1) If morality is absolute and defined by God; and the Bible is the word of (or inspired by, depending on your doctrinal orientation) God, then why does the Bible endorse views that are by and large considered to be immoral, if not inhuman?
2) How is it moral to condemn humans to infinite punishment (or torture, if you're that way inclined) for finite crimes?
3) How do you reconcile the biblical view of an original pair of human beings whose sin brought death and suffering to all their descendants with the findings of modern science?
To the first question, I provided two quotations from the Bible where it endorses rape, genocide and slavery most of the responses were fairly typical, ranging from “That’s out of context!” to claiming that Biblical slavery was actually really nice. Both of these responses are quite plainly absurd. Interestingly enough no one felt game enough to try and justify the rape and genocide from Numbers 31.
The third question attracted a legit fundie, who said things like “Nothing in modern science goes against the traditional, literal teachings from the Bible.” And “Evolution describes a possible history. Creation describes a possible history. Science does not support or disprove either one.” I responded fairly briefly to his smorgasbord of fallacies and mistruths, providing him with links to learn more about the subjects he obviously hasn’t the slightest clue about. Some of the other responses included misusing the ‘Mitochondrial Eve’, claiming it supports a literal Adam and Eve, when it does no such thing.
Where the real juicy moral dissonance came pouring in was the question about eternal torture. Here are some quotes from the responses.
“The offended one dictates the extent of punishment. Offending an infinite God requires an infinite punishment. Since humans are finite beings, except for their immortality, the punishment must take eternity, or else an infinite payment credited instead.”
“Without hell, then there is no proof of God's holiness, or mercy or love.”
“Yes hell is a terrible and torturous place, but it is proof of just how important love, mercy and justice are to the God of the Bible”
“Those who are commanded or judged to go to hell and suffer, are those who chose not to do so[To love God], but instead of their own free will disobeyed instead.”
It amazes me that people have allowed this religious doctrine to poison their moral thought and their empathy for their fellow humans. What was going through their heads when the words “eternal torture” came up on the screen?
Here are some excerpts from my responses to them.
Isn't God supposed to be merciful? Not to mention omni-benevolent (though this is admittedly not from the Bible)? Yet you still think that in God's dishing out of eternal punishment/torture he is satisfying his merciful, just and benevolent natures?
What of the 'sin' of non-belief? What of a person who despite their trying, and at one point desire to believe in Christianity, simply cannot? Is it just at all to punish someone who can't bring themselves to believe that a God even exists? I am of course speaking of myself here, I was raised in the church, and became an atheist just before my 20th birthday, I just couldn't believe any more. Do you honestly believe that I deserve eternal torture for simply being honest to myself?
I care for my fellow human beings and that is exactly why I find the doctrine of hell repugnant. I do not 'love God' in fact I think that a being that thinks it right to torture his dissidents would not be deserving of love, but rather would only be deserving of loathing and contempt. I do not steal, cheat, lie, am not violent and I am very interested in social justice and helping the poor. Despite all this, because I care for the wellbeing of my fellow hominids, and care very much whether my beliefs are true, I will be tortured for eternity according to your belief system.