Why I'm not a Christian

There are many reasons why one would think that God does not exist. There is no one argument that absolutely clinches it for the atheist, but there is wide network of mutually supporting ideas which stack up in favour of non-belief.

My first approach at writing this essay was to try and cover the different areas of this tapestry and try and weave it together in to a consistent well rounded rebuttal of theism. Yet what I had was an essay that overly technical and lacking in basic appeal. It was unconvincing to anyone who wasn't already an atheist.

Instead, I'm going to focus on one strand of argument. I have to thank Sam Harris for framing the problem so deliciously in this video, but here's my own slightly tweaked version of the argument.

Children die. About eight million children under the age of five die every year. This is a hard number to get your head around so I created this little box to illustrate this:

The number of children who've died since you opened this page: 0

Every time the number counts up a small child has died. Right now there many thousands of children who are close to death and their parents are praying. They're praying that their child, despite its illness, will be spared.

It will not. The child will die in their arms.

Now according to the Christian faith the only way to heaven is through belief in Christ as our saviour. It says so at John 14:16:

I am the way, the truth, and the life; NO MAN cometh unto the Father, BUT BY ME. - John 14:16

However, the small problem is that many of those children were not, by any fault of their own, born in to families that are Christian and the Bible demands absolute belief in Christ:

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. - John 3:18

The result is that millions of children are sent to Hell. However, unlike our penal system, which releases people when they have paid for their crimes, these children will burn in Hell, forever.

There are two basic problems with this as I see it:

  1. In order to be a Christian you must really accept John 14:16, otherwise there is another way to get to heaven that doesn't require belief in Christ. If that's true, why bother with Christianity?
  2. This directly leads to a crime against humanity that would make Hitler blush. The infinite torture in fire of 8 million children a year added as compound interest on the debt of original sin.

By now my little count of dead children is probably getting towards the teens. If Christians are right many of those are experiencing, for the first time, the tremendous torment of Hell. Their bodies already weak from their recent death are just beginning their eternal torment in the agony of Hell-Fire.

Now the question I ask is why should I offer praise and thanks to a God that arranges this set of affairs? How does such a God lay any claim to be a moral teacher?

Why believe in a God who is a monster?

  1. 2011-12-14 13:51:00 GMT
  2. #Philosophy
  3. Permalink
  4. XML