Friday, June 10, 2011

Not Being Punished for Bad Behavior--Is in Itself a "Reward"

Recently I had a discussion with a Christian about the doctrine of repentance, and I presented him with the analogy below:

I said that the notion of salvation and repentance would be akin to a child who disobeys his parents' command not to do"X".  His parents find out about his misdeeds, and the child truly repents and is sorry for his actions--so the parents reward him by taking him out for ice cream and buying him an X-box. What's more, any time he breaks his parents' commandments and truly repents, he is rewarded in similar fashion.

In my opinion, this is the worst parenting strategy I have ever heard of--and sadly enough, it is the method used by the Christian god to "parent" his children. The ancient Christian philosopher Pelagius agreed with my analysis, as he said this doctrine led to "moral laxity."  This is because not being punished for bad behavior and being rewarded with eternity in heaven IS a reward--which allows Christians to continue in their "sinning ways," believing they will still be rewarded in heaven as long as they repent.

A worse analogy would be a Christian going on a killing spree, and then telling the police he is truly sorry,so the police let him off the hook. What about all the families without their loved ones? What do they get?  Nothing.  In the realm of Christian ethics, there is no justice, and there is no compensation for the victims of their crimes.

The majority of Christians also say being good is not good enough. For example, no matter how good Buddha was, they say he is in hell because he did not believe in Yahweh and sons. But if god rewards for good works, then wouldn't this apply to non-Christians as well?  How unjust and odd it would be otherwise.

1 comment:

Annatar said...

There is a possibly apocryphal story that Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi commander who was directly responsible for the Final Solution, repented to Jesus before he was executed. So, he would go to heaven because he repented of his sinful ways and accepted Christ into his heart.
Bill Craig would say "well, no true Christian would actually think like that" like he did in his debate against Shelley Kagan.

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