Alternative Heaven

From cartoonist Pat Byrnes. Is any further comment necessary? Is it necessary to point out that the substitution of lies in place of truth is itself already diabolical, and the rebranding of lies as though they were merely a variant form of truth is even more so?

"I have no particular disagreement with your first two paragraphs, noting both the "full-fledged." "eschatological ..."

Michael Pahl on Jesus and Gehenna
"Galatians 1:11 can be translated differently, taking 'gospel' (the noun) and 'preach' (the verbal form) ..."

Mythicists Shock Bart Ehrman, Set Off ..."
"The whole point the Noble Lie is: you don't tell the *hoi polloi* about it. ..."

Mythicists Shock Bart Ehrman, Set Off ..."

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  • John MacDonald

    Can we read God’s “intentions” off of the divine products (scriptures, saints, etc.)?

    1. For example, Jesus taught self-sacrificial love (Agape). But does this mean God wants us to demonstrate self-sacrificial love? Consider the following thought experiment: A warrior God actually does exist who values displays of power and selfishness above all else. He wanted to come up with a test for people’s souls to see who would get into heaven. So he sent Jesus to earth to teach self-sacrificial love, and everything that is reported about Jesus’ life is historically accurate. But this was just a test: If you become self-sacrificial because Jesus told you to, you have proved your soul is weak, and you’re going to hell. But if you keep the courage of convictions of power and selfishness and the warrior spirit even though Jesus told you not to, you’ve passed the test and you’re going to heaven.

    2. Along the same line, maybe a sociopathic God gave the commandments to Moses to see who would keep killing even though they were being threatened with commandments. Maybe God really saw lying as a sign of cunning and strength. After all, even God lies now and then by putting lying spirits in the mouths of his prophets:

    And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will persuade him … I will go forth and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him and prevail also; go forth and do so. 1 Kings 22:21-22

    3. If God exists, there are an indefinite number of possible scenarios of what God’s value system might be. God could be evil, or even insane. Apologists like to take the divine products (scriptures, saints, etc.) at face value, but even if we accept scripture as divinely inspired, is there any way to know what the intentions of God were in the first place?

    4. For the sake of argument, let’s accept that Jesus was a divine being who really came to earth 2000 years ago and taught self-sacrificial love. Even if that was true, can we draw conclusions about what God’s “intention” was in sending Jesus?