Friday, August 28, 2015

I Can't Believe in a God that Sends People to Hell

Here's another reason "atheism" is an irrational choice of the will.

Twice today I have encountered so called "atheists" who make the claim found in this blog's title. By itself it's proof that atheists hold to a belief system that requires more (blind) faith that what they decry.

Claiming a disbelief in a God that sends people to hell, assumes several things:

a. That God sends people to hell.

b. That God has the power to send people to hell.

c. That there's such a place as hell, to begin with.

d. That the person's going to hell have no say in the matter and are forced by said God to go to hell.


I don't know about you, but reason (that concept associated with logic) tells me:

1. If you can't believe in a God that sends people to hell, you must believe in a  God that sends people to heaven.

And of course, that begs the question. Is the claimed disbelief because he's sending everyone to hell, or just a few? And if just a few, why is that?

2. If an entity exists that has the power to send people to hell, then what name should we assign to that entity who has so much power over human beings? "He Overtly Condemns?" Can we shorten that to HOC? Can we then believe in HOC?

3. If there's a place called "hell," which is commonly referred to as a place of punishment, doesn't that assume there's a place called "not-hell" that might be a place of reward?

4. Is it possible that the entity that is claimed to be sending people to hell (that some refuse to believe in) loves them so much he allows them to go against his will and desire, and reject him, hate him, not believe in him...and consequently choose hell instead of that other place? Perhaps He (whoever HE is) isn't sending anyone to hell. Maybe we get to CHOOSE. Now, that's  unconditional love. If you want to walk off a cliff and fall to your death, I love you so much that I won't stop you...unless you ask me to stop you. But to do that you have to, ah believe that I can. Right?



8 comments:

  1. > If you can't believe in a God that sends people to hell, you must believe in a God that sends people to heaven.

    You are right, the way I stated it, IS a false dichotomy. But the belligerent claim of not believing in something BECAUSE that something does something, is a fallacy. If something doesn't exist why protest it? The protesting of something proves you hold its existence to be true.

    You prove my point when you state: " But God created the whole system in the first place - he's also all-knowing, meaning he knows before hand whether we will go to hell or not. Thus, we have no choice"

    If God doesn't exist, then he can't create, and you can't protest against something that doesn't exit.

    This further reinforces my point that you protest against a real being, not against its non-existence.

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  2. You state: "God's omniscience means he knows our future, thus we can't really choose. And he created it all, so he knew what the outcome would be, and COULD have chosen to create things differently such that they would not have played out as they did. So he is STILL making the choice, and he is still responsible for the fate of every person in Hell."

    This is an equivocation. "omniscience" is all knowing (as you state). But "knowing" has no control over "choosing". I may see a car about to have an accident. I know its future, but I can't steer the car away from the accident. That's up to the driver.

    Yes, he could have chose to create things differently but you don't know what the consequences of that "different" creation would be. You know nothing about it. It's a hypothetical. If He's omniscient, he does know. ... But you DO know (at least you've been told) what the consequences are of the current system. So, it does no good to claim a hypothetical when you know and choose to disobey what is real.

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  3. "...belief doesn't make sense, (it's not internally consistent) and most importantly, it is at odds with everything we know to be true about reality."

    This is a propositional statement without supporting evidence. It is an opinion, or at best the result of experiments with equivocated initial conditions. In my book, GROWING UP CHRISTIAN: Searching for a rational faith in the heartland of America" (http://www.stanwilliams.com) I cite numerous experiences where my Christian faith was verified by measurable physical facts. It made perfect sense, it was consistent with the orthodox teaching of the faith (although many denominations get a lot of things wrong) and it was perfectly in tune with reality. That is why I wrote the book, to put forth evidence for how Christianity can be verified by the scientific method.

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  4. Alas, I have a degree in physics...worked in the space program for a while. Did tests. Used math. Devised hypotheses and proved or disproved them. Helpful exercise. Proving to you, however, that the scientific method applies to religious beliefs, is beyond this com box's size. You might try looking into String Theory, which suggests that getting Newtonian and Quantum theories to work together requires philosophy (and possibly moral theology) as much as hard science. There are dimensions beyond the 3D-0T (as I call the 4) we live within that are required to explain reality. But we know so little about it even the 3D-0T. Our knowledge is immeasurably small.

