Saturday, March 3, 2012

Does God Have Compassion For The Damned?

Dare I for a moment, question the will of god? It's late on a Friday night, and I want to write something. I have been awash in a serious Winter hibernation as of late. About the only light I see is on my way to work. Thinking for a moment about the god hypothesis from our great monotheists, I recently wondered whether Yahweh, or when he is revealing himself to the Arabs, Allah, being the all knowing, all seeing, and morally perfect deity that he is, has any compassion what so ever for those he's damned. He is after all, the greatest conceivable being; the unembodied soul of moral perfection, infinite love and wisdom.

This could be a fatuous question to the pious; for god has, in his impeccable arbitration, given us free will that the damned chose to exploit, and thus they are deserving in their fate. He judges not with bias, and his rulings are permanent and unchallengeable. But think about for a moment, the actual method Yahweh decides to judge us. One of the moral arguments defenders of faith like to claim, is that with god, justice is coming to those wronged in this world. The bad guys may get away from the law, but sooner of later they will have to face god. The faithful can rest assured that what goes around, truely in the end will come around. But they seem to forget that, with Christians, Jesus died for all of all of our sins. This means that every single one of the most unimaginable atrocities that one can do in one's lifetime and get away with, with the exception of blasphemy, will be forgiven to those who believe. The serial killer who gets off on the torture of others, need only to come to god in repentance and will be forgiven. But his victim, who prayed to the wrong god, or perhaps worse, didn't pray at all, gets not only a violent end in this world, but eternal conscious torment, courtesy of god's judgement, in the next.

I ask then, with genuine emotion, how is this justice? How is this morality and judgement at its best? Some of the most liberal and enlightened of the faithful refuse to believe "their" god would do such a thing. I say that they should take another look at their Bible or Qur'an, and read what "their" god really teaches. Although religious moderates might like to deny it, suppose this to be true; that the one and only god is committed to the torment of those who didn't prostrate themselves and believe, while pardoning some of the worst and most depraved among us. Wouldn't the screams of the tormented in hell, who are, according to Islamic descriptions, being burned continually on their renewable skin, and having boiling water poured down their throats, entice even the slightest hint of compassion from the most moral conceivable being?

The answer is no. God is utterly indifferent to the damned. God does not think twice about his judgement. The best definition of evil that I have heard, is having a lack of sympathy or compassion. After thinking about this definition, I agree with its conditions. Every "evil" situation that I can thinking of, involves a human being demonstrating a lack of sympathy or compassion towards another living being. So an earthquake that kills 10,000 children would not, therefore, be evil because the earth is not alive, it is not conscious, it just has tectonic plates that rub up against each other. The Earth is nature and nature is morally neutral on every issue. Thus the lion that kills the cubs of another lion is cruel, but not evil. For in order to be evil, you must lack the ability for empathy and compassion. It takes a certain level of conscious development, and rational thinking, that can divorce itself from emotion and impulse. Not even all of us homo-sapiens posses this trait.

The god of monotheism is evil because of his lack of sympathy and compassion towards the damned. Who can send a child who happens to have been born into the wrong religion, and who dies, to a sentence of eternal conscious torment? It's not like god can't change this at any time, he is the master of all things. He designed such a system, and he enforces its rules. The most slavish of the faithful accept this as god's will and dare not to question. The logical implausibility, and frightening impression of such a moral monster ruling the universe, is part of what convinces me that there is no such god. And what a relief that is, because to contemplate having to be subject forever to such a being, one would surely have had personified the soul of evil.

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