HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!

 

GOD DOES NOT IMPLY THERE IS AN AFTERLIFE OR THAT INJUSTICES ARE MADE RIGHT BEYOND THE GRAVE
 
The Sadducees were the branch of Judaism that believed in God but not in a life after death or in a resurrection. These doctrines were not in the Torah and they wanted to revere the Torah alone as scripture.

They held that the concept of an all-good God would not necessarily imply that there was a life after death.

God is a mystery of a million paradoxes. God is no argument for a life after death for you don’t really know what he would do. He is necessarily incomprehensible to our mortal minds. If he is an argument for life after death then there should be no mystery in religion.
 
The Sadducees taught that life is a gift. If you get a gift of $5, you have no right to complain that it wasn't $10. So they concluded that if God gives you a few years of life and death is the end you cannot complain. So the Sadducee could argue that when God is good enough to give us a life at all we should be grateful even if death is the end. He does not owe us anything and would have the right not to keep us alive beyond death. But that would be true if we did no truly good works at all or was rewarded only in this life for our goodness. God could give you a reward before you do the works for he knows you will do X amount at least. That explains how a person can do great good and then die. It is because the good has already been rewarded.Some say that belief in God implies that there is no afterlife for if there were it would prevent us being selfless for we could anticipate a reward in it. That is not claiming that you can’t be selfless if you are going to get a reward after death for your good deeds. Perhaps there is a reward and you don't know. It is claiming that if you believe in life and rewards after death your good deeds are less selfless or not selfless at all. We must remember to, that life is a reward by itself. Many of us would rather live forever in poverty than not live at all. Let us think of reward as life and as the blessings we get in life for having done good.
 
When there is a choice between selfless love and gratitude for the reward you have to choose the former. It is not a sin to be churlish when you have to be for that is not being churlish but having no alternative. Gratitude that rejected love would be false gratitude.

Love is sacrifice according to all the religions. Where there is no belief in the afterlife, it follows that your good deeds will be more altruistic for there will be no reward expected. To be selfless believing that there is a reward cannot be as good as being selfless believing that there is no reward if altruism is good at all. You might not do the good deed for a reward in either case but it is better for you if there will be a reward or if you believe there will be. It is harder to do good believing there will be no rewards so it is more loving. It shows that you want to do good more because it is good and not for a reward etc. You would be at least slightly less sure of that if a reward was a possibility. God must desire that we be perfect altruists so there can’t be a life or reward after death or he does not want us to believe in it.

But what if he rewards in this life? Maybe he would but he cannot for rewards are spiritually bad for us according to the religious doctrine that love is sacrifice. Once we hear of rewards, we are never sure if they had a little influence in us doing good. Then they lessened the goodness for true good cares only about good not rewards at all.

God acts like he is boss. The fact that God may have power does not give God the right to tell people what to do. And the fact that God is good still does not give God the right to boss people for before we can listen to him we have to be sure he is good meaning that we should know what good is without depending on his authority. If we can be good without God then he should not be bossing us for bossing is an evil thing and needs to be necessary to be justified. So God as Lord and King represents immorality and evil and power – which is what the clergy want him for. We are his slaves. Any rewards he gives he gives not because we are sons but they are like the gifts a slave master can give his slave. Such gifts are an insult for a gift implies you don’t deserve or have earned what you get. If it is right to have a slave, then it is hard to see how it could be right or necessary to be kind to the slave. If a person should not be compensated for their work they should not be compensated for their work.
 
God has power and his creatures need him totally even just to breathe so they are always creatures - they are always slaves. If God does not exist then it is degrading to say he exists for that is telling us we are slaves when it is not true.
 
Rewards make God worse not better for they are not what he can think he ought to give though they are good for us. Perhaps we should believe that there is no life after death though there might be one? Perhaps God can’t tell us if there is one. That too would detract from self-sacrifice so he would have to believe that it is out of the question.

One major argument for an afterlife is that one is needed for God to make up for injustices that happen in this life. In this life the good suffer while the horrendously wicked go unpunished and life is a stroll for them. This argument is an emotional one disguised as good sense. It says more about the kind of person that accepts it than anything else. The good will not want a reward or the wrongs done to them made right. And what is the point of having the wicked suffer when they are not on earth anymore? We need punishment as a tool but only in this life and its about protecting the innocent and not correcting a moral imbalance. Punishment cares about stopping the criminal but not fixing his dark heart.
 
Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D: "There is no God to enforce fairness. The universe does not right wrongs, it just rolls along. This assumption can be handy too. It’s motivational in that it puts the burden on us to work for fairness. But it’s demotivational too. If the universe isn’t fair, then to hell with fairness. Grab whatever you can and don’t worry about consequences. No one is policing this dog-eat-dog jungle. Just be the biggest dog you can be."
 
www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/ambigamy/201804/is-it-better-believe-the-universe-is-fair-or-unfair

Fairness means that it is not enough to believe there is something fair out there. There has to be really something fair. In other words, fairness demands that if you say somebody is fair or a fair God exists then it is unfair to think there is fairness when there is not. Fairness then is about truth and fact. To say there is a fair God is a foundational thing which means you are very unfair if you are wrong. Errors about fairness draw you to deliberate unfairness. When you are unfair by accident you will be more inclined when you find out to be unfair on purpose. Fairness matters so much that it does not matter if it is accidental or deliberate. There is more to right and wrong than good or bad intentions. Good intentions are not important if it is okay to cause loads of harm just because your intentions are noble. To argue that intentions alone matter is really just caring about how people feel about themselves not the truth and not the principles of justice and love and truth.
 
If it is true that there is no inconsistency between there being a good God and his making a universe that goes bad then God or not the universe and life are not fair and may never be.
 
