On Sin, Hell and God’s Responsibility for Us

This is another one of my replies to Rautakyy, whose original comments you can find here.

Software is different from humans. It is determinate. When I write code, I can go through it with a pencil and tell you exactly what it will do. If it doesn’t do as it should, I have made an error. This is because it does not have the freedom to choose and do as it wishes. If I write a program to print “The brown fox jumped over the lazy dog”, as long as I write the code correctly, it will do it. It won’t tell me “I don’t want to” (unless I tell it to). The way humans work, on the other hand, is that God has given us information on what is right and what is wrong, but what we do is up to us. Engineers and God just can’t be compared in that way.

I know you weren’t born into any religion. That was a cut & paste from an explanation I gave someone else and I didn’t notice that till it was too late.

I do not know why you think my concept of sin and salvation comes from theologians.  I do not think we should blindly accept the worse of theologians. If I did, I would believe a lot of contradictory things because theologians disagree. The Bible does teach about sin and salvation. It teaches that we are all sinners, choosing the wrong thing instead of the right when we know the difference between them, that we cannot save ourselves and God saves us.

“There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” – Romans 3: 22b – 24

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” Romans 5; 6 – 11

Now, to respond to specific points:

One of your points is that God is responsible for our actions because he knows what we will do. Even if this is true (and I say ‘if’ because I have a slight problem with the second clause), his responsibility does not change ours. Since we have information on what is right and what is wrong and we can choose between them, we are responsible if we choose to do the right thing. God is only responsible in that he chose to create beings who could go wrong as I have previously said and his action needs to be judged by its prudence. Do you see the pattern? People are held responsible for any actions they commit if they can do differently and can know which choices are right and which are wrong.

Another thing you said is that people read the Bible and draw conclusions based on their culture. Firstly, this is not determinate. There is no rule that says if someone was born in a certain culture, their belief will line up with that of their culture. I have believed and do believe certain things about which I was taught differently and which those around me believe because I have information about what is true and what is not. The country I come from has 0% of atheists (for practical purposes) in its population but my brother doubts God’s existence despite the culture. People think for themselves. So, if people have all the information they need, and the ability to think, absent any factors constraining them, how they respond to the information is their choice.

That leads us to your other point which is that some people do not have this information.  You ask what I would think if my mother was not taught the Christian concept of right and wrong. It is not as if this concept is an extremely complicated one. No one taught it to me. (Sunday school lessons were sadly inadequate) I had it figured out before I even read it in the Bible.

Step 1: Some things are right and some things are wrong.

Step 2: People who do wrong things should be punished, as a deterrent to prevent others from doing the same, as a statement about what the community thinks of those actions, as an attempt to convince the perpetrator of the wrongness of his action and his need to change, etc.

Step 3: One’s status as a wrongdoer and the need for punishment does not depend on one’s previously right actions. If I were arrested and convicted of murder, the judge would be immoral to let me go because I have previously donated money to charities that help babies, donated blood, volunteered at a food bank and saved a person from drowning. Despite all those things, I would still be a murderer. The judge’s action, would also fail to achieve the things that justice is meant to.

That’s about all you need and no one needs to teach it to you. It’s pretty obvious. And you do not need anything special to figure it out. You just need the ability to think. Yes, perhaps some people think differently, but like the gangster who believes it is okay to kill someone who double-crosses him, or the man who thinks it is okay to rape a girl who dresses provocatively, this does not exonerate them.

And there is little need to worry even if some people do not know what is right and wrong by no fault of theirs. According to Paul, you are not counted responsible for your actions if you have no information that they are wrong.

“To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law.” Romans 5:13

“All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)” Romans 2: 12 – 15

“Even the idea that we get to live after death for an eternity, but are eternally divided according to what we found plausible in the short spans of our lifetime is horrible.”

You’re doing it again. Like I have previously said, people are not sent to hell just because of what they believe. They are sent there based on what they have done and what they have proven themselves to be (people unwilling to choose the right thing instead of the wrong one). It is leaving them in a place where they can continue to hurt others for no good reason that is immoral.

As for your other problems with hell, my theological knowledge is not much better than it was when I last replied. I hope you find the time to read the articles I sent you and that they help.

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Tracy

I’m Tracy

28 thoughts on “On Sin, Hell and God’s Responsibility for Us”

  1. “Software is different from humans. It is determinate. When I write code, I can go through it with a pencil and tell you exactly what it will do.”

