Yes. Since all desires are a product of the architecture of the brain, if anyone intelligently designed the brain, they could have simply designed it to only desire doing good. For example, you are free to eat cow dung, yet you never do. Why? Because it's repulsive. The same brain system that makes the prospect of eating dung repulsive could have been wired to make the prospect of sinning repulsive.
Conversely, for example, lust is a very powerful motivator. Sex is very enjoyable, even the prospect of sex is enjoyable, which we know is the product of brain chemistry. So the same brain system that causes our chemical enjoyment of sex and pursuing and thinking about sex (or food or air or other basic drives) could have been wired instead to cause our chemical enjoyment of kindness and honesty. To an extent, it is wired that way, but weakly and imperfectly (with excessive genetic variability, and highly sensitive to the right conditions during child development), owing to the fact that those features of our brain are very new products of evolution, whereas basic urges (like sex and hunger) evolved dozens of millions of years earlier and thus are more thoroughly integrated into our brain.
As a consequence of non-intelligent design, that makes sense. As a consequence of intelligent design, it makes no sense whatever. An intelligent engineer would integrate the pleasure systems reinforcing moral behavior just as thoroughly as basic drives--and would exclude needlessly harmful drives like lust (unless the pursuit of lust, like the pursuit of honesty, would never be regarded as immoral). Thus, people who were better designed, would be more consistently moral, and would enjoy being moral so much they would be much happier people as well.
Someday we will have the technological ability to intelligently design ourselves. Until then, we are clearly not the products of intelligent design, and must cope with our imperfections. Thus, if a god designed us, those imperfections must have been deliberately put there by god (or the causal laws that produced them must have been created by god). There is no other way they could have gotten there.
You should take a writing class, and Richard should be your teacher. I have a very hard time trying to understand what you mean, despite reading it over and over. I think Richard can explain your argument better than you can. How about you get him to help you say what you mean?
So God made us sinners, and aware of our sins, so that he could offer us salvation from our sins? Whoa!
And so that that we could appreciate his offer? Whoa again!
And he did all this, while glorifying himself for making us desire sin? Double whoa!
Man! Calculus IV is easier than God 101. This world is doomed, if God expects us to understand that explanation. And if we don't understand it, I don't see how our repentance could ever be genuine. And if its not genuine, we can't be forgiven for our sins. We are doomed. Satan is gonna get 99.9% of all the human souls. God is gonna get the souls of all people who died during childbirth.
Thanks for answering the question in your first sentence. Thanks for following up that straight answer with explanations. You answer/reasoning is easy to follow, easy to understand.
Sounds like the stuff people say when they're smoking pot. Sounds like Deepak Chopra too.
Thanks for the writing advice... however, it looks like you did understand what I said. You just didn't like it.
Nonetheless, I updated it to make it a little more coherent.
If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.
Thanks for replying.
You're right when you say that I don't like it.
I mean, I don't like your description of God.
If your description is right, then God is a tyrant. If you're right, then God doesn't love us more than he loves to self gratify himself.
It seems that God does what he wants, and that anything that God does is good by you, even when its not good for people.
If you're right then it seems that his love for us is small compared to his love for glorifying himself.
It seems like we are just mere humans. Pets?
Sure, he loves to play with us, but how can we love him, as much as he wants, when he prefers to self glorify?
Seems like his love of self glorification is more valuable than all the glorification he can receive from mere humans.
I'm gonna read your answer one more time.
Sounds like you're looking for a fight...
The tyrant analogy isn't really valid. A tyrant is a human just like us -- he's just a human. He's born, he puts his pants on one leg at a time, and one day he'll die. For someone like that to demand absolute control and to self-glorify... yeah -- that's a problem.
A closer analogy would be to compare God to an author. We are the characters in his book. There are good guys and bad guys, and the author has decided how they will all act. If the bad guys get theirs in the end, would we call the author a tyrant? (Romans 9:18-24)
Even the analogy of the author, while it is much closer to reality than the analogy of the tyrant, falls vastly short in that God is absolutely perfect, whereas no human author is. God literally deserves glory and honor and praise because He is exceptional in absolutely everything.
As John Piper puts it, if God did not seek His own glorification, He would be an idolater.
What is your current belief system, if you don't mind sharing?
I understand why you think I was making ad hominem arguments. It's my fault. I wasn't clear.
Let me try to be clearer.
When I wrote that:
'"Nothing in all of creation is and is not at the same time and in the same way."
Sounds like the stuff people say when they're smoking pot. Sounds like Deepak Chopra too.'
