So some background on this blog. The other day I posted a blog style quip about god and his forsaking. To which John replied. Now we have been commenting back and forth for the last several days on blogs. He has written a blog about what he feels are my misunderstandings of Christianity and the forgiveness of sin. This blog is dedicated to my response to his blog.
John, you and I may differ an many points, but I am capable of a logical retort to your previous blog. I don’t feel that I need any juvenile stance to explain my thinking. We both are aware that I don’t believe in your deity, or the doctrine which you subscribe to. In fact my being an atheist is the establishing of that point. Just as you are an established theist. I hope to meet your standards of logic based reasoning.
Now to the blog. I am going to bring each paragraph and break it down point by point so as to keep this on track, for those of you would like to read the article in its entirety I will post the link.
“It might seem superficial to you Rachel, but confession of sins, is not the stamped ticket to heaven. It gets put that way but really that is not the reason why anybody should go to heaven, no murderer, pedophile, rapist or homosexual is going to heaven because he confessed. Neither these people are going to hell for not confessing. There are somethings in your posts, which to me are mis-representations of what my faith holds to. But it is either because of your misunderstanding, lacking a context or simply because that is what you have heard from Christians at rallies, on the T.V, in church, on the street or the internet and therefore you treat their stance on things with an air of authenticity by their teachings. However bad religion has caused much of the confusion. Sometimes the true message never gets out. I am not saying that everything you ever heard was wrong but may be some of them were wrong, some of them were not fully explained, and some were explained wrongly or in a bad way. Some were human ideas with an air of authority, such as they might have been treated by Christians as they would treat scriptural authority. I have been a victim of religion like this and I can tell you first hand that the consequences are nothing short of disastrous.” John A. David.
I want to establish a pattern of thinking. I find it offensive that you would add homosexual to the list of people who have committed horrendous acts against humanity. For the sake of entertaining your ideology I will continue, but some friends of mine who I dearly adore are homosexuals, and I would call them better people then most “christians.”
It is superficial to say that one can change their heart after committing one of the most horrific acts abusing humanity. So lets assume there is a god, and he is as you are beginning to describe. He knows the hearts and deeds and intentions of his followers and those who “stray.” Now we have to assume he is not guilty (god) of having created man ill and then, under penalty of hell and suffering, forced him to spend his life repenting for his sickness. That way we can free god from being part of the collective guilt for having created sin. Now assume that everyone is a sinner, not just your list, but all of humanity. Well then we have to assume either there are levels of sickness or all sicknesses are equal.
Now John establishes in his next paragraph his ideas on this.
“Consider this, take a paper and draw a circle by hand using no geometrical tools, now you might not be able to draw a perfect circle but you will draw something which might look like a circle in the loose definition of the word but geometrically would not be considered what you may call a full or perfect circle. Being good without having the essence of virtue is the same. People can be good without being virtuous and so they may look like virtuous but they are not, not in the perfect sense of the word. Because like the circle you drew by your own hand, these people have some problems. Your hand drawn circle, looks like a circle but it has a few rough edges, some indented line of force which did not end the way it was supposed to. So are the people, who by their own selves and efforts are somewhat mixed, good and bad together. I have truly seen no one, who does not have the same traits of a hand drawn circle which is not perfectly drawn on some side. No person is truly good in every way, would you agree? We are good but we have some bad in us too, whether that bad is murder in thought or a simple lie, it is because we lack perfection in goodness. A bad act is caused by having a bad thought even if the act itself is missing, the thought only came because there was something missing for us to be truly incorruptible, unless its not by our own doing.”
So by this assessment all people are equal, in that they can’t make a perfect circle. Now that I feel this has been directed at a ten year old child with no concept of sin, we can move to the next paragraph. I don’t subscribe to the good/bad doctrine of people. We are just humans. To say we all have bad in us mandates that we are all a little evil, and sick and so we can’t help the horrible things we do. I refuse to believe that everyone is a bit evil. Just because your god seems bent punishing humans for the crime of birth does not mean the rest of us see it that way.
