very real but the ability to discern Him has been lost because of our sins.

This message has been edited by Faith, 04-03-2006 09:18 AM


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Replies to this message:
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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5393
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 5 of 301 (300531)
04-03-2006 9:27 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Faith
04-03-2006 9:12 AM


God is very real but the ability to discern Him has been lost because of our sins.

Or at least because of the "sin" of a couple of mythical people who didn't even know what good and evil meant.........


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Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 30997
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 6 of 301 (300542)
04-03-2006 10:09 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Protomenace
04-02-2006 7:15 PM


On your assumptions.
If for the sake of this discussion we accept your assumptions:

Let's assume that god is real, god created me, and atheists go to hell.

then yes, there is no other possible logical conclusion that that god is cruel.

So the question, at least for me, would be, "If GOD is not simply cruel, can those assumptions be true?"

Let's look through them individually and see if one or more might be wrong.

Your first assumption is that GOD is real. That's one that can never be proven and is not even dependant on evidence, but rather something someone must take on faith.

If GOD exists, then She exists even if all the available evidence says She does not exist.

If GOD dooes not exist, then It does not exist even if all the evidence says It does exist.

So your first assumption is simply a matter of faith at this point and for the sake of the argument we will say "Yes, GOD exists."

The next one is simple. If GOD exists then by definition, GOD is the creator and so GOD created you as you are. He gave you the power and capability of critical thinking and as Creator, also created all of the evidence that you are using to make your judgements.

The final assumption is "... that all Atheists go to hell." If that is true, then based on the analysis of the first two assumptions, GOD is cruel. If folk, such as myself, believe that GOD is not cruel, then the only possible explanation is that the third assumption is false, all Atheists do not go to hell.

The question then becomes, "Is it possible within the Christian framework, to believe that all Atheists do not go to hell?"

IMHO that is not only supportable within the Christian framework, based either on the Creeds or on the Bible, but is the whole message of Christ.

The Creeds say that Jesus came down to earth for all mankind; they don't say that GOD forgave only a select few. In addition, the Bible supports the position that whether you go to hell or not will be based on what you as an individual do, not what you profess or believe. This is particularly evident in John 3 and in Matthew 25.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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Replies to this message:
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Brian
Member (Idle past 3132 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 7 of 301 (300546)
04-03-2006 10:20 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by riVeRraT
04-02-2006 7:25 PM


Re: Not to worry
If God created it all, then everything you see is evidence of Him.

I think under the assumptions in the OP, what protomenace is getting at is that he/she cannot see the evidence that God created everything because God has created him/her without that ability.

For God not to be cruel under the opening premises, and to fit in with your stance, then everyone should be able to look at our world and conclude that God created it.

There may well then be the problem of which god it was of course, but the opening premises negate your 'free will' defence.

Brian.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by riVeRraT, posted 04-02-2006 7:25 PM riVeRraT has responded

Replies to this message:
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mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4656
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 8 of 301 (300550)
04-03-2006 10:29 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Brian
04-03-2006 10:20 AM


Re: Not to worry
For God not to be cruel under the opening premises, and to fit in with your stance, then everyone should be able to look at our world and conclude that God created it.

That is possible, but they have the choice not to.

There may well then be the problem of which god it was of course, but the opening premises negate your 'free will' defence.

I fail to see how, because it strikes me that the evidence is 100% in favour of us having choices in life. If you have the ability to choose to think a certain way, then you can dismiss anything.

If I chose to be a burglar and justified it, then is that God's fault? Thanks, now God can go to prison instead of me.

Nobody is forced to choose or think anything in particular, so as far as I can see, there is no credence in inferring that God must be cruel because of how people are.

This isn't proven, therefore the contrary cannot be negated. If the position was proved THEN you could definitely negate the contrary position. But the atheist must show us why their argument is valid. IMHO, it's hard to convince us that we don't hve choices. Indeed, it seems silly.

This message has been edited by mike the wiz, 04-03-2006 10:32 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Brian, posted 04-03-2006 10:20 AM Brian has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by Brian, posted 04-03-2006 10:37 AM mike the wiz has responded
 Message 27 by Dan Carroll, posted 04-03-2006 1:51 PM mike the wiz has responded

Brian
Member (Idle past 3132 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 9 of 301 (300554)
04-03-2006 10:37 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by mike the wiz
04-03-2006 10:29 AM


Re: Not to worry
HI Mike,

That is possible, but they have the choice not to.

Not under the premises of the OP, which is what I think proto is on about. He/she is claiming that God made him/her ONLY with the ability to accept empirical evidence as the work of a creator. He/she doesn't include a choice in the OP.

I fail to see how, because it strikes me that the evidence is 100% in favour of us having choices in life. If you have the ability to choose to think a certain way, then you can dismiss anything.

But, again, this is not what the OP is on about. Proto is claiming that God did not give him/her the ability to recognise that there is a choice. You are going outside the parameters of proto's argument.

The only conclusion, under the premises of the OP's argument is that God is cruel.

However, we can only say that God is cruel from our own perspective. While I would say that it was cruel of God to order Joshua to tell his soldiers to murder all the men, women, and children in Jericho, or it was cruel to murder innocent Egyptian babies, others may think that these deeds weren't cruel at all.

Brian.


This message is a reply to:
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riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 92 days)
Posts: 5746
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 10 of 301 (300557)
04-03-2006 10:45 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Brian
04-03-2006 10:20 AM


Re: Not to worry
What mike said, it's about choices.
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mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4656
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 11 of 301 (300562)
04-03-2006 10:52 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Brian
04-03-2006 10:37 AM


Re: Not to worry
Hi Bri.

The only conclusion, under the premises of the OP's argument is that God is cruel.