    You have got to be the most low tech programmer ever. May I introduce you to the concept of Break Points… 😛

    Seriously, I think you’ve hit on something very critical here. Human beings need to take responsibility for their own actions. Too often, even in courts of law, people try to blame their offence on their parents or teachers, their circumstances, their genetic or psychological predispositions, society, the victim, or of course God. Even if those had an influence or could have stopped a tragedy, the tragedy remains their fault.

    1. 😀

      Most of my work is relatively low tech at this point so I can afford skip the debugger. And for small sections of code, doing it by hand takes less time especially if you plan the program in pencil first and translate it later. I suppose the real problem is that I haven’t gotten used to the debuggers, though. We’ve only used them for one programming class out of the three I’ve taken. I like, but doing it by hand is easier sometimes.

      And I agree completely. What we do is our responsibility at least because we did it.

    2. Correction: 4 programming classes, not 3. The first was python, which I could do in my sleep. C was pretty easy and I didn’t know the codewords for the debugger. We used one for Java because it came with blueJ, which we were using. As for Assembly, it seemed much easier to just do it by hand than to try to figure out that visual basic debugger. I’ll have to learn to use it one of these, of course but I have till the end of the summer. 😀

  2. “Step 2: People who do wrong things should be punished, as a deterrent to prevent others from doing the same”
    Not necessarily. Deterrence only works sometimes, and this statement completely removes restorative/rehabilitative goals from the equation. It’s not sufficient to merely punish people for wrongdoing; if you want to have a functional society, you also have to teach people how to behave in pro-social ways (and why such behavior is necessary).

    “Step 3: One’s status as a wrongdoer and the need for punishment does not depend on one’s previously right actions.”
    It does! I’m not saying that past actions can be “cashed in” as some sort of get-out-of-jail-free card, but they obviously have a relevant role to play in determining the appropriateness of any given punishment. Punishments that are not proportioned to fit the severity of their corresponding crimes are actively counterproductive. In the absence of severe harm, if rehabilitation is possible, vindictive punishment is foolish.

    Take the case of a hypothetical situation with two people who’ve commited the same crime–theft, for example. Person A is a career criminal; he has been to jail many times for petty thefts. Person B is a philanthropist who’s fallen on hard times; he has a history of donating significant sums of money to charity, but he lost all his money through bad investments in the stock market and is now homeless. This is his first crime. They both stole a watch with the intention to sell it for cash. No threat of violence was used, no one was hurt in the process, and no other property damage occurred. Should the punishment for both men be the same? Why or why not?

    1. I said that punishment should be used as a deterrent, not that it always works or that rehabilitative methods should not be used.

      I think you missed my other point too. The punishment should not be the same for both men, because they have committed the same crime in that they stole. But person A has committed more than that. He is a repeat offender who has repeatedly showed contempt for the law and is not changing as far as we can see. The other is a first time offender, who as far as we know, may have hope.

      My point was that Person A’s status as a previously law abiding citizen does not now change his status as a law breaker or save him from the just punishment. However, Person B’s previous status as a lawbreaker does affect the treatment he should get. The point is that previous good actions do not make up for bad ones.

      1. I don’t think we have a fundamental disagreement here. I was concerned by one possible interpretation of what you wrote–many people do not view rehabilitation efforts as “punishment.” If your view is that these count too, then my concern is dispelled.

        “The point is that previous good actions do not make up for bad ones.”
        Not universally, no, but previous good behavior can certainly mitigate (or perhaps aggravate–for example, a rape counselor who rapes someone) the appropriate response to the violation of a law or social norm.

        In terms of criminal justice, deterrence is a tricky subject. General deterrence is particularly difficult to study because, by its very nature, it is imperceptible. To a criminal, specific deterrence is not factor of the severity of a crime’s punishment so much as the speed at which that criminal will be caught. (If the police have a habit of swift apprehension, that is more effective to deter crime than, say, a life sentence as punishment.) I can dig up a citation for that if you’d like, but I don’t feel like wading through the literature at this hour.

        In any case, retribution is a horrible motivator for punishment. If rehabilitation is possible, it should be preferred (even if only because it works better to deter recidivism). How do we know if rehabilitation is possible? Past conduct is a great indicator. In this way, that behavior plays a key role in determining the appropriateness of any given punishment (i.e., in deciding which punishment is the “just” one). You’re completely right, of course, that it does not affect his status as a law breaker.

