On Judgement, Good, and Evil
I’m back to answering a series of comments in response to this blog entry.
I have a lot to say about this particular comment because here we are getting to the crux of all I feel is wrong with the Fundamentalist Christian perspective on reality. If there is such a thing as an “all loving” god, I simply can’t see how that is represented in a fundamentalist interpretation of biblical teachings.
So here, then, is my original answer to question #8, which read: If you were to die, and you were before God. And he was getting ready to pass judgement on you, What would be your reaction or thoughts? What plea would you give him so he does not judge you harshly?
The first part of your question is useless. I’m going to die. No need to make a statement that assumes I might not.
My first reaction? Surprise. I’d be genuinely shocked that the Christian god was real. Then I’d be angry. Because the Christian god is a petty, bigoted asshole. I would tell him that I tried to treat others kindly and tried to atone for my mistakes with the people I’d wronged and if my failure to believe that Jesus was required for salvation meant I was going to hell, fuck him. I wouldn’t beg that god for forgiveness because it is pretty clear that I wouldn’t have a chance of getting it.
You simultaneously believe in a god who loves and yet would also engage in the most vindictive act possible by punishing someone for eternity simply because they didn’t believe in him. Your god is selfish and cruel and if he really does exist, I would not want to spend eternity in his presence.
The comment I received in response is this:
Is it vindictive when a judge punishes a thief? God is a perfect judge. When you stand before Him you will be judged on the standard of the 10 Commandments. This is His law. Everyone will be found guilty because there is no one among us who is perfect.
That being said, would you call a judge selfish and cruel for imposing punishment to a criminal? But can you imagine standing before that judge and then someone else stepping in and saying, I’ll take Petsnakereggie’s punishment? That is what happened.
God is just because he condemns those who break the law. God is loving because unlike our own judges, he provided a way for you to avoid the punishment.
Here’s my problem with characterizing god as a “perfect judge” – he has only one punishment. If I go before a judge in this world, I will be punished based on the severity of my crime. If I shoplifted a candy bar, I’ll probably get a fine and not much else.
If I killed ten people during a crime spree, I can expect that I will at least be stuck in jail for the rest of my life. Possibly worse.
Now, if I go before god, there is only one punishment. I spend eternity in Hell. Unless I managed to do one specific thing during my life, that’s what I’m going to get. Guaranteed.
Doesn’t matter if all I did was tell a few white lies or killed millions people. The punishment for Mao Tse Tung and I will be exactly the same.
Because God set up the rules so we’ll all screw them up.
There is nothing perfect in that system. God created laws he knew we couldn’t follow. Instead of just forgiving us and saying “you know what – I made it pretty tough on you but you still did your best,” god made the whole thing a sort of game. We can’t follow all the rules he set up and in th end, we all lose. Our only hope for “victory” is to follow one rule that has nothing to do with the game we are playing.
Let’s examine what god did according to the bible (super high level), OK?
He created us.
He put us in a paradise and then told us that we specifically were not permitted to do one thing.
We did that.
We have been eternally tainted by that act to the point that no matter how hard we try in this life, somebody else has to take the blame for us in order for God to let us into heaven.
But here’s the thing: god made us this way.
He made us imperfect. He’s a perfect being, right? If he had wanted to, he could have created us in a way there would be no chance we’d disobey his direct command. He didn’t do that.
Because he’s a “perfect” being, I have to assume he did that on purpose. He knew we’d screw it up.
And ever since then, he’s been tossing the majority of the human race into hell because of faults that he gave us to begin with.
Because he made the rules, made us unable to follow them and then set himself up to be the final judge of his own sadistic game, I would say that yes, a judge can be selfish and cruel.
What god wants is all the credit. He created us and therefore we have to spend our lives giving him constant praise for that act. Then we have to thank him for being “merciful” by providing and avenue to forgiveness for the faults he gave us.
If you ask me, he should be asking for forgiveness because he created us to spend our lives constantly thinking we are “evil” because we can never live up to his unrealistic standards.
Then, for a follow-up, he does the most illogical thing possible by having his son killed so he can forgive us for the sins that are his fault to begin with.
Why couldn’t he just forgive us? He’s supposed to be all-powerful. Why didn’t he have the power to just forgive us?
The only logical answer to that question I can come up with is that he didn’t want to.
Given that the punishment for all of us is exactly the same, I can only view god as a sadistic tyrant who really doesn’t like to let people into heaven.
Consider this: God is supposed to love me unconditionally. Sort of like I love my kids.
Now, if one of my boys did something horrible when he grows up, I’m still going to love him. Say he commits rape, which I would think was reprehensible. He could go to jail and the odds are I would visit him and treat him kindly because I love him and I want to forgive him.
I wouldn’t place conditions on that. I’d forgive him because he’s my son and I love him.
God ought to love me more than I love my son, shouldn’t he? Why would god place conditions on me that I’d never place on my own children?
I don’t understand how God’s behavior can be defined as “love” or how his concept of morality can be defined as “good.”
When you stand back from the dogma and detach yourself from the desire to make sense out of the acts of god, you begin to see that his acts make no sense at all. The behavior of god is at right angles with what he is supposed to represent.
Take the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of egypt. God hardens the pharaoh’s heart to ensure that he will get to kill the first-born child of every household.
When searching for arguments as to why God would commit such an obviously sadistic act, the answer is pretty much that God did it so we’d all appreciate how great he is. He did it to boost his ego.
And I’m supposed to think that this being is the “perfect judge?” I’m afraid we have very different ideas of the word “perfect.”
To me, perfection includes the ability to realize that killing a bunch of babies so people will recognize how awesome you are is an evil act.
And here is the crux of my issue with god as interpreted by fundamentalism. God is judgemental, wrathful, murderous (we shalt not kill but god can do it whenever he damn well wants), jealous, arbitrary and contradictory. He is not any better than we are but he gets to sit in judgement on us because he made us and he made the rules.
He’s a playground bully and he wants everyone’s lunch money. Then he wants all of us to praise him for taking it.
If he is real and if he sits in judgement on me, I’ll be sure to tell him all this. He won’t give a shit and he’ll sentence me to eternal torture because he gave me a brain and then freaked out when I chose to use it.
And Jesus, the all forgiving, all loving “savior” won’t do dick because I didn’t accept him into my heart.
Yes, that seems really just.