Monday, March 28, 2011


Some Christians say that lack of belief in God is punished by Hell because He sent his Word to earth and it is clear; any concrete proof like modern-day miracles would undermine free will – it would force us to worship Him instead of allowing us to come to Him on our own. I object to this on several fronts. For one, one of the Apostles, Thomas, displayed doubt as to Jesus’ resurrection even after viewing it himself. While he was rebuked, it was only gently; yet in the same book, we learn that those who do not believe, despite having seen no miracles, will be punished.

No, my main problem is that we have lots of different competing Words written down that still survive to this day, let alone those that have fallen by the wayside. Even if we do believe in the Christian God, there are a multitude of different takes on that particular belief. Do we believe in salvation of works or faith, or both? Do we keep Sunday holy and do no work, or do we just go to church then? Do we pray in solitude, or in groups? Etc etc etc.

How many of these are correct? They can't all be, because they're contradictory. The world was created by God or sprang forth from Brahman, or something else; they can't all be right without them ALL being wrong in significant ways. So if the majority of religious Words are wrong, then why can't they all be wrong? If they're all flawed, how much of any is correct?

So even if Christianity is right, and their religion (the one they were presumably born into) happens, against all odds, to be correct... God sent down His Word, yet failed to make it stand out significantly among the many existing in the world. Logically, rationally, we have no more reason to believe in Yahweh or the divinity of Christ then we do in Vishnu, Allah or the Buddha. You find the Christian scriptures particularly inspiring; I don't. I see nothing in them that could not have been written by ordinary, non-divinely-inspired mortals from the time they were written. Some of the teachings I like, some I find wretched and abominable... and even those I like are not unique to those writings. The Golden Rule, for instance, existed in the form it's present in Christianity for hundreds of years prior to the arrival of Christ.

So if I die, and I ascend, and I find Yahweh standing there with Christ at his right side and they ask me why I didn't believe, I will simply say: "Lord, I can see now that I was mistaken. But I am a rational, thinking man, as You made me. I never felt Your presence in any way that could not have been explained without invoking a force that I could neither see nor hear nor touch. You hid yourself away so effectively that I had no logical reason to believe that You existed. However, despite not believing in any eternal reward, I acted as a good person. I loved my neighbour, I forgave my enemies, I turned the other cheek. I did this not in hope of eternal life but simply because it was good to do so. If you choose to send me to Hell, then that is your decision, but I would feel that that would be an injustice. I am as You made me, and I feel you would have been worse-served by a believer who did all of the above merely to gain reward than you were in life by myself."

And any God who wants to say no to that is no God I want anything to do with.

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