    2. Good, we agree. On some things at least.

      I do not think punishment and rehabilitation are interchangeable, but I do think that punishment can serve the same purpose as primarily rehabilitative actions. Learning to associate a wrong act with negative consequences probably prevents one from committing that act and helps to establish doing the right thing as a habit. At least it has in my experience.

      Although they sometimes achieve that common goal, I do not think of rehabilitation as an alternative to restitution. I can think of very few cases in which rehabilitative efforts are enough of a response to an a wrong act. Rehabilitation serves the purpose of helping the wrongdoer by making him/her a better person and helping the community by taking steps to prevent the action. That is a good thing and should always be done whether the person is ‘punished’ or not (unless there is not hope that the wrongdoer will change). However, since rehabilitation is focused on the future, it is not doing anything about the fact that the act has already been committed. The other negative effects of the wrong act need to be addressed too. Specifically, the victims (if any) need to be taken into consideration. Restitution as a response to a wrong action helps the victims in several ways. It fixes their sense of worth which is usually damaged by the act. It reaffirms their worth in a stronger way than the victim’s rehabilitation does because it denounces so strongly and clearly, the actions committed against them.

      Think of the mother whose son has been killed by a robber. She asks an officer
      “So, what are you doing about my son’s death?”
      “Well, we’ve found his killer, and we’re helping him understand that what he did was wrong and he needs to change”
      “What are you going to do when that it done?”
      “We’re going to let him go, of course”
      “Let him go? But he killed my son. My son is dead because of him!”
      To which the police officer mumbles something about helping the criminal.

      Victims of crime need restoration and closure and denying them justice provides just the opposite. Helping the wrongdoer is good, but a society has a responsibility to help the victims as well. Telling the mother that she does not need to think of justice for her son, but of help for his killer is as cruel as they come.

  3. Oh, and on the subject of programs, memory leaks in massive programs can result in really fascinating unexpected behaviors. I think that’s my favorite thing about bugs: they can make even clear-cut “this–and only this–is what this does” functions do otherwise impossible things. Of course, as a programmer, this is deeply frustrating, but from a dispassionate perspective, it’s really interesting!

    1. Do impossible things like crash?

      I haven’t been programming for very long, but I can’t say I’ve seen a bug that does something besides completely ruin the program, print out garbage and crash the system. And even through a wannabe philosopher’s eyes, that’s not terribly interesting. So what impossible things are you talking about?

      1. There still is no reply button on this post and this was the latest comment wich had it, so my apologies if this comment comes to the wrong place.

        If the engineer ads some sort of randomizing engine to the software, this does not remove the responsibility of the engineer for what the software eventually does. Honestly speaking though, I also think that comparing the idea of a creator of the universe to an engineer is a poor one, but it is one frequently used by Christians who claim that a god has to exist, because without the divine engineer nothing would exist. I find such claims terribly andropocentric and they are completely a nother matter, but I guess it just goes to show what a silly comparrison these two make in the first place.

        If there was a god, such as described by Judaism, Christianity and Islam, it would surely be responsible for what takes place in the world. With power comes responsiblity. If you can prevent a crime – if you have the power to do so – you can be held responsible for not doing so, even if the criminals are ultimately reseponsible for the actual deed. Correct? Even if nobody knew you could have prevented the crime other than yourself, you know you had the ethical responsibility to stop it. Never mind, if there will be any direct reprecussions to yourself from not taking that action. Correct? With power allways comes responsibility. With ultimate power, as the gods of the book alledgedly hold, there comes ultimate responsibility.

        All this has nothing to do with our free will. Why should free will be choises between good and bad? Most of us people make most of our choises between different types of good. In a human society we citizens have certain amount of free will. In a democratic society we decide that amount mutually, but we do not see it as an expression of our free will to kill each others. Even as that freedom is restricted, we still do not percieve ourselves without freedom, do we? Why would the free will of the dictator or a murderer be more valuable to your god, than the free will of their victims? Because any entity that could interfere in – say murder, has also the responsibility to do so, and appealing to the free will of humans only goes to claim, that the free will of the murderers to murder is more valuable than that of their victims, whose free will would surely be to continue their lives. But gods never interfere in anything, because they do not exist.

