The Immorality of Mainstream Christian Belief: Hell - a Realistic Equation
The Equation of Hell
The Biblical God - a Comedy of Error:
1) god creates everything, including a man and a woman.
2) the man and the woman eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil...the tree of knowledge (does that mean god wanted us to be stupid? Or just to mindlessly obey - I mean, is the "wrong" done here because they disobeyed, or because they gained the knowledge of good and evil) and then banished them from the garden, before they could eat from the tree of life (that would give them eternal life) - after playing a game of hide and seek.
Edit: This reminds me of the Euthyphro dilemma only in reverse. In essence, it states "is that which morally good commanded by god because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by god". If god commanded tomorrow, for example, that all christians slay the firstborn of all non-christians (don't look at me like that, it's not like he hasn't done it before) would it be WRONG because it is morally wrong, or would it be RIGHT because it was commanded by god? The scary thing is....I think I know a lot of christians who would do it without question, regardless.
2) A few generations later, god regrets making human beings and decides to start over, sending a flood to destroy everything, minus one family and an impossible ark full of animals. It rains for 40 days and 40 nights. after awhile, Noah sends out a dove, which brings back an Olive branch (how exactly did an Olive tree sprout and grow branches in that period of a week or so if everything was destroyed? I"m pretty sure that trees don't survive being underwater, and if the tree wasn't underwater, then not everything was destroyed and why couldn't other people climb the trees?
3) After a couple hundred years, that one family devolves from grace, and human kind decides to build a giant tower that god is threatened by because they might reach heaven (how big WAS this thing anyway?) so he confuses their language so they can't complete it.
4) god then decides, screw the majority of human kind - I'm just going to favor one group of people. He gives them a bunch of laws, and then enters a perpetual cycle of a) god give law b) Israelites break law c) god lets them get captured as punishment d) they apologize e) god rescues them from their captivity by killing all the people he allowed them to be captured by in the first place.
5) there's one particularly disturbing scene (out of many, many immoral and evil things) where god made Moses' brother Aaron the proclaimed priest and religious leader of the people. Aaron threw his gold earrings into a fire, and they came out as a golden calf, which Aaron then demands the Israelites worship. Then god punishes the Israelites mercilessly for doing what they were told to do by their proclaimed religious leader. I wonder what the punishment would have been had they refused to obey their appointed religious leader, since god seems to have a problem with disobedience.
5) god then, frustrated, says "screw it" and sends his own son as a child/human sacrifice (aren't you supposed to be put to death according to god's laws for offering a human sacrifice - unless you're Abraham who is commanded to, or Jeptha, who's daughter ISN'T as special as Abraham's son, and IS actually sacrificed to god as Jeptha promised....so god should be put to death because he is an abomination to himself) but his son is rejected by the very people he was supposed to be saving
6) so god says "screw it" again, and anyone can believe in his son.
Is anyone else thinking....wow....if any of this is true, this must be a particularly mentally challenged, or just plain stupid deity? You'd think, in his infinite wisdom, he would be able to come up with a better plan, and not keep changing his mind. Not creation by trial and error. And how does a perfect being regret anything or change its mind anyway? If his mind is perfect, how can it be changed? For example, once (and I'm missing the reference, but I can find it if pressed) god was going to destroy the Israelites, and Moses got him to change his mind. Then, according to the bible itself god "repented" of the evil he had thought in his heart to do to his people. How can a perfect being repent? Or change its mind? Or is it really, really, just that ignorant? Does god just have a bad memory? In Exodus, it's "thou shall not kill" - in Judges it's "kill all of the men, women and children of this tribe, or that tribe, or the people in this country that I"m giving you despite the fact that it's already inhabited". If god can't even keep his own laws, or keep his commandments non-contradictory, how in the world is anyone else supposed to?
On top of all that What kind of all knowing, all powerful being would create a system by which his arch-enemy wins by default? Let me explain. Say you're born into the world, and you're not raised with any religious dogma or anything of the sort. Now, you may at some point in your life, come to believe in a deity. you may not. But if you do nothing, as in you neither choose belief or non-belief - you go to hell. If you choose not to believe, you go to hell. The devil wins by default. god only wins in a small handful of those who believe, and not only believe, but believe in the correct version of god. There are thousands of religions, and in christianity ALONE there are thousands upon thousands of different sects, and most of those individual sects believe they're the only true "christians" and all the other sects are wrong, and are therefore going to hell.
The doctrine of hell is the only thing you need to discount christianity as a moral belief system. Period. It is not the only Biblical mandate that can be considered immoral. The old testament is full of such stories. In case you get the idea that the Old Testament was just "back then" and the New Testament is warm and fuzzy and makes everything all better - think again. The New Testament introduces hell, where it was absent in the old. Combined with numerous other theologies and doctrines, Hell is what sends Christianity over the edge and makes it even more palpable for good, moral people to abide.
the bible is a horribly violent, sexual and sexually repressed book that I cannot BELIEVE is held by many to be the foundation of morality. And It's repulsive that, with all it contains, it is given to children. the god of the bible, in BOTH the old and new testaments is immoral and schizophrenic. It's repulsive and abhorrent.
A Hellish Equation:
As more than one person who told me that god doesn't send anyone to hell - you send yourself if you don't believe in him, I have three simple questions and a statement.
1) did god create hell?
2) Did god create the criteria by which souls are judged?
3) Does anything happen that goes against god's will?
Then god is ultimately responsible for everything, including the people that he sends to hell or heaven.
If you believe in religion, but especially christianity, since that's one I actually know a lot about, please. 1) tell me what you believe (since there are so many different versions of this religion to pick from) 2) tell me why you believe it and 3) how you can in ANY way find it to be morally acceptable. Why would a being like this be worthy of your worship and adoration? Or do you only believe because you fear what happens if you don't?