    And, as you state "you can protest _____" but "it may not make any sense." Why? (1) You protest about something not existing but you are not omniscient "enough" to prove it doesn't exist. All of man's knowledge is a drop in the ocean compared to what there is to know. (2) I (and you) have evidence (the complex universe around us) that something intelligent and benevolent does exist. Your protest against the existence of God, is to be ridiculous and irrational. It does not fit with reality that surrounds you and of which your body and mind are composed. So, as you wish. Go ahead an protest the obvious.

    Look at your thumb and its functionality and explain to me how it does not have an intelligent, benevolent source behind its creation and continued existence. Everything in the Natural Universe (which is only part of reality), and especially those systems we see uniquely on Earth, are so complex, robust, self-perpetuating for the benefit of human life that only a super intelligence that loves us can explain their existence. Even when man tries to destroy the environment, the Earth comes back to life with systems we never new existed (e.g. the oil eating bugs that cleaned up the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico). You can protest all this, but you have to counter the scientific evidence of what exists as the percipient of a creator. Well, I guess you can deny it. But it makes no sense.

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  5. It may not be a good use of my time to pursue these arguments with you, PStryder, if you're not willing to evaluate the evidence around you. Logic will not convince an entrenched will. But if you're serious about investigating the claims of intelligent design and the evidence that points to the source we call God, then here's the best resource I know of, http://www.reasons.org/ led by a cosmologist.

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  6. > Alas, I have a degree in physics.

    That's the exact thing everyone I have ever said "Learn more physics" to in this context replies with. Makes me think all religious adherents must have a degree in physics.

    I'll note that you completely ignored the 'talking from within your framework for the purpose of the discussion' portion of my post. Telling.

    Are you really go to throw out the design argument? I'll take the science of evolution (which has no need of a creative directing force) as the explanation for how any particular thing you wish to point to. Nothing we know about the natural world indicates there must be a designer. If nothing else, it doesn't tell us anything about any possible god at all. Because, as you must know, science can only investigate the natural.

    Now, a caveat to that is that if some claimed supernatural thing can affect the reality we live in some way we can discern, then science could investigate it. With all the claims made about the nature of God by believers, science would have turned up evidence - hard, verifiable, reproducible evidence - of god by now, if he actually existed.

    So far, you've not said anything new, surprising, or interesting to me.

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  7. > Prove that you are a rationale, open minded investigator of truth, and not just a belligerent that wants to argue against a God who loves you and wants your happiness?"

    I'm an atheist - I got that way by seeking truth.

    We could keep going around and around, but as I said - everything you have said is the same stuff I have read/heard from every other believer I have had this conversation with.

    I am now bored with you.

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  8. LOL! I'm glad. I'm not very interesting. After all, this was not about me, but about our creator. Someone who is far more interesting.

    But you sought me out, or rather chose to engage me in this discussion. I think what's going on here is that God is seeking you out. (i.e. He's the Hound of Heaven.) He's trying to tell you through me and the others you've met that he loves you and wants only good for you, here and for eternity.

    Because of his love for you, he prompts you to engage people like me hoping you'll be open to Him, not me. I'm nothing important. I don't have all the answers. Only God does, as revealed through his Son, Jesus Christ. But you have to seek him with your heart, not just your mind. He's there anytime. Just ask.

    But PStryder, I cannot help but challenge the logic of your position. Unless you want to equivocate the term "atheist" the classical definition is that you're someone who claims "there is not God." You claim to have evidence of such a claim. But you've provided none. I, on the other hand, have reminded you that the evidence of God is all around you and is part of you. That if CHANCE was what drove the universe you would be a pile of garbage rotting away in some alley. But that is not what you are. You have been created in the image of God, you have been given a divine nature, and that nature includes the ability to choose or reject what is all around you.

    The stars proclaim the glory of God, and the Earth reveals his wonders. And yet, in your omniscience (arrogant omniscience, I might add) you claim to know everything about the universe, about reality and in knowing everything you can claim without a shadow of a doubt, 'There is no God." Isn't that amazing that you know so little and claim to know so much?

    But you can know so much more and be happy and never bored again, if you just ask God to reveal himself to you, and take away your pride. He can do that, and your life will be immeasurably happy.

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