        If the actions or all of us humans are such that we are all inevitably and unavoidably deserving of eternal pain and torment, but only by certain kind of cultural indoctrination we are to be saved, then our construction has an obvious design flaw. The system is totally unfair and unethical.

        Do you think Mahatma Gandhi is deserving of hell, just because he did not embrace Christianity? At the same time a mad mass murderer might repent his deeds on the death row and deserve eternal bliss dispite of his deeds. Is that “prudent” in any sense? Then again, if what you say is true then Siddharta Gautama aka Buddha is deserving of heaven because he could not have heard of Jesus or even the god of Israel, but Gandhi is sent to hell, because his cultural experience about Christianity was that it is the religion of the British imperilists who were extorting his people. But if Siddharta Gautama had lived hundreds of years later, he could have overheard a conversation about Christ and rejected the idea as culturally alien to himself, and then he would be deserving of eternal pain and the lake of fire. Very interresting situation, is it not?

        Do you honestly think that an eternal punishment of pain for anything done in this world is just? Who is deserving of eternal punishment? I can think of no-one, and I find the concept quite appaling and totally unethical.

        If your brother came to doubt the existance of a god so much, that he stopped from asking forgiveness from that imaginary entity, would he be then deserving of hell? If you were sent to heaven, could you really be happy there for an eternity if you knew that your brother is all the time suffering in hell?

        In the story of Adam & Eve the god of the Hebrew gave the imaginary first human beings a choise between blind obidience of arbitrary commands from authority and search for knowledge on their own. Why is it, that the story condemns the search for knowledge and understanding?

      2. Yes, the replies work like that. At some point, it doesn’t let you nest them anymore. It does cause a little discomfort, but I don’t want to change the theme because I really like it. I’ll see what I can do about this, though.

      3. ” If there was a god, such as described by Judaism, Christianity and Islam, it would surely be responsible for what takes place in the world. With power comes responsiblity. If you can prevent a crime – if you have the power to do so – you can be held responsible for not doing so”

        What do you mean by ‘responsible’? Do you mean that the action becomes his fault. Also should such a person prevent this crime if he/she knows that a greater good will result from allowing it or that a greater evil will result from stopping it?

      4. What “greater good” could you possibly imagine will come out of murders? That is to say, that dictators rule by the grace of god – as they obviously do. Hitler was convinced that since the attempt to murder him failed, he was saved by gods grace.

      5. The prevention of future murders, perhaps. I believe there is an often used example of “if you had a time machine and you could kill Hitler as a baby, would you?” We are not in a good position to judge what the results of a certain event could be, but God is. God could theoretically allow one person to be murdered because such a person would use their free will for great evil. In such a case, should God prevent the murder?

        My greater point was to call into question the assumption in your statements that you know of certain happenings in the world which God, if he were good and omnipotent, could and should prevent.

      6. Well, for some reason your god did not kill Hitler as a baby, nor even when he was a grown man and was causing mass destruction of people for years on, humans had to do it. In fact when Herr Hitler was “miraculously” saved from the attempt to murder him by German officers he was certain that it was assurance from your god that he was doing the work of your god. As where a lot of Christian Germans. So, where was this god then, or was this magical entity really protecting Hitler to the bitter end, and what good purpose could that have possibly served? A miraculous appearance of Jesus for Hitler and his closest buddies in public in the Nürnberg party convention just prior to the war would have certainly saved millions of Jews, or do they not matter, since they are allmost all hellbound from their very births because they are born into the Jewish culture?

        What good can come out of it, when crops fail and entire nations suffer famon? What good comes out of it, when nations are terrorized by dictators from generation to generation? I see no god interfering in such horrors ever anywhere, do you? Why not? Could it be, this is so because gods are figments of human imagination? Could all the good qualities humans are so eager to bestow upon the imagined all-creator are just wishfull thinking? A bit like the idea of life after death, even though it is a purely hypothetical concept, people just seem to choose to believe in a good god and pleasent heaven for themselves, because the idea “pleases” them?

      7. To be clear, are you arguing that you know how things would have turned out if those things had not happened and it would have been better or are you saying that you do not know how things would not have been better if those things had not occurred?

      8. I do not understand the question. Is there some reason to think that things would have been worse, if Hitler and his lot would have been stopped (for example by a revelation from any god) before they murdered so many Jews, or started a war of agression against all their neighbours?