“Now imagine this, you lie sometimes in the capacity of a normal human being, I am Hitler and I kill 6million Jews, and the christian right next to me cheats on his wife, the gay man across the street is watching porn, a lady is beating 3 year old daughter for wetting her bed, a drug addict is injecting himself with what will be his last dose of heroine. A priest is having pedophile desires, a rapist is being overwhelmed by his urges and he realizes he soon has to go out and do something. A con is hatching a plot to rob a jewelry store. A man is sending his son to child labor. An Indian women is being burnt alive with her deceased husband according to the ritual of Sati, by the local community. Kim Jong-il of orders a mass massacre, Americans drops the A-bombs on Japan, Al-Qaeda hits the twin towers, a suicide bomber attacks a public place. A mosque is set on fire, a church is stoned, in the Tiananmen Square tanks run over students protesting against the Chinese government, Vietnamese women and children are being napalmed but the men doing so are awarded medals and the stars.”
So you establish a sin is a sin without regard to severity and accountability. I disagree as I am sure would many individuals. First my understanding of a sin is “something you know in your heart is wrong and do without regard to the wrong you are doing.” It can cover many things, however the bible stipulates certain things as sins, and even gives punishments by severity of them. Which was not part of your forgiveness model. Now should you be a follower of scripture, to follow the new testament is not to dismiss the old. In fact that was stated by Jesus. He in fact said, ” I have not come here to do away with the ways of old, but to fulfill the prophecy.” So every statement of punishment in the old testament is established as the same. His dying was to end the sacrificing of animals, and death for sin. However it did not establish alleviation for guilt or punishment. Stating that god knows and judges your heart accordingly then means he has to judge what you have done in this time on earth and reward/punish according. The only reward offered is heaven, the only punishment hell. That is after life.
So lets say for your purposes that Hitler is equal in sin to a guy who cheated on his wife, or even thought about it. Equating the deaths of six million people with an act, or thought of an act is absurd. In no way can either of those things be equal. If they are in the mind/heart of your deity then human morality wins by default. After all we put tags on crimes/sins which are equal and proportionate to the deed. We do not punish thinking, which is good, because it is insane to punish a mere thought. After all the human conscience exists to think, and understand.
When you justify this (all sin being equal) with ex-pedophile, ex-killer, ex-rapist then you ignore facts. The fact is in each of those cases the repeat is likely to be 80-100%, even if the person is truly remorseful and repentant. The fact is prison eliminates vast opportunities for their continued function. Other wise it is like a person with with a crack addiction at a crack buffet. They will do what they simply are allowed to. And if your god can see justice being rewarding a murder equal to a person who spent their life helping the poor and sacrificing, then obviously his idea of justice is a bit skewed. Regardless of your intent to solidify the notion that we are not qualified to judge a soul or actions, or the persons heart. The fact remains that dismissing a horrible action and rewarding the person equal to another person based on the idea they thought of a sin is just sloppy justice. If a person thinks about masturbating it is in no way equal to murder. No matter how you see the ejaculate. This ideology of all sin being equal holds no merit. There is no place in the bible which verifies this. If this was the interpretation which od also held to be true then his punishment for all deeds would be the same and looking at scripture it was not. Each situation was vastly different. So how can you be sure he would not feel the person was not punished enough in this life and needs continued punishment. Perhaps this is also something you have not considered, even if the person is truly repentant.
It makes no sense to set up a punishment/reward system which has a loophole in it the titanic can fit through. If there are conditions imposed upon us, and nothing we can do meets those conditions, but only an mediator can help us with the requirements and that mediator has all power, then we have to go by their mediation. The mediator in this case would be Jesus. Now since he said that he was not doing away with the ways of the old, then he established all the same rules applied. Which meant stoning, burnings, eye for an eye, death to homosexuals, death to adulterers and murders. Which does not leave much time for repenting, when you are busy being killed. Now say there is enough time for a prayer before you are killed. Well then how do you weigh the sincerity. That is flawed as well. So what I see logically here is a completely flawed system meant to make man always guilty. In thought and deed he is forever on the wrong side of his thinking and actions.
Furthermore accusations of sinning by murder, death, or war are not applicable. God himself commanded the death of thousands because of their location. Simply to remove them from the land so that Abraham could inhabit it. God also had no issue with rape, as long as the man then married the virgin he raped. Since a man was not prohibited from any number of wives, he does not have to worry about adultery because he can just rape the woman and then marry her. See how things begin to unravel. It is hard to keep sins in line when there is a given way out. In fact if you do things in the name of god, then how can they be sins, such as murder. This is why religious thinking is flawed and secular morality wins out.