What I meant was that, that subset of Tim's words are as incomprehensible to me as words that I've heard uttered by folks smoking pot. As incomprehensible to me as "Deepak Chopra talk".
My first point is that I do not understand those words. My second point is that even when I make my best guess at what those words mean, I still do not understand how its germaine to Tim's argument. What I mean is that I'm having a real hard time following Tim's argument.
I think that, how he is saying things is getting in the way of him being understood.
I'm making an effort to underst
"Tyrant" is perhaps too strong.
Still I think that you agree that, God loves himself more than he loves us. And I think you think that, his self love is correct, since he is without equal.
To that I say: Ouch! If you are right, then we are small potatoes to God.
In answer your question about my beliefs.
As I inquire more, I now, more than ever, think that the five major religions are too complex, and not beautiful, and contrary to my conscience. I believe in "The Golden Rule". But, I suppose I think that science is mankind's best hope for answering difficult questions. I was taught that "God is Love", and so I thought that God loved people (his children) above all, but it seems that God loves himself above all. I was raised as a Pentecostal, but never experienced anything supernatural. I now disbelieve supernaturalism. I suppose I'm humanist on Mon,Wed,Fri, and Sat, but I think that God has to be better than you say (for peopl
If you're looking for simple, it's odd that you would pursue Carrier's brand of Atheism. Generally speaking, philisophical naturalists are proud of the fact that ancient, ignorant, prehistoric cave people's simplistic answers to big questions are not good enough for them. "What made this happen?" one cave man asks. "God did it!" another replies. This theistic simplicity is rejected by philisophical naturalists.
If you want simplicity, "God did it" is about as simple an answer as any you will find.
Further, it's completely coherent and fully plausible, unlike the ultimate answers Atheists offer. "What made this happen?" one Atheist asks. "Nothing" replies the other. Nothing!?! Talk about implausible and incoherent!
Sigh. One person argues that Christianity is for ignorant, simplistic, superstitious fools. Another argues that Christianity is only for people with multiple PhDs.
If you are looking for proof of love, the Creator sacrificing Himself in your place is the perfect demonstration of it.
When I say that practicing supernatural religion supernatural religion makes like complex what I mean is that two "separate magisteria" exist and that we have to compartmentalize. As a modern person who revises his worldview to match science I maintain and update an understanding of the universe. If I were to practice a supernatural religion that understanding would not be sufficient, I would also have to maintain a supernatural understanding of the universe, that would almost certainly conflict with my existing understanding. Dealing with such conflicts would be complex, and I think drive me nuts. Genesis says earth before light. Physics says light before earth. Ouch! They both can't be right. I'm a simple guy. I prefer one answer, or else at an honest admission of ignorance.
Regarding the sacrifice of Jesus, as proof of God's love for humanity.
I'm gonna take a stab at this.
Let's say Christians are right.
Let's say God sent Christ (a non-physical being [spirit]) to earth and he took the form of an implanted human zygote, and develop into biological man/god named Jesus, and that Jesus and God are part of the Christian trinity like Christians say. All for the benefit of mankind.
Then I say: "So what?" "Big Deal". If were Christ I'd do it too. As Christ, I'm a trinity participant, and I'm eternal, and I know I'm gonna survive the crucifixion, and head back to heaven real soon. A 36 year life on earth is a tiny small moment. The pain duration is a tinier moment. It's not much of a sacrifice at all. People suffer similar torture even today. Sometimes for many years. Sign me up. I get to save eternal souls, and that's all I gotta do? Sign me up.
Too bad it's not m
The only reason science is possible is because Atheism is false. If Atheism were true, either nothing at all would exist as there would be no ultimate cause for any of it (and no one would exist to practice the scientific method), or else the Laws of Logic would be invalid, in which case knowledge of any kind would be impossible. Further, without a consistently logical God there is no reason to presuppose that the Laws of Logic are invariant and universal, meaning again that there is no reason to believe that knowledge itself is possible.
Science under an Atheistic universe would not exist.
Mosquitos suck your blood to enable their species to survive. How many times have you invited a mosquito to bite you to perpetuate their existence? This is like what Christ did for us. I doubt you have ever demonstrated the kind of love that God has demonstrated for us. I know I have not. God's love for us (as Tim Keller would put it) is nothing short of prodigal. And frankly, if we are comparing the triune God to a human, then to compare humans to mosquitos would be a step up for us.
According to Stephen Hawking (and many other experts in that field), the universe did not need God to come to be.
