Refuting Apologetics #2

Once again the intellectual featherweights at Frank Turek’s Cross Examined tossed me a big, fate softball. The article, Infinite Punishment for Finite Crimes? attempts to make sense of this idea of sending people to hell for eternity for a sin that has an expiration date.

“The assumption underlying the challenge here is that there should be some correlation between how long the offending act took to commit and the punishment that is attached to it.”

After reading this article over a few times, the author seems to be saying that non-believers think this way about crime and punishment. Well, breaking news, Mr. Apologist, I don’t know of any atheist who thinks like this. That’s stupid. My contention is that even the crime of murder is finite in effect and the punishment ends with the perpetrator’s end. The effects of the crime may be felt long after, but we’re talking about the punishment in this case.

The author states that God cannot be victimized, but he does have the right to separate himself from those who rejected him. I won’t argue that God can’t be victimized. To reject God presupposes a relationship with God. I don’t believe in a theistic god of any type. I am aware that there is a character in the Bible known as God and that many apologists refer to him, but I can’t get past the logical contradictions. There is one other line in that paragraph, “We are not chosen at random for such punishment.” Tell that to the Calvinists.

And here is why I do not believe that the God of the Bible exists:

“Though our bodies will die, our souls live on. Let’s consider for a moment what this means: while we may have forgotten many, or even most, of the times that we erred, the times that we hurt others, the times that we did not live up to what was expected; He has not. Each of our sins, each of the times that we chose to act or think in a way we knew violated His perfect will, each of those instances may seem to be the distant past to us, but God is not limited by time.”

We’re human and we make mistakes. To think that the supposed, all-powerful creator of the entire universe cares that I took a penny and didn’t leave one, or I lied when I said that I couldn’t go to a co-worker’s party, tells me that people are in an abusive relationship with their God. Why the fuck would this allegedly amazing entity be bothered by humans being, well, HUMAN? Didn’t he apparently make us this way? I don’t understand how this author can seriously think that this kind of relationship is healthy.

“We have chosen to stand before God, unapologetic, demanding that He accept us just as we are, proud of our lives and our choices. Judge us and find us worthy, we demand. What choice does this leave to a perfectly just judge?”

Perfectly just? This author spent the entire article describing a petty and vindictive judge who set up humanity to fail from his first words to Adam. This is the same “perfectly just” judge who spent most of his time passing down his laws to Moses talking about how build and decorate an altar instead giving us actual, useful laws like don’t rape women and children, be a good steward to this planet, and don’t be a dick to others. Perfectly just, my ass.

Refuting Apologetics

The following article crossed my Twitter feed the other day, “How Understanding Divine Omniscience Helps Anxiety“. It is from the website, Cross Examined which is a Christian apologetics website run by Dr. Frank Turek. This article was written by Brian Chilton for his own apologetics blog.

The first part of the article is an introduction to the author’s point of view, his theology studies, and the fact that he suffers from anxiety. I’m not making any comment on that since I know folks who also suffer from anxiety. He also does the common apologist thing of breaking down and defining a big word. In this case, it’s Omniscience. It means “all-knowing” so now you know. So apparently, knowing that God is all-knowing can help people handle anxiety in three areas. That’s what I’m critiquing, but I’m doing them out of order.

1. Anxiety lessens with God’s knowledge of events in time.

Um, what? The author says, “However, when a person couples God’s knowledge of what will happen along with God’s goodness and love, then anxiety should fade into the divine arms of God.” First of all, I am going to give the author the benefit of the doubt and assume that he’s talking about acute anxiety and not chronic anxiety. That said, it still doesn’t matter who knows the outcome. If I don’t and if I can’t get the answer, especially if it’s a health-related issue, no amount of fantasizing about God’s knowledge is going to help.

I’m skipping #2 for a moment. I’ll get back to it.

3. Anxiety lessens with God’s knowledge of purpose.

According to the author and pretty much every apologist out there, God has a specific purpose for each one of us. That purpose happens to be what I ultimately end up doing that makes me happy. Was that God’s purpose for me? I don’t know and I won’t know. This is the equivalent of writing my purpose down, locking it in a safe with a four number, 1-100 combination lock, then encasing that safe in a four-foot thick concrete block, and launching it into space. I might as well decide what I want to do with my life and be happy.

OK, on to #2.

2. Anxiety lessens with God’s knowledge of injustices.

I remember back years ago when I was in elementary school and getting teased and harassed because I was a big kid with ridiculous hair. I would lay in bed at night and fantasize about being a superhero type and kicking those kids’ asses or some great justice being rained down upon them as a sort of schadenfreude. Of course, I wasn’t a superhero and there was no supernatural force that would teach them a lesson, so I would have to face down the same misery the following day. This is basically what the author wants us to do about things worse just being made fun of. He wants to look at the injustice in the world and just say, “God will sort it out.” He’s telling his readers to bury their heads in the sand because a supernatural force, at some unknown time and place, will correct everything.

Ignoring injustice and imagining that a supernatural being will take care of it without actually doing something is juvenile at best. And I’m talking about actual injustice as opposed to mask mandates and vaccine passports (rules designed to keep people safe and healthy are not injustices). I’m talking about subjugation of women, the disproportionate killing of minorities, the marginalization of the LGBTQ+, and religious persecution of minority faiths* among other injustices too numerous to be named here. These are things that can be defeated with a concerted effort by those of us who are willing to stand up for these people and for what we believe in. I’m not willing to wait for a day that will never come when God will sort out the bad guys from the good guys. We need to take action by donating time and money to groups who will take up these causes, by voting for candidates who will fight for everybody and not just their big-money donors, and by holding those elected officials accountable. If you are like me and disproportionately privileged because of your race, color, and gender, then get out there and stand up for everyone. But wear a mask because there is a still a pandemic happening.

*NOTE: I’m not talking about religious types who claim to be persecuted because they can’t persecute others.