Something that really bothers me is the lack of responsibility Christians are required to show for their actions. The whole idea is that as long as you believe in Christ, no matter what you have done, you will get into heaven. As long as you get away with crimes while here on earth, you will never EVER be held accountable for what you have done.

 

What does this mean? It means God doesn't really give a crap if you follow his commandments or live as Jesus has asked. He's going to make sure that everything is warm and cozy up in heaven for you and all you have to do is believe. This is utterly ridiculous!

 

I'm really not surprised that those who are Christians still commit crimes of epic proportions, ie. Hitler and the majority of US prison populations. They are essentially given a 'get out of jail free' ticket for all eternity in the afterlife! There are no long term consequences for their actions, so where's the motivation to act good?

 

Now, I'm thinking to myself, isn't this the same type of argument used against atheists? That atheists are evil because they have no motivation, no real reason to act kindly?

 

Maybe this can be used as a response; to point out how faulty this argument is. No one needs to be coerced into being a good person, no matter what they believe.

 

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Comment by Greg on January 5, 2011 at 6:40pm
Diane...whoops! Sorry for reading your post incorrectly and then going on a bit of a rant. =)
Comment by John Camilli on January 5, 2011 at 5:07am
gregg, im curious at how you arrive at your conclusion of free will being an illusion. I'd like to know if your logic is the same as mine. I have started a Q&A in the blog section. Come chat with me there about causality and "choice." I think it is the single most important AND mis-understood subject of human study.
Comment by Greg on January 3, 2011 at 5:52pm

Diane,

Of course. I'm not stating that this is how religious people are. That's part of my point!

 

It's an argument stating that people only do good things and feel bad about what they do because they will eventually get in trouble for doing something or not doing something. I follow that up with a statement that such an argument is flawed and is something used against atheists in the same way.

 

It is an over simplification and generalization about why people act the way they do. A person doesn't simply avoid causing harm to others because they think they will be punished. Also, people who have already hurt others don't feel fine and dandy in the same way. There is guilt, as you've mentioned, and compassion for others that is part of who most human beings are.

That is something a lot of religious people don't seem to understand. That there is no argument about how "long-term accountability" causes someone to act a certain way. Both sides have no accountability after death, so no one can claim this is an influence on others and not themselves.
Comment by Greg on December 30, 2010 at 4:57pm

John, I too believe in causality and a lack of free will. That whole idea is a cornerstone of why I find the christian story to be absurd. An all knowing God would have certainly known that Adam and Eve would fail his test. Yet, he did it anyway and punished them for disobeying him as if they had a choice in the matter. Why the fuck did he let a talking snake into the garden of Eden!!? Similarly, does a "just" and "loving" being punish something they create because it acts the way he created them to act? Insanity!!

Comment by John Camilli on December 29, 2010 at 5:30pm
I do it an easier way. I admit to myself that I am a machine whose emotion, thoughts, and actions are a result of chemistry. I have no control over this process even though the part of me called a "mind" thinks that I do, so I don't bother feeling badly about anything I do either. I just blame it on causality instead of God, so I don't need an elaborate mythology to reach the same end.

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