- Published on Saturday, 16 April 2011 07:10
- Written by John Draper
- Hits: 2095
Saved from what? Christians who think that you have to believe to be saved say that you are saved from hell - eternal punishment. So they not only believe you can be saved from Hell but that there is an afterlife and that their loving god would punish souls for eternity for NOT believing. My first reaction is that if god loves us and is willing to save us from hell then why give us reasoning ability that allows us to NOT believe? Seems unfair and unjust. That is, seems unloving. God sure does move in mysterious ways. This belief is generally followed by fundamentalist Christians and Muslims. I thought they must have something in common! Catholics have a different slant - you have to be forgiven by a priest (or maybe god directly) - but believing is not, by itself, what it takes. You start with belief but need the extra forgiveness thing. You can't be forgiven if you don't believe in it. So Catholics do require belief for you to be saved. Other Christians believe you just have to be a good person - so they would think good atheists would not go to hell. In fact some Christians don't believe in hell at all (One bishop here and another here). But we are talking about those who do believe you must believe.
So let me get this straight:
- God creates us with a mind that can reason.
- He gives us free will so we can choose and don't believe everything we are told.
- He then thinks to himself: "these creatures must believe in me or I will punish them not just for life but for an infinite number of lives."
- He then provides no evidence that a thinking person would accept as proof.
- He encourages some emotional salespeople (otherwise known as imams, witch doctors, priests, ministers, parsons, pastors etc) to try to convince the thinkers to give up on their god-given talent and have "faith".
- Although the non-believers are good people - in fact many are better than many of the believer sinners - he sends their souls to eternal torture.
If there is a god, and he does these kinds of things, he is obviously an evil god. Why should I trust such a god? If he does these kinds of things, then he could easily be lying about hell - maybe I'm going there anyway. Believing won't make any difference. Maybe what he wants is for us to pass a test and discover the correct religion - Shia Muslim, Baptist Christian, Catholic, Anglican, Buddhist or one of the thousands of different sects that exist. How do I know which of these this tricky god wants me to believe in?
Of course, "saved" can also mean a conversion of some kind. I would need to have an emotional feeling that "God has saved me" and "God loves me" so that I'm "saved". But this really is the same as finding the right sect or set of beliefs.
If you ever talk to a Christian who believes in all this and you ask why would God punish his poor, limited, less than perfect creatures like this, they will tell you that they are being punished for rejecting God. This despite the fact that many of the non-believers (e.g. Muslims) have never had a chance to "know Jesus". This means that millions of unbelieving people who have never had any chance to accept and have certainly therefore not rejected Jesus will be tortured for an infinite number of lifetimes. And this is a good god?
The atheists who are "too stupid" to know any better will be there with them since they thought that reason was meant to be applied. Big mistake. No, according to the saved ones, you are supposed to follow your emotions - called faith. How am I supposed to know that I should do that? Am I supposed to accept what a priest tells me? How do I know he's right and not an imam down the road?
If I think about these things for a while, I can only conclude that it's NOT that believers are saved, it's that they THINK they are saved. Too bad.