an atheist viewpoint

thoughts from a non-theist

God, not infinitely merciful.

I’ve spent a few days wondering what to write about the ghastly apologist nonsense that Al at Please Convince Me wrote about the Christian god handing out infinite punishment for finite wrongdoing, and I’ve come up pretty short. The whole thing is obscene, and not much else needs saying.

Got to give regular commentator both here and over at PCM, J C Birthner, some credit here though. Addressing the issue of god’s mercy he made the following comment –

Since I can forgive without the shedding of blood*, I put it to you that I am more merciful than YHWH, therefore YHWH is not infinitely merciful since there are those more merciful than he.

The idea that YHWH is still forced to punish people means YHWH is not infinitely merciful since the amount of mercy could be increased.

*“Indeed, under the Law everything is purified with the shedding of blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” Heb 9:22

Absolutely brilliantly put. The theist position can be undermined so easily, can be shown to be disgusting so quickly, that there’s nothing much more to add. 

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19 thoughts on “God, not infinitely merciful.

  1. Aiming at the low hanging fruit of Fundamentalism is an easy task, but it doesn't address the complex realities of historical Biblical exposition on the atonement. It's not difficult find Jewish literature from the Second Temple Period, and Christian literature from the early post-apostolic era, which rejects the concept of a God who requires an infinite punishment for sin, and who cannot forgive unless blood has been spilled.You might like to start with my historical review of atonement exposition. Academia profile is here.

  2. Any publisher who publishes a Bible or Torah with the book of Leviticus should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity.

  3. That might be a wee bit excessive.

  4. A good telling off, and a sticker on the front warning just how ugly the contents are, might be in order.

  5. Now I feel famous! But seriously "infinite mercy"? I didn't get an answer for my question besides "that's blasphemous".

  6. JC, glad you're ok with me repeating your point.Yeah, they didn't seem to be big on replying….

  7. //Yeah, they didn't seem to be big on replying….//I've noticed that's a characteristic of your blog.

  8. Fortigurn, I did read your paper.

  9. Thanks JC. My comment still stands.

  10. fortigurn, excuse me for not responding to every last word you type. As soon as i'm properly back online (broadband went down y'day evening and my only connection is via my phone at the mo) i'll be sure to give your self important pomposity bursts the time they deserve.As for your accusation that i've deleted comments of yours, that's complete balls. The worst that has happened is blogger marking you as spam….and again as soon as i'm properly online i'll deal with that.

  11. Alex please spare me the histrionics. I have not required you to respond to every last word I type. Please don't offer transparently dishonest excuses either. You responded twice to other posts on this page without once acknowledging mine, so it's clear your reason for not replying to me here had nothing to do with your internet access. I also note the predictable (and completely unnecessary), ad hominem. If you want to be a witness against Fundies, you have to stop acting like they do.//As for your accusation that i've deleted comments of yours…//I made no such accusation. Please quote me accurately. If Blogger is marking me as spam then I'd like to know why it's approving some of my posts but not the one post in particular I keep copy/pasting here. Do let me know if there's anything I can do at my end.

  12. Well, well, I replied to you and my post has disappeared again. I haven't required you to answer everything I write, but please don't use dishonest excuses; you posted twice after I made my comment here, without responding to me, so clearly your decision not to reply had nothing to do with your internet connection.//As for your accusation that i've deleted comments of yours…//I never made any such accusation. Please quote me accurately.

  13. I just took a screen capture of that post of mine, to prove it was on the blog, so let's see what happens to it now.

  14. Ok, it's gone. How surprising.

  15. Ah, Blogspot spam filter! Causing trouble since January. If the comment is filtered as spam it displays for a short while. This fools the spammers but causes problems like these.

  16. JC, I see you've inspired an entire post over at the hapless PCM!

  17. I just read the piece.It seems so muddled.First it seems like he's arguing that that his god's mercy can't be infinite because it's balanced by other factors. Then he ends by asserting that god's mercy is infinite.I hope I'm reading it wrong

  18. I read it the same way. They get hopelessly mixed up trying to make incompatible ideas match up.

  19. I reread it, and can safely say it's contradictory nonsense. They really are absolute lightweights over there.

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