You continue to make my case. God doesn't care. We are worse than mosquitoes (relatively speaking).
God drowned all humans, except for Noah's family.
Then he said he wouldn't do that again. Hurray!
We get rainbows! Yay! So instead of another drowning, Christ sent himself to earth, and was cruxified, cuz he wanted to do that. I can't make sense of how that could save anybody, but don't worry, cuz Jesus's second coming will banish 99.9% of all humans to eternal damnation, after making them suffer horrible torture here on earth via every kind of God caused natural disaster ancient authors could dream of.
And yet: "God is Love." is the slogan.
The punishment for idolatry is execution (Exodus 22:20). We have all committed idolatry, but Christ was voluntarily executed in our place, paying that debt for us, provided we trust Him.
Because we were created, we owe our Creator complete obedience every moment of our lives. None of us have given it to Him. Christ was not created, and owed nothing to anyone, yet He willingly obeys the Father eternally, thus paying another debt that we owed and He did not.
So, yes, God is love.
"According to Stephen Hawking... the universe did not need God to come to be"
According to God, it did. (John 1:3)
I don't find your appeal to "authority" particularly convincing. Hawking never created me, never even witnessed creation. Why should he be considered an authority? God, however, is Himself my Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer. I'll take God's word over Hawking's any day.
Hawking is desperate to deny the possibility of God, not because of science, logic, or rational thought, but rather in spite of science, logic, and rational thought.
Hawking's worldview provides no justification for believing that the Laws of Logic are valid, meaning that if he were consistent with his own worldview, he would claim that knowledge of any kind is impossible. The only reason we can know anything at all is specifically because Hawking is wrong.
You can blindly put your faith in Hawking if you like. I'll put my faith in the one who created Hawking.
I say: There would be need for salvation if someone chose to sin. Also, even if no one sinned, just because there would be no need for salvation or forgiveness doesn't mean that there couldn't be a meaningful relationship between God and man. Also, God performing an action to glorify himself at the expense of the eternal suffering of countless billions of souls sounds like the worst form of selfishness to me, and if any other being condemned people to eternal suffering and misery for personal gain, you would immediately label that being as deeply evil. Why hold God to a different standard?
I agree with your first two sentences. Nonetheless, the relationship depicted in your second sentence would not have the depth of the actual relationship we can have with Him because of our sin and His forgiveness.
On your other comments, you seem to have an improperly elevated view of man -- a common error. You wouldn't have any concern over burning a stick for heat, or relieving yourself into a toilet. Aren't you being selfish in your lack of concern for the stick or the toilet? God says you are a created thing, just like a stick or a toilet (Isaiah 10:15; Romans 9:21).
He is your Creator (that is why He is held to a different standard). He decides what to do with you. It is we who are selfish if we claim He isn't allowed to do so.
First, your analogy is a false one. Secondly, your analogy is an irrelevant one.
(1) It is false because I spoke about God causing suffering for personal gain; sticks and toilets are not sentient beings capable of experiencing suffering, so no suffering is caused to them by starting a fire or using the bathroom. Therefore, I am not causing suffering for my personal gain when I do those things, so selfishness does not apply to me in that scenario.
(2) It is irrelevant because pointing out any perceived (or actual) selfishness in a particular individual (me in this case) does not absolve another individual of their own selfishness (God in this case.)
My point about God’s actions, and His very nature, being wholly and entirely selfish still stands (you haven’t successfully refuted it yet.)
Also, I reject your notion that "might makes right," (which is essentially what you suggest when you try to justify holding God to a different standard just because he is Creator.) You have not demonstrated that the state of “being Creator” warrants being held to a different standard, so I am still left with the question, “Why hold God to a different standard?” I do not recognize any right of His to do what He wants with me, or others; no such right has been demonstrated or explained.
Since God's selfishness hasn't been refuted, and since a proper demonstration of the necessity of holding him to a different standard has not been provided, the points in my original post still stand.
When you say "selfish", if you mean "self-glorifying", then this is a good description of God, and I would agree that He is. If you mean "in total control of everything", then this is also a good description of God, and I would also agree.
If, however, you mean "evil" or "morally wrong", then this is the same as saying that the ultimate authority has deviated from the ultimate authority, which is the same as saying that God is and is not at the same time and in the same way. This is, obviously, logically incoherent. No one could hold to such a view, as to accept it is to reject it.
According to your theology, God’s nature is necessarily selfish. Would you care to concede that point or attempt to refute it? (I didn’t mention him being “morally wrong” or “evil” in my posts, though we can discuss that later if you’d like. Instead of moving on to morality, I’d rather take this one step at a time.)