      9. I’ll try to clarify it.

        You seem to be arguing that if God exists, then God should have stopped those things. Given the way that one effect affects future events, we know that whatever had happened would have had effects on future events. However, by saying that God should have stopped them, you are asserting that what would have happened had God intervened would have been better than what did happen when God did not intervene. So I asked for evidence for that assumption.

        You can say that you don’t know how things would have turned out, but then you lose the ability to say that God should have stopped it if he exists.

      10. No, I do not. Horrible events do not turn out to be good, just because we can not be absolutely sure what would have happened, if they would have not happened.

        If the claim that god is all-powerfull holds true, then that entity could not be bound by some possible reprecussions of stopping horrific events. You see, even then the all-powerfull entity would be responsible for stopping those reprecussions. Besides, in what possibly imaginable chain of events, stopping Hitler and his “good” Christians of Germany from killing all those Jews could have caused more harm?

        It is a blind leap of faith into the darkness to deem, that an event such as a genoside, or famon could have been necessary. Also, it is in total contradiction with it self to think, that an all-powerfull and all-knowing entity could not have set things better by better means. All-knowing and all-powerfull andropomorphic personification of a deity that has such human attributes as “benevolence” is a total paradox, when you look at the world. Sorry.

      11. “Horrible events do not turn out to be good, just because we can not be absolutely sure what would have happened, if they would have not happened.”

        Please be clear. Are you saying if allowing one murder would prevent millions, allowing that one is wrong? Or that there is no possible scenario in which one terrible thing prevents even worse things?

        “If the claim that god is all-powerfull holds true, then that entity could not be bound by some possible reprecussions of stopping horrific events.”
        We should fix this omnipotence thing.

        “Omipotence is maximal power. Some philosophers, notably Descates, have thought that omnipotence requires the ability to do absolutely anything, including the logically impossible. Most classical theists, however, understood omnipotence as involving vast powers, while nevertheless being subject to a range of limitations of ability, including the inability to do what is logically impossible, the inability to change the past or to do things incompatible with what has happened, and the inability to do things that cannot be done by a being who has other divine attributes, e.g., to sin or to lie.” [Audi, The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, s.v. “Divine Attributes”]

        “It would appear to be a minimal requirement for a being worthy of worship that he be greater than any otehr being. No other being exceeds God in power, knowledge or goodness. But this requirement is indeed minimal, since theists usually hold that God is not only greater than any other being as a matter of fact, but that it is impossible that there should ever be a being greater than God. God’s power, knowledge and goodness are therefore seen not merely as very great but as maximal. God is omnipotent; he possesses all the power a being can have. God is omniscient; he knows everthing which it is possible for a being to know. God is morally perfect; his goodness is unsurpassable.

        Another way of expressing God’s greatness is to say that he is infinite, or unlimited. These terms must, however, be understood in a qualified sense. To say that God is infinite in power does not mean that he can literally do anything. It has usually been held, for example, that God cannot create a square circle or a person with a morally free will who is determined always to choose what is morally right. The reason for this is not that God lacks some power or ability he might have had, but that these conceptions are logically contradictory and therefore impossible or even meaningless. God’s power is the power to do anything which is logically possible. In addition, most theists hold that there are certain things God cannot do because of his nature. Being morally perfect, he cannot commit an act of senseless cruelty, for example. God’s omnipotence must then be understood as the power to do whatever is logically possible and consistent with God’s own essential characteristics. Similar restrictions may have to be placed on the concept of omniscience.

        Even with these qualifications God’s power is still infinite in the sense of being unlimited by anything outside himself.” [Philosopy of Religion, C. Stephen Evans, IVP:1982, p.33f]

        “Also, it is in total contradiction with it self to think, that an all-powerfull and all-knowing entity could not have set things better by better means.”
        This is where free will comes in and your argument loses meaning. God can in fact bring about circumstances where his choices are limited. For example, if a world with free beings is better than a world without free beings, then God should create the world with free beings. But in a world with free beings some will do wrong things. Since God cannot create free beings who always do right (it is intrinsically impossible) he has to choose between a world that has more evil and a world that has less good because it lacks free beings. When I say that if you don’t know how things would have turned out under different circumstances you lose the ability to say God should have done differently, I mean that, for all you know, God made the best possible choice.