Under my premisses pertaining to pigs, concluding pigs are purple with white and red spots, is the only conclusion. ;)

The argument, is, I suppose;

If God created me to think in a certain way, then because I think in an unGodly manner, then God is cruel because this will make me burn.

It doesn't seem a frightfully solid argument. Those premisses are certainly bold. Therefore they need supporting.

I'm not convinced atheism is a major problem. The bible talks more about sin in regards to hell. It's the requirement of perfection through Jesus Christ which might make it hard for an atheist to go therein, not the atheism itself(for it's the sins that are the imperfection remember, not the atheism). Therefore I think God infact saves whom he saves, at his discresion.

Therefore, theists and atheists alike, are unperfect. The only difference is our belief that Christ payed the penalty for our lack of perfection, thereby being in place of us. It's a problem therefore, if an atheist won't acknowledge his life's sins.

It is unclear as to whether atheism = hell, IMHO, because of important passages, such as the seperation of the sheep from the goats.

Sure, unsophisticated believers might be proponents of preching hell fire in regards to atheism, but their arguments fall apart under scrutiny, IMHO. There is no solid and conclusive position if we look at the bible alone, because of it's apparently contradictory positions.

TTFN

This message has been edited by mike the wiz, 04-03-2006 10:53 AM


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Brian
Member (Idle past 3132 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 12 of 301 (300566)
04-03-2006 11:02 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by mike the wiz
04-03-2006 10:52 AM


Re: Not to worry
Hi Mike,

It doesn't seem a frightfully solid argument. Those premisses are certainly bold. Therefore they need supporting.

I agree, it is a very weak argument, but proto did say that for the purposes of this discussion we were to assume that his/her premises are true. Anything we add to that is in addition to proto's premises.

But, like any argument, the premises need to be tested to see if they are valid or not. Proto makes a logical conclusion based on the premises, but the premises may be false.

I'm not convinced atheism is a major problem. The bible talks more about sin in regards to hell.

Sin has also been defined as separation from God, so it may well be a problem for atheists.

The bible talks more about sin in regards to hell. It's the requirement of perfection through Jesus Christ which might make it hard for an atheist to go therein, not the atheism itself(for it's the sins that are the imperfection remember, not the atheism).

But, atheism is a very big sin. It doesn't even sit well with the decalogue.

It's a problem therefore, if an atheist won't acknowledge his life's sins.

But for the atheist to acknowledge many sins would require the athiest to acknowledge that there is a God.

Wouldn't you say that to deny that Jesus triumphed over death was a sin?

It is unclear as to whether atheism = hell, IMHO, because of important passages, such as the seperation of the sheep from the goats.

Atheists are neither sheep nor goats.

There is no solid and conclusive position if we look at the bible alone, because of it's apparently contradictory positions.

Regarding the Bible, there is hardly anything in it that is solid and conclusive, some group always manages to interpret the text to fit what they want it to.

Brian.


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jar
Member
Posts: 30997
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 13 of 301 (300568)
04-03-2006 11:15 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Brian
04-03-2006 11:02 AM


About the Decalogue.
But, atheism is a very big sin. It doesn't even sit well with the decalogue.

I don't understand how you arrive at that conclusion?

Wouldn't you say that to deny that Jesus triumphed over death was a sin?

No, not really.

This message has been edited by jar, 04-03-2006 10:22 AM


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Brian
Member (Idle past 3132 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 14 of 301 (300570)
04-03-2006 11:30 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by jar
04-03-2006 11:15 AM


Re: Not to worry
I don't understand how you arrive at that conclusion?

Quite easily.

We regularly have other 'gods', such as money that we worship.

Regularly take God's name in vain.

Never keep the sabbath.

Regularly covet goods and wives.

To deny Christ's victory over death rules out salvation according to Paul.

If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.

So, Paul maintains that Jesus did rise form the dead and Christianity is worthy of having faith in. Atheists deny Jesus' resurrection, therefore we think Christian salvic path is a fairytale.

I've said a million times, if it isn't necessary to believe in the resurrection then Jesus' execution was a circus act.

According to Christianity, salvation comes through Jesus Christ. I think Jesus was either a con man, a self deluded nut, some sort of social reformer, or a phantom. I can't see me checkin in at the pearly gates.

Brian.


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 Message 13 by jar, posted 04-03-2006 11:15 AM jar has responded

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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 301 (300572)
04-03-2006 11:43 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Protomenace
04-02-2006 7:15 PM


I'd have to agree with jar on this one.

First let's make some assumptions. Let's assume that god is real, god created me, and atheists go to hell.

Assuming these premises are true, I could conclude that god is cruel.

But, I do not think that god is cruel, so I would have to say that the premise that is incorrect is that all atheists go to hell.

So, I have to assume that A. God is cruel. or B. God isn't real.

Just wanted to point our that you could assume the third one, the title of the thread, that god does exist and is cruel.

The discussion doesn't have to end at that though. One way to move forward would be to discuss this part:

Ok, so if god created me, didn't he make me the way I am?

and that if your actions are predetermined, and you are not responsible for them, then how can you be justly punished for something that you were made to do.

I would have to say that even though you were made the way you are, you are still responsible for your actions because the are not predetermined and you choose to do the things you do.

Do you choose to be atheist even though it is a result of the way you were created to deny things that lack evidence? and if you do not choose to be atheist, should you be punished for something you didn't choose to do?

I would say that god does not punish you for something that you didn't choose to do, and that being an atheist, because of the way you were created, does not warrant punishment. Punishment is deserved for the choices that you do make, the way you behave and treat other people. Simply being atheist is not enough to be punished, but being bad is; and if being bad is a result of your athiesm, then the atheism could indirectly warrant punishment, although atheism is not usually a cause for being bad.


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