Yahweh wouldn't punish atheists

Discussion in 'Agnosticism and Atheism' started by Emanresu, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. Emanresu

    Emanresu Member

    If it turns out that Yahweh exists all of us atheists and agnostics are going to hell for eternity right? Wrong, and here is why:

    According to every Christian that I have ever asked Yahweh is a just god. However punishing people for not holding a belief is unjust (especially punishing them for eternity, but really any punishment at all would be unjust). Therefore even if Yahweh turns out to exist atheists and agnostics have nothing to fear. This argument applies to any god that is supposed to be just.

    There are some things which we would hold people accountable for not believing. For example if a parent let a child starve because they believed that the child could live without food we would hold them accountable for that, however belief in a god in general, and Yahweh or any other specific god in particular, is not on par with that sort of belief, and therefore not grounds for punishment.
  2. Driftwood Gypsy

    Driftwood Gypsy Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    the fallacy in your argument lies in the word "just", and what is just? And wouldn't the god punish the atheist for ignoring his call, ignoring his teachings?
  3. Emanresu

    Emanresu Member

    You are free, of course, to object to my use of the word 'just' in my argument, but I don't think that the word 'fallacy' is appropriate. I don't think I have committed any fallacies in the philosophical sense of the word.

    However, to me an important aspect of justice is that a punishment should be dolled out only when a person has committed some act worthy of punishment, and that the punishment should be fitting. For example, executing someone for going one mile per hour over the speed limit would be unjust. Also punishing someone at all for something like preferring one type of music over another would be unjust. In the first case the punishment does not fit the crime, and in the latter case the act does not warrant punishment at all.

    So in my opinion, clearly, not believing in a particular god (such as Yahweh) is not an act that warrants any punishment at all, let alone a horrendous and potentially eternal punishment. So my conclusion is, that if Yahweh is truly just, then Yahweh would never punish someone for not believing, and certainly would not punish them eternally.

    If you would like to argue that lacking belief in Yahweh is an act that warrants eternal punishment then I would like to hear your argument as to why that it so.

    Of course I cannot attempt to counter your argument until you post one, but here are some things that I would say to bolster my position:

    There is no decisive evidence that Yahweh exists. It isn't just atheists and agnostics that think this, it is also all of the people who believe in a different god. If you add up all of the atheists, agnostics, and non-christian believers you will see that the majority of the people in this world do not think that Yahweh exists (Even if you only include those who believe in one god or another the majority think that Yahweh does not exist).

    Also, if Yahweh speaks to Abraham then that is revelation, and perhaps you could argue that Abraham is morally obligated to believe in Yahweh. However if Abraham then tells someone else that Yahweh spoke to him, that is not revelation and that person is not obligated to believe it. It would seem unjust in the highest degree for Yahweh to punish people who do not believe in him when there are so many religions to choose from, with so many people claiming to have decisive evidence for their particular religion. People of different faiths claim to have experienced revelation, to have had their prayers answered, to have witnessed miracles, to have an overwhelming feeling that their particular god exists. With no logical means of determining who is right it would be unjust to punish those who lack faith, or who unwittingly choose the wrong faith.
  4. LetLovinTakeHold

    LetLovinTakeHold Cuz it will if you let it

    If God exists in the Biblical sense, then all non believers will be sent to Hell for all eternity after they die. I'm not sure how you think you can change the word of God because you think it's mean.
  5. Emanresu

    Emanresu Member

    Firstly, I did not say anything about it being 'mean'. I said it was unjust. Secondly I don't think that any gods exist, and so I certainly don't think that the bible is the word of god and I therefor have no interest in 'changing the word of god'. Lastly I am not talking about what the bible says, I'm talking about what Christians say.

    I think my argument is simple and straight forward. Christians are adamant that God is just, part of justice is making sure that punishments fit crimes, eternal damnation for disbelief is unjust, therefor if God really is just then God must really not punish non-believers or believers of different faiths. Also, as I said in my first post this argument is not intended only for Yahweh, it should apply to any god that is alleged to be just.

    Also in a way I am directly challenging the legitimacy of the Bible. If the bible simultaneously claims that God is just and that God condemns non-believers to eternal punishment then the Bible contradicts itself and is therefor not a divinely inspired text.
  6. LetLovinTakeHold

    LetLovinTakeHold Cuz it will if you let it

    Christians say God is just because they believe that eternal damnation is a just punishment for denying the name of The Lord. In the eyes of the biblical God the punishment DOES fit the "crime."

