Today in my third installment where I try to offer some arguments against God’s existence (the previous two you can find here and here ) we’re going to take a look at two additional properties typically attributed to God: All merciful and all just! I will once again offer a syllogism and then I tell you why I take it to be accurate.

This is not an argument invented by me of course and I think many of you may have heard it before, but here it goes (it’s as in my first article an argument by Theodore M. Drange):

P1. If God exists, then he is an all-just judge.
P2. If God exists, then he is an all-merciful judge.
P3. An all-just judge treats every offender with exactly the severity that he/she deserves.
P4. An all-merciful judge treats every offender with less severity than he/she deserves.
P5. It is impossible to treat an offender both with exactly the severity that he/she deserves and also with less severity than he/she deserves.
P6. Hence, it is impossible for an all-just judge to be an all-merciful judge (from 3-5).
C: Therefore, it is impossible for God to exist (from 1, 2, and 6).

I think that once again the first 2 premises are not in dispute. As far as 3 and 4 go the Theist might object that ” God does show mercy to everyone who has true faith in Christ/who lives by the holy Qu’ran and loves God but he treats those who do not have true faith according to his all just law. Hence God is both just and merciful.”

to raise that objection is to miss the point completely however. The key word is all –just and all-merciful. If God plays favorites and creates an elite of people who he will show mercy to even though they may not deserve it, then I contest that God is not only not all- just but he isn’t just at all. What’s fair about favoring one group over another on the grounds that one group believes and the other doesn’t or ,to make it clearer, one group believes as he wishes while the other believes differently? That’s not what justice is about. If he shows mercy for one group but disregards the other then he isn’t all merciful.

If God plays favorites, then he posesses neither of the properties ascribed to him. At least not in the sense that the words “all-just” and “all-merciful” are typically defined.

I want to go further though: I think based on the world we find ourselves in, I think I can make a case that God isn’t just at all. Take me for example:

I grew up pretty secular. I think the first time I ever heard of Jesus was in church. In my entire childhood I have never read the Bible. I have merely read and been read certain (favorable) passages. I didn’t read it until age 19 when I made it a point to read it cover to cover. It was then when I found out, that the pathway to Heaven according to the Bible is not being a decent person but believing the proposition that Jesus is Lord and that he rose from the dead (though this point was made clear to me by other Christians throughout my read).

What would’ve happened if I would’ve been involved in a fatal car accident? Not only would I have been unsaved (I never bought the proposition that he rose from the dead) but I had no idea of my supposedly sinful nature and I didn’t know how to be saved. Why would it be just to punish me for eternity for that?

Let’s look at it globally: There are people out there who never heard of Jesus or Christianity. One example would be the Piraha tribe.

Other “lucky” people Like Ken Ham grow up with the truth from the get go.

Is it just to give some people such a profound advantage/disadvantage in life, if we are to accept Christianity’s truth?

I don’t think so.

What about God’s law though:

The law of God is designed in such a way that reaching Heaven on your own is nearly impossible. Sure I haven’t stolen anything in my life (honestly I haven’t) but I lie frequently as I’m sure most of us do and I have looked women with lust.  God can convict me for that. For thought crime.

One might say that “God is a just judge and he has to punish you according to the law” but the thing is God is not only the judge he’s also the legislator and he has designed the law in such a way, that nobody can, even in principle, avoid to break it at a given time.

He is the one who laid down the law and he has provided an escape hatchet in the form of Jesus (while I often use Christianity as an example this is of course applicable to other theologies too)  which isn’t available to everybody, which is for some people easier to reach than for others.

If I totally missed the mark, I’d love you to tell me.

If Christianity is true, why is the world arranged in this way? How is that in any way just or merciful? Why are people in hell (or at least not in Heaven) just for believing the wrong way? I hope everybody reading this takes these questions to heart.

Goodybe from yours truly,

Rene von Boenninghausen @Renevelation

 

3 thoughts on “God’s “merciful justice”

  1. Very hard to argue against this, tho frustratingly theists simply won’t agree even tho they have no argument against this.
    This is why I think they worship and accept more out of fear than love.
    I honestly think they fear their god no matter how they claim love and worship.
    Who would make every effort (medical) to prolong your unification with that which you claim to love and worship?

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    1. I have no idea why they bother at all. The truth is that all the holy books have certain self denfense mechanisms that assure that the believer keeps on believing. One of which is of course hell. The fear of hell makes it impossible to see the situation fully rational. Deep down though I think at least some realize that their beliefs don’t make a lot of sense and are in stark conflict but that’s when fear of losing an afterlife or losing your family etc. sets in and they cast it aside. The love they claim to have for God cannot be genuine if it’s based on certain conditions.

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  2. Okay, I’ll play. Well, a little.

    The finite mind cannot comprehend the infinite. The existence of an all powerful, all just and all merciful god is rife with paradoxes and contradictions to our minds, but the proofs of the god’s existence stand anyway: the uncaused cause argument, for example, and my personal favorite, St. Anselm’s ontological proof.

    Think of it this way. If we could comprehend the god we would be greater than the god, by definition. But that doesn’t mean we can’t know that the god exists, only that the existence, and essence, are shrouded in mysteries. The explanation for that is that we have somehow fallen out of favor, and for Christians that is the result of sin. The Christian obsession with sin is grounded not so much in masochism as a desire to have an explanation for why the god, whose existence is a given, is not personally experienced the way other things are.

    You have to give the devil his due, so to speak. If you want to critique theism you must first understand what it is, if you want to be fair.

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