God's selfishness still hasn't been refuted, and a proper demonstration of the necessity of holding him to a different standard than we ourselves are held to still has not been provided, so my original points still stand.
"Excessively" means "going beyond the proper limit", a form of error. God, as I explained in my last comment, cannot err. To suggest otherwise would be logically incoherent.
In that He is "without regard for others", it is a trivial exercise to scripturally demonstrate that the God of the Bible has great regard for His people (Deuteronomy 23:5, 33:3; 2 Chronicles 2:11; Proverbs 3:12; John 3:16, 10:11, 16:27, 17:13; Romans 9:13); and within the three persons of the Trinity, there is eternal regard one for the other, even in the desire to mutually glorify each other (Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22; John 8:54, 17:1-26; Hebrews 2:7).
It does not seem as though your definition of "selfish" accurately describes the God of the Bible.
For what I think you want to accomplish, there's no need to waste your time making empty, manipulative, semantical arguments, like claiming God is "selfish" and then trying to get me to agree. The God of the Bible doesn't conform to arbitrary humanist values, and the text itself proclaims this fact. Why not describe Him in the Bible's own words? Wouldn't that serve your purposes with more clarity?
God commands the execution of all women and children in an entire nation (1 Samuel 15:2-3).
God blinds the eyes of Israelites specifically so they will not be saved (John 12:39-41).
The Bible instructs women to submit to their husbands (1 Corinthians 11; Colossians 3:18; 1 Timothy 2:12; Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 3:1).
Just quote the Bible and say "I can't worship a God like that" rather than trying to contrive some negative label for Him that doesn't really fit.
I think if you stop confusing humanist values with Christian values, and argue presuppositionally rather than trying to blend two opposing worldviews, your arguments will produce more light than heat (instead of the other way around).
My purpose was not to compare and contrast Yahweh with a humanist’s standard. I am simply exploring your views. As for selfishness, you attempted to refute the claim that God is selfish on two fronts:
(1) The first, you failed to address the “or exclusively” part of the definition (as in “...excessively or exclusively with oneself...”) I would argue, based on the view as laid out in your post, that God is concerned exclusively with Himself. In that case, He fits this definition.
(2) I reject the claim that God shows regard for others: If He created us for the purposes of glorifying Himself, then any appearance of regard for others is merely regard for His own personal gain. The fact that he murders and condemns others to eternal torture shows that He really has no regard for others. The verses you listed are merely further examples of Him acting for His own personal gain. They have nothing to do with regard for others, even if they resemble it on the surf
God’s selfishness has still not been refuted. And thank you for pointing out that He is also unfair (John 12:39-41) and genocidal (1 Samuel 15:2-3.) I am not contriving a label for Him that does not fit. The label “selfish” (or even something like “Egotistical Murderer,” or “Genocidal Tyrant”) seems to fit quite nicely.
I didn’t say those attributes were negative either; you used the word negative. I was just pinpointing the factual attributes of the God you serve. If you attributed negativity to those facts, then that speaks volumes about what you truly think, deep down, about Yahweh’s nature and His actions, regardless of what you say about Him to us.
I don’t like making presuppositions, and I refrain from doing so in my own worldview. But, for the sake of discussion, I attempted to follow the implications of the view you laid out in your post, to explore its consequences and validity.
As for consequences of the Christian view, check the command Jesus gives in Matthew 5:48 - “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.” This command explicitly tells us to be in accordance with Yahweh’s nature.
Now we must weigh the commands and values as laid out in the Bible, checking them for coherency. It seems that on one hand, those of the Christian faith must condemn the likes of Stalin and Hitler for violating precepts that prohibit murder; but on the other hand, Christians must not condemn the likes of Stalin and Hitler, because their actions were in accordance with Yahweh’s nature, which, according to the Christian view, is the standard of how we ought to behave.
It doesn’t seem like a coherent system to me. Also, It is certainly destructive and cruel. That you don’t see the absurdity of Christian Theism is beyond me.
Take care :)
All your chosen terms are straw men. In Christianity, God is the ultimate authority by definition. Therefore, He can't err. Your terms by definition describe one who is errant and is thus not the ultimate authority. There are similar words you could use that do not involve error, but you have chosen others that do. You could say that God kills. Fine: no error. Instead you call Him a murderer, which demands error. You could have called Him a dictator. Fine again: no error. Instead you call Him a tyrant, claiming error.
