I suppose I’m a bit of an atheist cliché. I have expressed on numerous occasions my distaste for the Judeo-Christian god as depicted in the Bible. (check out why God’s justice is anti-American and God is immoral). But if we don’t speak up about the inconsistencies we observe, they might go un-recognized by those who seek the truth. So in the name of critical thinking, I’ll continue to challenge the Get Out of Jail Free card often handed to God even when our own reasoning indicates he’s in violation of the most basic standards of morality.
So, what about torture? This topic has been the focus of a steady buzz in past months, but only recently have I had much personal interaction with the topic.
A devout acquaintance of mine lauded the “just” and “righteous” judgments of Yahweh. She spoke to me of how comforting it is to her that even if we can’t have perfect justice in this world, there is a perfect judgment that awaits sinners. I realize that she was speaking of the worst of people: rapists, murderers, and the dregs of society. But I know in the back of her mind, she realizes and accepts that even the most kind, generous, and loving of people will be treated the same as these if they are not “saved”.
Is she not bothered by this? Why do many Christians (including my past self) not quake and protest against the discontinuity we see in God’s justice?
But Yahweh does not turn the other cheek. Instead he sends people he supposedly loves unconditionally to a place of eternal pain and despair if they violate any of his rules.
- Despite being more likely than non-believers to support using methods of torture, Many Christians hate torture and believe it is “un-American” to treat others in such an abominable fashion.
But Yahweh has been and will be torturing billions of people: eternally, without end, forever, mercilessly, with no hope of freedom or release, again and again, in terrible and horrific ways we cannot possibly fathom in a lovely little vacation spot called Hell. And the only way to get out of this torture is to admit what he wants you to admit under duress.
How is this admirable? How is temporary torture by humans a nauseating, unloving crime, and eternal torture by a deity “good” and “just” and “deserved”?