“What do you think all of these people have in common. True, their acts vary widely on the spectrum, some seem much worse, some are self destroying, some are of limited loss than compared to the rest. Some were done in the line of duty, some were done because of bad habits. But all of these people, have one thing in common, they lack the virtue of being completely good and so they are sinners. Note, I am not counting them sinners by their acts but by their incapability to not be bad, whether that bad is great or small, is of a little consequence here and is irrelevant.
Bad is bad, whether that is a simple lie or murder or genocide. They have the same essence just like any particular ingredient in cooking has a certain essence of smell to it. Whether it is a strong one of a subtle one, is a of no consequence. It is like if I say “Chocolate is bad”. then you eating dark chocolate or white chocolate, has no bearing on the argument that chocolate in its essence, is bad.”
Well first of all let me tell you this. There is no actual chocolate in some vanilla chocolate. It uses vanilla beans, and so is technically not chocolate. It is just named that. Which is part of my response. Not everything is as it seems. We as humans have levels for the severity of crimes, and actions. A person who passes gas in public is not equal to a person who commits murder. While the person who passed gas in public may be admonished by his/her companions and perhaps then be distanced from them,the person who commits murder is locked in a special area of a prison. We as a society have decided the value of crimes. If god can not decide that one sin has a value greater than the other and is willing to forgive them all equally then he does not value the victims of the sin/crime. Because his response is a blanketed forgiveness. That is saying all things being equal murder is the same as smacking your sister. If your deity is omnipotent, omnipresent then he should understand that with a crime comes a certain amount of penance. If you claim that you god needs nothing more than a sincere heart for forgiveness of all sins, well who can not be sincere over anything. It does not take much to convince yourself of remorse. As humans we learn that committing crimes/sins only takes a certain level of denial. In fact with enough denial and self reasoning a person can be compelled to do anything. Take for instance the people who went with Charles Manson. They believed 100% that he was right. In fact you could test them with every machine known to man and they would say that their actions were justified. Just as others have done. Removing the denial of having done a sin/crime they would be repentant. Of course, because the human mind can be programmed and unprogrammed. It often takes longer, but after that period then of course they would sincerely repent what they have done. It isn’t that great of a feat. Once a crime has been committed people often repent. But the problem is the blanket way they are allowed, by scripture, to enter this kingdom of god.
I don’t think anyone who believes in a deity should agree with you. There should be things which dismiss a person from enjoying and eternity of bliss. If you feel and those who believe with you, that you can walk alongside of a former pedophile and not ever think about the suffering of the victim, and the pain caused them, they you are more cold hearted than I. Especially if you tell me that the victim gets to also see their perpetrator enjoying the same rewards. Now I do understand that human emotions can not be put on non human forms, but if there is no true universal form of justice, then there is no reason to behave justly.
At this point you are just reiterating over and over how you feel that you are right and giving examples in the blog John, so I will digress to finish my point and link you article for readers to view.
When it comes to sin if there is no high low standard then god has failed. First he created man, and then sin and all to test us to see if we should get into a place of luxury. Then adds to this that any crime can be forgiven with enough repentance and a remorseful heart. This is another failure. You state that a person who does not see the harm in their sin will repeat it, but the same is with another crime, there may always be a part of them that is remorseful, but would do it again. It is hard to use the complex logic of our brains on something which is not logical. Had god not set man us to fail, then he would not constantly be failing. It is god who should be repenting. By your logic he is guilty of creating a flawed creature and then punishing him for his guilt, and that makes god unworthy. But lets say he knows that and that is why he is willing to forgive and understand. The why did his own son have to die for that to happen? This is another sin of god. He is so demanding of perfection on the creatures he created sick that only a mortal deity sacrifice will satiate his desire to punish humans for the guilt of being born. So this god your worship is already flawed in his decisions, and his actions. How can any human trust the decision he will make? After all he sees every sin as equal. You can be just as guilty as a murderer for thinking about masturbation.
If this is your god, as you claim then basically you can’t even know if you will achieve heaven. All you can do is be constantly guilty and remorseful of even your creation. This god is not an all loving god, and he is not a kind god. What this shows me is that he is a invasive, manipulative, cruel, jealous deity with a gilt complex for creating inferior creations and then punishing them for his inability to create something perfect. It is like burning ants on a hill just to watch them suffer.
On Sin, forgiveness ECT. By John A. David