In Christianity, the Christian God can't err: He is the ultimate authority. You are suggesting that in Christianity, the Christian God CAN err: He is NOT the ultimate authority. That is simply false. It is a straw man argument: you are not fighting against Christianity, but rather a distortion of it.
In sum, in Christianity, it is not the case that God ought to conform to your arbitrary humanistic ethical standards. To say otherwise is a straw man
-We are to be perfect humans, not perfect Gods. Dramatically different job description.
-God does not gain anything by Him being glorified. Rather, His people do. This addresses not only your concern that God shows no regard for others, but also your concern that I did not address the word "exclusively".
FWIW, I really think you would do better to simply quote scripture to describe the Christian God rather than making up your own words and trying to get me to agree with them. You would come across to those who share your views as a heroic humanist rather than as a deceptive and manipulative trickster, trying his bestest to get us weak-minded Christians to say things we don't really believe.
First, please realize that I never once said that Yahweh should conform to humanist standards. I never even brought up humanist standards. You did.
Secondly, you said my terms were Straw Men because they implied error, which God cannot be in. To demonstrate this, you listed two specific examples. I have to reject both, for the following reasons:
(1) Error means “an act or condition of ignorant or imprudent deviation from a code of behavior.” Being omniscient, no matter what God does, he does not “deviate from a code of behavior out of ignorance or imprudence.”
(2) The term “tyrant” doesn’t imply error at all. Tyrant means, “a ruler who exercises absolute power oppressively or brutally.” This term aptly describes Yahweh’s character.
(3) Murderer simply means someone who has killed innocents. Yahweh has killed innocent children before. This doesn’t constitute as an ignorant deviation from a code of behavior, so it doesn’t imply error.
Thirdly, your response to Matthew 5:48 seemed to suggest that we are called to “be perfect humans, not perfect Gods.” That is a silly response. According to Matthew 5:48, “perfect” for both entails the same moral attributes; the verse explicitly describes the “perfect” that humans are called to be as the same “perfect” that Yahweh is.
Fourthly, I reject your notion that God doesn’t gain anything from being glorified. Being glorified entails gaining glory by its very definition. He created us for His own glorification (read: personal gain.) A non-glory giver and a glory giver are essentially the same, except one gives glory and the other doesn’t. We can see by what He does to non-glory givers that He has no regard for them. In this light, any semblance of regard for others is merely an illusory side effect formed by His own craving for personal glory. It’s the personal gain He is interested in; not others.
I have not made up my own words to describe Yahweh. I have used already existing words from the English language.
I am not seeking glorification from “those who share my views.” I reject this descriptor: “deceptive and manipulative trickster.” I have not tricked, manipulated, or deceived anyone. I have merely done three things:
First, I described Yahweh’s nature based on His actions as revealed in the Bible. Second, I examined certain scriptural commands, including, but not limited to, the command to act in accordance with Yahweh’s perfect nature. Third, by weighing the commands and values in the Bible, and keeping Yahweh’s revealed nature in mind, I concluded that the Christian value system is dangerous, cruel, and incoherent.
Since Yahweh’s nature as described has not been successfully refuted, and since the Biblical commands I listed still stand, I’m afraid I will have to hold to calling the Christian value system dangerous, cruel, and incoherent.
My goodness, Trey, you just have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. There is no conceivable way I can explain all of your errors to you in this comments section. I'll toss you a couple of bones, though.
"Murdering" is a subcategory of "killing people" differentiated from other subcategories by the issue of legality. To say that because God kills people (BTW, no one is innocent in the Christian worldview), He's a murderer, is like saying that because Fido is a mammal, He's a cat.
Likewise, "tyranny" is a subcategory of "dictatorship" uniquely identified by its distinct abuse of authority.
Not all dictators need be tyrants, and not all who kill people murder them.
Illegal behavior is errant. You're saying He's a murderer, thus breaking the law. You are the one calling Him errant. That wasn't me.
Abusive behavior is errant. You're saying He is a tyrant, thus errant. Not me.
You're making repeated category mistakes in order to finance your battle against straw men.
Just stick with the scriptures instead of distorting them. You'll get much better results.
I'm done chatting with you on this subject as you refuse to even acknowledge, let alone correct, your inaccurate depiction of Christianity.
Tyrant already has a meaning. I listed its definition earlier from Merriam Webster. One needs 3 characteristics for Tyrant to fit: (1) Be a ruler (2) who exercises absolute authority (3) in a brutal way. Those are the ingredients. If you think that is “abusive,” then that is another entirely unrelated matter. But as for being a Tyrant, Yahweh fits the bill; He meets all 3 criteria. This also in no way implies error. I listed the definition of error earlier too (from Merriam Webster) as you seemed not to know what that meant either.
