The Justice That Isn’t

There is an argument, put forward by theists, that if there is no god, no divine judgement, then it follows that terrible people who do terrible things and escape human justice have gotten away with it. Their crimes, their sins, go unpunished. The theist finds this possibility too reprehensible to consider and so they choose to believe in said god and said judgement. They are comforted by the fact that those who do evil in this world will eventually meet with the judgement of heaven and be damned. First off this is not an argument for the existence of a thing. Not wanting something to be so is not the same as proving that it is not so. Secondly there is absolutely no reason to believe that your god’s morality is the same as yours, and given the bible as an example there is every reason to believe otherwise. The bible god is recorded as not only condoning but commanding genocide (1 Samuel 15:2-3) for example and yet I would say that the vast majority of modern Christians would be opposed to the idea of wiping out every man, child, farm animal and (non-virgin) woman of any particular people and carrying away the virgins of said people to one can only imagine what sort of fate. There is no reason to suppose that, if there is a god, it would judge a crime in a way that would give its earthly followers the sense of justice they seem to crave.  As a matter of fact there is great reason to believe quite the contrary. John 3: 18 says quite plainly that “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” So according to this all that is required of us is belief in Jesus Christ as the son of god. All other transgressions and sins are forgiven by god as long as this single criterion is met. Where then is the divine judgement that is meant to punish the wicked?

There are of course passages which say that a person’s works and deeds are in fact the criteria by which they’ll be judged but there are just as many which, like the above, say that deeds and works are unimportant that a person is judged by faith in Christ alone. If this is the case, if all that is required to avoid hell is a belief in Jesus as the son of god then surely heaven is populated by a great many criminals and unjust people who raped killed stole, and did any number of terrible things while being absolutely sure that Jesus lived and was the walking embodiment of the creator of the universe. For that matter there are a great many devout servants of that god who are guilty of atrocious crimes against children who will not only not receive damnation but who will actually be forgiven their crimes due to their faith. Add to that the fact that the bible says that a disbeliever who is married to a believer will also be saved (1 Corinthians 7:14) and the loopholes just keep expanding.

If there is one thing the bible is absolutely clear on it is the fact that the unbeliever is doomed (Romans 14:23, 1 Corinthians 16:22, 2 Corinthians 6:14-17, 2 Thessalonians 1: 7-9, Hebrews 11:6) regardless of a disbeliever’s actions or character, regardless of their good works, their love of their fellow man, or their efforts to make a better, happier or more just world they are relegated to the flames. Is this the justice theists wish for from their almighty?

The “justice” promised by the bible god doesn’t even resemble any concept that could be called justice in any forum on this planet outside of North Korea or Soviet Russia or some other absolutist tyrannical dictatorship where loyalty to the leader and the party are the only requirement and all other crimes are secondary to that consideration. Of course theists, specifically Christians, are less likely to see the evil of this particular proposition because they themselves meet the one and only criterion, they have the keys to the kingdom so to speak. Just being on the winning side of injustice, however, doesn’t make that injustice disappear.  Anyone who thinks that the “justice” of the bible god is a good thing, or a desirable reason to believe in said god should perhaps take a better look at exactly what it is their book says about their god and its justice.

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Posted on October 3, 2012, in Bible, Editorial, Religion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. So very true. It’s sad that there are so many “cherry pickers” out there that don’t acknowledge the atrocities of there book, who only pick out the good parts. I personally know many religious moderates who will claim to not believe in hell. I don’t think many people have even stopped to consider that most of the most terrible, violent murderers and child rapist were “forgiven” at the pearly gates. Now this is the point where some would say “god knows what’s in your heart..” But that’s not what the book says is it? It says ask for forgiveness and you shall receive. So do you follow your holy book? Or have you made your own religion to custom fit your morals, to better help you sleep at night?

    • Couldn’t agree with you more, one of the things that makes the “cherry picking” you’re talking about so easy is the contradictions in the book. For instance the faith alone vs. good works one I mentioned. Because of the slipshod inconsistent way it’s written you can infer just about anything using the text. I wonder if that was on purpose?

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