I know it has already been said a hundred times on Atheist websites, but I haven’t made a post on it so here we go.
>I’m not entirely sure why you are so focused on the idea that God isn’t good. Reading Genesis or Job literally will certainly not help, if that’s most of the reason why you think God is a dickbag.
It comes from trying to keep all possibilities on the table. Also, because I’ve discovered God behaves questionably according to 21st century morality in most books of the OT (and therefore most of the bible) and I know websites that can back it up with citations. (See >>1632 for examples shared by this forum.)
The God of the New Testament also often has similar problems, and the core theology introduced in the New Testament is frightening. Hell for the “innocent” is a terrible concept that I now consider indefensible. All attempts to coral it into modern sensibilities diminish its terror, omitting biblical verse, or refusing to take straight-forward explanatory verses of hell on face value.
I can define scenarios where innocent people would be sent to hell if you want, (but I don’t think it’ll be necessary.) I think one of the reasons Mormonism was successful is that it updated theology to more sensible thinking of the 1800’s. Their ministry made it possible for most non-Mormon neighbors to repent at Final Judgement upon seeing the truth of the Lord and enter heaven. (I’ve read Atheists might still be excluded and sent to the Outer Darkness.)
Of course one could try to argue that Christian hell is a corrupted idea, or was influenced by Syncretism. That line of thinking forces someone to question the accuracy of every verse in the bible, leading into the faith-rattling question of why God didn’t take measures to always protect the accuracy and interpretation of his word in the first place. (Of course, the bible doesn’t ever say its the word, but its as a whole nonetheless interpreted as such even by those who say otherwise. Double-think is everywhere.)
(Double-think is holding two contradictory ideas at the same time. But it can have a deeper nuance, because its “1984” roots says crafty language (artificially created words) can discourage people from critically analyzing their ideas. It allows people to behave in contradictory ways in different situations.)
>Hell is never for the innocent, though.
Tl;dr version of links: what about those indians in Asia or the Americas who are going to hell? The confused man who was confronted by a Christian pamphlet or missionary for fifteen seconds once in his life, but choose to convert to Islam instead without knowing any better. The Atheist who saw no reasonable reason to believe and rejected Christ vocally. The schitzophrenic woman who killed herself, the woman addicted to painkillers who requested euthanization from Doctor Death, the doctor who mercy killed her. Etc, etc.
>You don’t sound very familiar with Universalism and the first five centuries of the Christian faith, where most basically believed that Christ was going to save everyone, no exception.
And their philosophy was buried for over a thousand years and only fairly recently reborn. The church found it easier to compel people to their bidding with threats of hell. Also, I see bringing up that group (which most Christians consider heretical) as white-washing history. We can point at all sorts of sects from earlier-Christianity and say “see, they believed in X so there is precedent for us to change our teachings today.” This call to antiquity is like China pointing at ancient maps where their territory expanded into North Korea, or Tibet, (or Taiwan) and saying, “We owned it a hundreds/thousands of years ago, therefore we always have a claim to the land and a good reason for sending our tanks and occupying them today.”
Fact remains that no matter how many complicated apologetics you read, the majority opinion/traditional Christianity is what your mother or your best friend, or the bus driver believe. The real Christianity of the masses will never will be what some Theologicians trained at a bible education on the history of bible is. Those people are often forced to all but renounce the traditional anthropomorphic God believe in. Even so, they don’t tell people because the don’t consider it good to hurt the faith of followers, or to be forced to further question their own. (They instead seem to find it psychologically easier/safer to focus their energy on attacking external groups like Atheists.)
A purely philosophical god doesn’t have the same appeal, and is usually held onto by someone who doesn’t want to let go. It’s not a compelling God for a new convert, compared to the God who promises miracles to solve your problems, and who offers life in an eternal paradise.)
>You want the very words from the Catechism of the Catholic Church?
Here it is:
“5. The non-Christian may not be blamed for his ignorance of Christ and his Church; salvation is open to him also, if he seeks God sincerely and if he follows the commands of his conscience, for through this means the Holy Ghost acts upon all men; this divine action is not confined within the limited boundaries of the visible Church.”
Straight from the horse’s mouth. And don’t assume that seeing a flyer for Christ is enough to move from “ignorance of Christ” to knowledge of Him, it’s not. Schizophrenics have different cards and are judged accordingly, obviously.
Same applies to every other case you mentioned.
Sounds like a recent feel-good change to dogma. Also does nothing to save Atheists who were raised Christian and educated in it, and have by definition rejected God. Particularly those who no longer care to read about theology or have the sort of discussion I am having.
Remember the two unforgivable sins are suicide, and blaspheming/rejecting God.
>Sounds like a recent feel-good change to dogma.
And it’s not. As far ago as the very beginning of Christianity, many believers were even more radical in their faith and believed that everyone was saved. All humans. It goes back to the roots of Christianity.
>Also does nothing to save Atheists who were raised Christian and educated in it, and have by definition rejected God
It’s a matter of circumstances. Obviously, if a man was raised by a pedophile priest, and rejected Christ because of this, that man won’t be judged the same as another who had a great priest for a teacher of the faith.
Just think of some examples from the Bible: Peter denied Christ 3 times, became first Pope, Thomas doubted Christ despite having been with Him, saint, Paul started by murdering Christians, one of the most important apostles, also saint.
There are worse things you can do than not be sure about God.
Paul didnt reject God after he converted. Peter rejected God out of fear, not disbelief. Also, i hope you aren’t taking the examples you mentioned literally. The idea Peter was the first pope, is probably a myth created by the church to link their lineage to Christ in an unbroken way, to enhance their legitamcy. Similar phenomenon to the fictional lineages of ancient cultures, or in Japan where they link their first (probably mythical) emperor to the descendants of God.
Peter rejecting Christ three times probably didn’t happen, and was a literary device to show the disciples were fallible, bumbling idiots. It is also gnosticism, and the idea that you the reader of the scriptures and with the benefit of hindsight now have a knowledge that the apostles couldn’t even grasp themselves when they first encountered Christ.
I think Thomas was also a literary devce to speak to skeptics.
>There are worse things you can do than not be sure about God.
But it leads directly to hell, as with suicide. Hard to see what is worse. And if there are multiple levels of punishment and reward, opposing God leads to one of the lower levels of hell.