Likewise, the rest of your post is equally ridiculous, but I won’t bother responding to all of it since you are done chatting. You did not demonstrate that my view of Christianity is inaccurate. My conclusion has not been refuted and still stands.
Assuming that god has free will and does not sin, why can't we be like that also? After all, he has allegedly created us in his image.
Couldn't your views be reconciled by realising that the bible is partially a human and devine document.
Tim your determinist outlook does makes God look like an abusive tyrant and I find it to be harmfull to our understanding of God and to the process of Apologetics.
Trey your apparent literal interpretation of the entire bible is unfair and is not applicable to most educated Christians today. You are, as Tim says, attacking a straw man. I am an evangelical Christian and i do not even believe in an eternal hell of torment and punishment. Id be happy to share my views on hell if you would be interested.
The realationship between God and man is mutually beneficial. is not not about God exercising tyranical authority. God created a people for himself that would freely choose to love and enjoy him forever.
Bless you both
I'd be very interested in hearing your views on hell.
"Tim your determinist outlook does makes God look like an abusive tyrant and I find it to be harmfull to our understanding of God and to the process of Apologetics."
I wholeheartedly disagree (obviously). I believe that a deterministic view of God most conforms to the view the scriptures present throughout. If we reject the view the scriptures present, it seems to me that that would be harmful to our understanding of God and the process of apologetics.
Further, to call God abusive is to charge Him with fault. I've already been through this argument with Trey -- namely, that the one in absolute authority cannot logically be at fault. In fact, it is only with a deterministic view of God, where He is in absolute authority, that we can logically conclude that He is unquestionably NOT at fault and therefore NOT abusive.
So I disagree with you by definition -- if divine determinism is accurate, God cannot possibly be abusive.
God is perfect. He cannot sin. Sin cannot even be in his presence. If there was sin in his presence then he would not be perfect.
Let's say you were given the opportunity to create something that you could love and love you back, example, a child. Would you give your child free will to love you or force him to love you. Is forcing the child to love you the perfect way of showing your love back?
But in his original answer he said that all god's actions were for the purpose of glorifying himself. So the sacrifice was necessary to maximally glorify, rather than being some altruistic act of love towards humans.
Tim says that suffering/sin is needed in order for god to be glorified - this is the "best" because it then allows god to bestow forgiveness. This answer suggests that all god's actions are purely self serving and whether they benefit or harm humans along the way is incidental.
Isn't it obvious that God began with the tree of knowledge to get all the evil out of the system immediately? Based on a 6 day / 6,000 year and 7th day covenant / 7,000 year rest, the Bible will probably only hold value for less than another century.
By 2100, I would probably renounce my faith if I were still alive, if Jesus hadn't kept His end of the bargain by then.
In the meantime, I think it wise to believe that God has a plan, it has all only just begun, and we might as well trust that God is all good, knows what He is doing, and wants to have "gods in the earth" as if we were in a God Basic Training program, and one day, as "children of God" be able to make wise decisions, build even better worlds, and remember sin and evil no more?
It seems that "Eternal torment" wasn't meant for humans and in the end, most people will be granted life, whether noble or not, who knows?
Can God be compared to humans, being like an alien to us? Does God "need" or "want" anything? He made a temporal realm to launch a program for life that can be sustained for a time, then terminate it to explain the mystery of it all when it's said and done. Can God be "unfair" at all?
We all want answers. Wouldn't you agree it makes more sense that God is all good than to doubt? Doubt is the hardest thing to get past. I'm thankful I have suffered, been unjustly imprisoned, and tortured, because now I know without a doubt, God must love me. Seem paradoxical? But you know in your heart I'm telling the truth.
That's not a bad thing. At all.
"We would have no forgiveness,"
No need to be forgiven for being turned into a mauled and flawed creature because God made sin so powerful.
"and our relationship with God would be empty of the passion that it holds."
I'd prefer to have less knowledge of God and a much, MUCH less passionate relationship if it meant not knowing that he is willing to torture those who weren't born into the right religion forever and ever and show his impossibly strict and unreasonable "justice" to us.
I'd rather have only the free will to choose HOW to love God instead of WHETHER, if having "free will" to sin, (which is actually having no choice but to sin, since he bombards us with temptations by putting us in sinful flesh) were infinitely offensive to him.