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The Parodoxes Of Christian Love And Christian Justice


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I find Christian ideals about love to be very complex and contradictory. I find it weird that a Christian can love someone and still be perfectly okay with them being sent to hell by you worship. I find it weird how a Christian can love someone and not want anything to do with the person they love.

 

The idea is something like this "God loves non-Christians, but he has no choice but to send them to hell because he loves justice more". The Christian ideal is, "I think you are immoral scum, but I love you anyway. I want you to redeem yourself so you can be saved from the hand of justice". The oddest part of the parodox is how apologists discuss the idea. Lee Strobel's very famous book The Case for Faith portrays sensitivity to people going to hell under the dysthemism "sentimentality". Sentimentality is said to be a corrupting element that prevents people from seeing the justice of hell. The parodoxical element of this is being pissed at a God who sends a friend, family member, or soul mate to hell seems like a natural reaction of a loving person. "Sentimentality" seems like the same thing as love only "sentimentality" is "evil" wheras "love" is "good". How is love your neighbor a divine commandment when it comes to helping people in need by volunteering or donating money but an abomination against justice if it's opposing the hellfire penalty.

 

Justice itself seems to have similar parodoxes. Jesus claimed things such as "love your enemy", "bless those who curse you", "turn the other cheek", and "resist not evil". All of these ideas of love and compassion superseeding justice seem contrary to the idea of hell. Why should we help a verbally abusive asshole in a time of need, but Jesus has the right to send others to hell for non-belief? Shouldn't he go by the same rules we do?

 

I just don't understand. Why was I given a "sentimental" nature if "sentimentality" is evil? Why is it hard to get rid of? Am I really evil for having "sentimentality"

 

 

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If you haven't realized by now Megasamurai, Bible god/Jesus are both hypocrites. wink.png

 

Actually, this paradox you describe is the very thing that led to me doubting in the first place, when my deconversion first began. I could not reconcile the idea of a god who loved everyone, with a god who would torture people in fire for non-belief, after they die. I had been taught that people who never heard of Jesus would go to Heaven, but once a missionary told someone, they were screwed the moment they rejected the belief.

 

Many have attempted to defend the idea of Hell being justice, but nothing they said could ever seem to justify the belief that people would be tortured forever after they die, because of sins they committed in their life time. I mean, I can't even see why someone like Adolf Hitler would need to be tortured forever. Absolute justice, in my opinion, would be for him to experience all of the suffering he forced others to suffer because of his crazy ideas and dictatorship, but no more or no less. If I was a god and was going to punish people in the afterlife for things they did in their physical life, at some point I would decide, "Okay, enough is enough."

 

It makes me wonder, when a terrible dictator like Hitler continues to suffer beyond the amount of suffering they have inflicted, then the god that is responsible for carrying out his punishment is likely sadistic. A god that would torture him beyond what he inflicted on others, especially for eternity, can't be causing him to suffer for any productive purpose, could it? What other reason would a god do that other than to inflict suffering for sadistic pleasure? However, in my opinion, torturing someone for torturing others isn't really productive. It's not going to make the terrible person change or teach a lesson to the terrible person, so any amount of torture would be pointless because it's only purpose would be to carry out revenge and nothing more and as far as I'm concerned, a god putting Hitler into some cosmic Nazi camp in his afterlife would be stooping to the same level as Hitler and basically becoming Hitler.

 

I think a lot of people who try to defend the doctrine of Hell know that it is immoral, but want to convince themselves it is moral so that they don't end up going down the road I went down, the one that led to me wondering if maybe the god I believed in was a monster and eventually deconverting. The believers who already think that Hell is justice already went through the process of convincing themselves it was justice, but at one point probably knew in some way that the doctrine of Hell was immoral and unjust. So this "sentimentality" argument you describe is just another tap dance designed to make Hell seem like it's justice. Strobel probably knows that Hell is definitely not justice, but needs to believe that it is to avoid losing his precious faith, hence the reason for his logical tap dance about "sentimentality".

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The argument  for hell being justice used in the Case for Faith is something like "God feels so hurt that people don't love him that the pain he inflicts is equal to the pain he recieves. Since an equilibrium is established, justice is established because suffering inflicted by the punishment being equal to suffering caused by the offender=justice"

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Religions tend to be paradoxical catch 22’s. In other words absurd contradictions, riddles with no answers, puzzles with no picture. 

The eternal quest to find the promised but non-existent celestial  reward. It’s a game designed to be played by the naïve and gullible.

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The argument  for hell being justice used in the Case for Faith is something like "God feels so hurt that people don't love him that the pain he inflicts is equal to the pain he recieves. Since an equilibrium is established, justice is established because suffering inflicted by the punishment being equal to suffering caused by the offender=justice"

 

The only way this could actually be justice is if you actually understood god. That is not an argument of anything it is a child like justification of a tyranical belief in a system of control. No logical argument could be formed based on that assumption. How hurt does god feel? So in 80 or so years I can do enough wrong that I suffer for millions upon billions of endless eons that stretch into numbers that we cannot and do not have a concept of? Even if that is what will happen I would never follow a leader who would threaten me with that.

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The idea of Christian love baffles me now that I'm out of the contexts of the church. I think about the WBC members being interviewed, and insisting that their signs say "GOD HATES FAGS" and "FAGS BURN IN HELL" are their ways of showing people they love them enough to want to try to help them. 

 

No. To quote Princess Bride, "You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means."

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The argument  for hell being justice used in the Case for Faith is something like "God feels so hurt that people don't love him that the pain he inflicts is equal to the pain he recieves. Since an equilibrium is established, justice is established because suffering inflicted by the punishment being equal to suffering caused by the offender=justice"

 

The only way this could actually be justice is if you actually understood god. That is not an argument of anything it is a child like justification of a tyranical belief in a system of control. No logical argument could be formed based on that assumption. How hurt does god feel? So in 80 or so years I can do enough wrong that I suffer for millions upon billions of endless eons that stretch into numbers that we cannot and do not have a concept of? Even if that is what will happen I would never follow a leader who would threaten me with that.

 

 

Not even that! It isn't because you do so much wrong in 80-something years. You could literally live a life that was sinless except for, say, one time having talked back to your mother, and that one little "wrong" separates you from god, so therefore you have earned eternal burning.

 

Now, they don't actually believe a person could live 80 years and only "sin" once, but depending on the denomination, they believe that a 12-year-old who dies but hasn't been baptized will be punished forever, even if it's the nicest kid you ever met.

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I've just wondered what if God supposedly feels so hurt that people deserve eternal burning, what purpose would said burning serve? How does it make the world a better place? For most of my life, I thought right and wrong were about helping people being good and hurting people being evil. Lee Strobel claims my compassion for people is evil because it obstructs justice for people who've gravely hurt God. I've just been wondering why Lee Strobel and his followers think justice is about one simple equation "suffering that the sinner inflicts on God=suffering God inflicts on sinner" Why should this state of equilibrium be fulfilled for the sake of it? Why is Strobel's justice a good thing?

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