Monday, 1 September 2008

Sins of the Fathers

Let's do a thought experiment, shall we? Let's say that person X murders person Y 10 years before you are born. Further, let's suppose that the police come knocking on your door tomorrow and say, "Because person X murdered person Y 10 years before you were born, we are coming to punish you for that crime." You would surely be outraged. You would immediately see this as a completely unjust action, would you not? So, why is it OK for god to hold people accountable for actions they never had a part in? Let me explain.

In the Bible, god boasts about his wrath and that he will visit upon the sons the punishment for the crimes of the fathers down through the ages. He even carries out this boast on a number of occasions. He has Saul murder the Amalekites, for one, because he's upset with something Amalek did generations before. He also has done this to all of us in invoking original sin, the doctrine whereby he holds us all accountable for the actions of Adam and Eve. If you hold that god is infinitely just in everything he says and does, then you have to agree that it is just for one to hold another accountable for actions they had no hand in, actions that occurred before they were born, actions they had no chance to choose to do or not do, etc. Yet, in the case above, you would say that this very action is unjust. This is a double standard and one that clearly shows that god is not just.

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