    Yahweh is a Hebrew term used by Jews in the old testament. If you didn't mean to be so specific maybe you should use a less specific term.
  7. Emanresu

    Emanresu Member

    I use the term Yahweh because I think it is silly the way that Christians pretend that the word God means their particular God. Christians claim to believe in the God of Abraham so I refer to that God as Yahweh to distinguish from all the other Gods. And again I'm not talking about the bible. To say that eternal damnation for non-belief is just because the bible says so is to argue circularly and that is a fallacy.
  8. odonII

    odonII O

    ...is a big word.

    IF - I couldn't care less.
  9. TopNotchStoner

    TopNotchStoner Georgia Homegrown

    The bible says all non-believers are to be put to death and that anyone who doesn't accept Jesus will go to hell. It's pretty cut-and-dry. Fuck that shit anyway. Fairytales are for children.
  10. Emanresu

    Emanresu Member

    Ok let me try again. I posed this argument in terms of Christianity because many people are Christians or at least familiar with Christianity, and I thought a concrete example would be better than an abstract one. However as I pointed out in my first, and subsequent, posts my argument has nothing to do with Christianity or the Bible and is intended to be applicable to any God that is alleged to be just.

    I have no interest in what the Bible says. That is dogma, and to use it against a philosophical argument is to beg the question. Since the people who have replied so far seem unable or unwilling to separate my argument from the context in which I presented it allow me to present it outside of that context.

    There is a God named Shamileck. Shamileck doles out eternal punishment for anyone that does not believe in him. Is Shamileck just or unjust. My opinion is clear: Shamileck is unjust for the reasons I presented in my previous posts. Agreement, disagreement, comments?

    The first poster raised a legitimate question, the meaning of the term just, but provided no argument so I've got nothing to try to refute. I would definitely like to hear an elaboration of that attack.
  11. LetLovinTakeHold

    LetLovinTakeHold Cuz it will if you let it

    It is just for some, unjust for others. It's subjective. Most believers would call it just, non beleivers unjust.
  12. TopNotchStoner

    TopNotchStoner Georgia Homegrown

    I was simply using christianity as an example. Any god who would sentence someone to eternal punishment for NOT believing in something that isn't supported by evidence would be an unjust god. A truly just god would make sure everyone KNEW he/she/it exists and would provide undeniable, concrete proof.
  13. Okiefreak

    Okiefreak Senior Member

    I agree. Saint Justin Martyr said that an atheist who sincerely pursues truth through reason is a Christian, for all practical purposes. A God who would punish such a person would be unjust, regardless of what (S)he might think about it. A person who would worship such a God is simply worshiping power. Worshiping power is idolatry.
  14. Emanresu

    Emanresu Member

    You do realize that I made Shamileck up right?
  15. LetLovinTakeHold

    LetLovinTakeHold Cuz it will if you let it

    That was pretty clear
  16. Irminsul

    Irminsul Valkyrie

    The fact that you had to discuss this makes me ponder the authenticity of your atheist views.
    IMO an atheist shouldn't be bothered by what gods say or do or mean or even be concerned about going to hell.
  17. Emanresu

    Emanresu Member

    I don't believe in gods, spirits, prophets, holy books, dogma, scriptures, or heaven or hell. I enjoy philosophy. You do realize that it is possible to talk about what would happen if some condition were true, without believing that that condition is true right?

    I talk about political views that I don't hold, religious views that I don't hold, and I like to speculate about the outcomes of various battles in the second world war if different courses of actions had been taken. That doesn't mean that I'm a republican who believes in god and thinks that the Germans won the war. It's called idle speculation, and I enjoy it.
  18. Driftwood Gypsy

    Driftwood Gypsy Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    Riiiiight. Christians DO worship such a god.

    THIS. Why would a loving god want to mess with his children, let alone throw them in hell?
  19. Emanresu

    Emanresu Member

    I do not know what the majority of Christians think, but I can say that almost every Christian that I have ever spoken to does not think that their God punishes non-believers as long as they live decent lives. Of course you could accuse them of not being real Christians, but that is what the self proclaimed Christians that I know personally.

    My experience is that most people that I have met who claim to be Christians don't particularly care what the Bible says, and they don't read it (again you could accuse them of not being real Christians but still, that's what they say).
  20. TopNotchStoner

    TopNotchStoner Georgia Homegrown

    In my experience, many christians who actually take the time to read the bible deconvert from christianity and become atheists, or at least begin to ask questions. I don't see why anyone would lower themselves to worship the god of the bible; especially women.

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