A hypothetical situation


While browsing stumbleupon, I came across this very annoying image, which was a screencap of some forum posts.

 

Origin: http://iraffiruse.net/post/7186044734

 

Now, most Atheists are applauding this logic, but let me point out the major flaw in this hypothetical situation (outside of the fact that it’s hypothetical).  As a Christian, this situation breaks the character of God, making the point void.  This logic assumes that God would indeed come to earth and encourage a person to sin, which He wouldn’t, according to His personality (if that’s the right word) in the Bible.  I can see how this logic looks from the Atheist perspective, but then you neglect to follow through your scientific method that the hypothesis needs to be tested, and to the most of my knowledge, God hasn’t came down to earth to any one person and said, “Hey, you get to do whatever you want and it doesn’t matter.”
The next issue is that Lachlan****’s logic of being good without god is even flawed.  God is still in the equation, so there is no “good without god” situation here, even if we acknowledge Lachlan****’s logic.  Now, you could say that Atharv**** is good, in spite his/her freedom to sin, but that’s the best you could say.

On another very important note, Christianity isn’t about following a set of rules.  I know this is a tough concept, even for Christians, because we have the 10 commandments, and the beatitudes, and various lists of do-s and don’t-s, but the Bible says for us to write the scripture on our hearts ( Proverbs 7:1-3″ href=”http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs%207:1-3&version=NASB” target=”_blank”>Proverbs 7:1-3).  If it were about memorizing and following a bunch of rules, you’d think it’d say, “write the scripture in your head.”  Writing God’s Word in our heart means we should be so in tune with Jesus that we just naturally act without breaking the rules.  When we burden ourselves and others with rules, Biblical or not, we become a stumbling block.  The rules are there so we understand just how sanitary and holy God is – if I went through the book of Leviticus, I could point out a pile of things where I am in error.  I’d be the first to say that I’m not perfect, and that is my testimony!  In spite of my imperfections, God allowed me to come to him, and now He calls me His child ( Romans 8:1-17″ href=”http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%208:1-17&version=NASB” target=”_blank”>Romans 8:1-17).

We can debate hypothetical situations until we die, but what matters is what’s real.  The Bible is real, even if you just understand it as a fictional document.  In it, we are able to determine what the God described in the Bible is like.  To the most of my knowledge, God has never ever given a human being free reign on life without consequences.  God has, however, given all humanity freedom to choose what we do, and who/what we serve.

Hopfeully that clears some things up :D

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4 thoughts on “A hypothetical situation

  1. “As a Christian, this situation breaks the character of God, making the point void.”

    So God is unable to break his character, making him not all-powerful?

    A better hypothetical: God comes down and tells you to kill your neighbor. Your neighbor has been blaspheming, working on the Sabbath day, and having impure thoughts about someone’s wife. So God wants them to be destroyed, and is asking you to be his tool in doing that.

    Do you kill your neighbor? Why or why not?

    You can’t very well say this is against the character of God, as he is reported as having done this numerous times in the OT.

    1. Hi, NotAScientist,

      God maintaining His character doesn’t affect His ability to be all-powerful. In theory, God can do whatever He wants, however He wants, and whenever He wants. Perhaps I misworded my point. What I mean to say is that God has every ability to contradict Himself, but if He did, wouldn’t that seem to take away His ability to be all-powerful (since He couldn’t make a mistake if He was all powerful). This, sadly, is circular logic and from my current understanding, neither of us could make a definitive statement on it. So, on that note, good catching that one – I’ve been known to be wrong from time to time, and maybe I shouldn’t have tried to make an argument on that point.

      But anyway, my point is that the good without god logic would only work if the original hypothesis did not include the existence of any god.

      In regards to your hypotheical situation, if God asked me to kill a neighbor because of some sort of sin, I’m not sure what I’d do. There are a few ways to look at the Old Testament verses that could shed some light on the situation.
      (I’ll just note that the terms I use to describe grace are my own, and they may have different meanings in theological dictionaries)

      View #1: God understood that the Hebrew people didn’t have the facilities for war criminals, since the Hebrews at the time were nomadic. This could be, in a few contexts, wrong. This logic could only be semi-acceptable before the Hebrews claimed Israel.

      View #2: God changed His mind. I don’t personally subscribe to this belief, because it implies that God is not all-knowing. In short, during the time of Jesus, God changed His mind on how He dealt with sin.

      View #3: God is still okay with killing sinners. I’d say that the New Testament doesn’t teach this, but it’s more implicit, and could be argued that God still uses this method. Again, I don’t subscribe to this, but it is a possibility.

      View #4: God did not have grace over before Christ’s crucifixion – sin resulted in death. In short, God put the sacrificial system in place in the Pentateuch, which was a black-and-white system, meaning that any sin was punishable by death. Post-crucifixion, God used lifetime-limited grace – sin can theoretically be dealt with at any point before death. This differs from View #2 because it is assumes that the crucifixion allowed the distribution of grace over sin.

      I’d have to side with View #4 (and #1), which would imply that God would not command me to do that. It’s not an issue of God not having the power to command someone to kill another, but whether or not God would do it. Just like every person has the ability to set their house/apartment/whatever on fire, but most people would not choose to purposely do that (of course, there are people who have instability in their lives that may do this, but I am referring to people who are of sane mind).

      Now, let’s assume view #2 or #3, for the sake of argument. If God told me to kill someone, I think I would give up my religious convictions, and either be agnostic or atheist – but then I’d also have to consider the fact that God told me to kill someone, which would give me some sort of proof that God does exist. I think I’d be more distraught, then, and perhaps disappointed at the God I served. I don’t think I could kill anyone, regardless – it’s not in my nature.

      Now, let me give you the same situation. God presents Himself to you, and says that you need to kill person x because they are performing some sort of sin. You can somehow determine that this voice is undeniably God, so you are conflicted on whether you obey God, but compromise your personal stance on killing another person, or ignore God, but acknowledge His existence. What do you do?

      1. “God understood that the Hebrew people didn’t have the facilities for war criminals”

        So God couldn’t give them facilities?

        “God presents Himself to you, and says that you need to kill person x because they are performing some sort of sin. You can somehow determine that this voice is undeniably God, so you are conflicted on whether you obey God, but compromise your personal stance on killing another person, or ignore God, but acknowledge His existence. What do you do?”

        I tell God off. I will never kill anyone, except in self defense. I don’t care who tells me to do it.

        1. > So God couldn’t give them facilities?

          That’s a good question, and one that I don’t have the answer to. I’m only giving options, anyway, since I’ll openly admit that I don’t have all the answers.

          > I tell God off. I will never kill anyone, except in self defense. I don’t care who tells me to do it.

          Then we can agree that any hypothetical situation is void until it is a situation in reality, since I don’t think we can even agree on what sort of authority God’s commands have. Besides, your response went outside of the scope of my question. You’re telling me that you’d tell God (read as God, not a man with long white hair and a beard) to go suck a lemon, but you never addressed that you’d acknowledge that some sort of God exists that has a set of rules that He wants you to follow to be considered “good” in His eyes. That’s the point of the initial situation in my post, and that’s what we’re trying to establish.

          I’m not trying to set up a straw-man argument that you can just throw me around to different topics that are outside of the scope of the discussion. The main question is, is it possible to be good without God, which in the original argument. If God exists, than it is impossible because it would then be impossible to be without God (not believing in a god who exists would not mean that the god doesn’t exist to certain people in certain situations).

          I am trying to appreciate the argument from an atheist perspective, but the argument is invalid, because of the above reason. Hopefully that helps you appreciate the argument from my perspective.

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