      12. No I do not lose the ability to say a god should have done differently. I do not even demand god would have killed anyone, but only convinced a group of people who thought they were acting in this gods name to stop doing atrocities. Or are you suggesting that a god could not have interfered in the murder of six million Jews by the natzies, because that murdering caused some greater good? What possible good may have come out of that?

        Was it really, in your opinion, “prudent” of your god to let the Jews be murdered in millions? Do you honestly think your god did not interfere because some greater good was accomplished this way? Or could it be, that the reason why no gods interfered, was simply because there are no gods?

        Alledgedly the god of the Christians has interfered in the actions of humans and confirmed some of them to act in a certain way in the past, hence, it can not be said it is because of free will that a god can not interfere, so why did your god not interfere or interact whith the nazies? Or was it divine protection by your god that saved Mr. Hitler from the attempted murder? He certanly thought so, and so did a lot of German Christians who loved both Hitler and Jesus.

        I am repeating myself here a bit, but what you are suggesting seems like your god values the free will of dictators higher than the free will of their victims.

        This all falls into the same basket, as the question why does god let deformed children be born? What purpose does that serve? In a natural world there is a perfectly good explanation to that phenomenon, but if there exists a “benevolent” divine entity that sets all of our atoms, it makes no sense what so ever.

        If you have the power to stop a murder, by convincing a person not to murder, but you choose not to act, is it a “sin”?

      13. “If you have the power to stop a murder, by convincing a person not to murder, but you choose not to act, is it a “sin”?”

        Yes, I do believe that God ought to stop any evil thing which he can stop without preventing some greater good or introducing a greater evil. So, the question is whether he has violated that rule. I cannot know what good or evil will come out of something because my ability to predict the future is severely limited. For that reason, I cannot say that God has violated that rule. I do not have the knowledge to say and neither do you. I have already told you what good is greater than preventing 6 million murders – preventing even more murders. I have not suggested that God values some people’s free will more than others. We all have free will and we all misuse it.

        We’ve been through all this before. We’re just repeating ourselves. Have a wonderful day.

      14. Yes, this is getting a bit silly. However, I try to give you my point one last time, since it seems you have not gotten it. We can not evaluate an alledged god among other such entities by other means than wittnessing what is evident in the world alledgedly atom by atom manipulated by this particular entity. To think that such an entity has to be good since itself has proclaimed itself to be good and it has to exist since it says so in an old book, is totally circular thinking, if you compare the alledged powers of this quite possibly imaginary deity to the actual events in the world.

        If a god does not prevent a murder, whith the superpowers such a deity alledgedly has, then it has deemed the free will of the victim less than that of the murderer. Surely the free will of the victim would be to live, while the free will of the murderer is to murder. Only one of these free wills may result. If the alledged everpresent all-creator stands idly by, while it would have all the power to stop the murderer, then it is the free will of the murderer, wich results and is more valued by this god.

        What greater good could result from a god not preventing good meaning people from murdering millions of other people they think are to blame for all evil? Or not causing a natural catastrophy that kills thousands and sets tens of thousands in an economical catastrophy whithout means to live nor a place to live? What greater good may possibly come out of deformed babies being born? Is it logical to think that these events happen because without them some even more terrible event would happen, or that that they result in some greater good? Or is it more logical to think that they point to the simple fact that there are actually no andropomorphic personal gods?

        As I said this is all hypothetical, because we can not know, if there is a god or many gods, but just as we can not know if the results of this or that action would have caused more or less misery. We can only make estimations by what we can see and do know about what is the most propable truth. My questions are meant to be rethorical, but you might want to ask them from yourself.

        Have a nice day too. Peace, love and all good things to you.

      15. I’ve fixed your problem with the reply button… kind of. I now allows you to nest replies up to six comments instead of the previous 3.

    1. Hi, alternate. Your link says: “The only reason anyone will be lost is because he refuses to turn away from his sin into the arms of a loving Saviour who stands ready to pardon and cleanse from all unrighteousness.” Do you understand how culturally related it is, wether people refuse this particular religious idea? That it is infact, most of mankind to whom this refers to. If a god lets people to be tortured for their faith, for a little while, or an eternity, it shows that such an entity is unethical. It is the worst kind of act against the so often mentioned free will.

      Believing differently is not hurting others, hence it is not unethical, and not wrong. Accepting serious pain inflicted on others based on their beliefs and not on their actions is hurting others without proper justification and therefore also very unethical.

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