I disagree with Sherman's argument that the universe being unfair is demotivating. If it is demotivating we can still fight that lack of motivation so even if it works it is not a strong enough argument that we should believe in God or support such belief. You can be fair because the universe is not fair. It is all the more reason to be fair. If the universe is not able to do sums that is not stopping you from doing them.
 
The idea that there is no God to promote justice means you have to do for others what a God should be doing for them. Even if there is a God we should be doing good for others that he is not doing and doing it with an f**k you attitude. Anger against how things are is a good thing if it drives us to help so much as one person who would not have been helped or helped so well otherwise. Better to rage against how things are even if this means insulting God than to be resigned to it and leaving people to suffer.
 
Religion centres on God's forgiveness. But it does not do anything. It is allowing a second chance but it not doing anything to help it to happen. Getting forgiven and getting reconciled are two different subjects. Forgiveness is like an abstract decree. God has supposedly attached things to the decree such as promising to help you and your life be better in the future but even if he didn't the forgiveness would be not lessened. What is attached to the decree does not mean the decree does anything but that it does not. Forgiveness is a core teaching and shows us how useless the doctrine of God is. Its as important to daily life as algebra.
 
People feel they have to forgive God. Sometimes they just do it automatically without even realising. The person who thinks they accept what God has allowed to happen to their baby and the viruses he has made that torment her in fact are forgiving not accepting. There is something obscene about forgiving God for what he allegedly does to children so clearly it is the case that God is a hindrance to real fairness not a support.
 
If we are here to sacrifice ourselves and to suffer why should God make up for our unjust suffering? It does not make sense. If morality is painful for us is God to compensate us for that? Do you compensate a child when you have to put stinging ointment on his wound? We would be expected to love our enemies altruistically even when they are tormenting us to death. Morality is tough business. Even if we can’t do good for the enemy having a good will towards them is being self-sacrificing and that good will demands testing. If sacrifice is so good that no matter how terrible it is we must do it then there is no need for rewards. Indeed rewards would defeat the purpose and take away a chance to sacrifice.

You can’t really make up for injustices for you cannot make them not to have happened. Even God cannot undo the past. Accepting that is better than getting rewards or told that the past was not so bad. God cannot really right wrongs for even he has to accept that the past is the past and try to make a better future. That is not righting wrongs but preventing things from getting worse. A gift given to a person who had a terrible past is just a gift and even if intended to be amends fails to be. A murder victim who goes to heaven to live forever is still a murder victim. Their existence is not as good as it should have been when you take account of the whole picture. The evil done to them still happened and that is a black mark - forever.
 
It is thought that those in Heaven are happy for they forget suffering and forget that there are loved ones suffering in Hell. Christian happiness in this life involves the same process. Rewards and attempts to right wrongs are pointless when we forget them or if God makes us forget them. To say that God will put the balance right is to make it as good an idea to become the target of as much abuse as possible as to be perfectly happy. It destroys morality. If the evils in life are made up for by God then the evils have more or less to be forgotten.

If the afterlife exists and you are as sure of it as you are that a person that is not stabbed through the heart will live on, it is impossible to condemn murder for it is only killing a body but not the person. The person can still develop and learn if she needs to. And the distress of the relatives would be down to ignorance for why mourn if the person is alive? God condemns murder so death must be the end. It must be the final end for why condemn putting a person out of existence for a while if they can come back? That is just like making somebody fall asleep. Belief in the afterlife is only harmless if you keep it just as a weak belief and not as a certainty. Christianity wants you to treat faith as knowledge and that is sinister.
 
The doctrine of God implies that there is no life beyond the grave.
 
People are trained to take comfort in the idea of God who will keep them alive after death but this is a false hope for even if God existed why think that he would do that? There is no reason to think we can live on. However it is still possible that we survive death. We have no reason however to think that we do and to really care for our lives in this world we have to abandon the concept.

BOOKS CONSULTED

AFTER DEATH – WHAT? Fred Pearce, Christadelphian Publishing Office, Birmingham
ETERNAL LIFE, Hans Kung, Collins, London, 1984
GOD AND THE NEW PHYSICS, Paul Davies, Penguin Books, London, 1990
HANDBOOK OF CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS, Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli, Monarch, East Sussex, 1995
JEHOVAH OF THE WATCHTOWER, Walter Martin and Norman Klann, Bethany House Publishers, Minnesota, 1974
IS THERE LIFE AFTER DEATH? Paul Kroll, Worldwide Church of God, Pasadena, California, 1988
MIND OUT OF TIME, Ian Wilson, Gollanez, London, 1981
LIFE AFTER DEATH THE WONDERFUL FACTS, Alan Hayward, Christadelphian, ALS, Birmingham
REASONS FOR HOPE, Ed Jeffrey A Mirus, Christendom College Press, Virginia, 1982
TEACH YOURSELF PHILOSOPHY OF MIND, Mel Thompson, Teach Yourself Books, London, 2003
THE AFTER DEATH EXPERIENCE, Ian Wilson, Corgi, London, 1987
THE DEVIL HIDES OUT, David Marshall, Autumn House, Grantham, 1991
THE LIFE OF ALL LIVING, Fulton J Sheen, Image Books, New York, 1979
THE INCREDIBLE CREED OF JEHOVAH WITNESSES, Frs Rumble & Carty, TAN, Illinois, 1977
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO HEAVEN? Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Publishers, Oregon, 1988

The Web
 
www.csicop.org/sb/9803/reincarnation.html
Case of Reincarnation Re-examined by Joe Nickell. This refutes the reincarnation claims of Jenny Cockell.

BIBLE QUOTATIONS FROM:
The Amplified Bible