On a recent blog post, in response to a comment I made, the author of the post included an analogy:
Who said you go to hell just because you’re human? They lied to you. You don’t go to hell simply because you are born with the disease called sin. You only go to hell if you reject the cure.
“Well gee, I got gang green on my foot and they had to amputate my whole leg and I’m mad about it!”
“Well did you take medicine for it when you first noticed it??”
“No. I don’t believe in medicines.”
Who’s responsible for the amputation, the advanced gang green or the guy who rejected the medicine after he was told it would cure him?
My response is rather long and directly follows that, but I think this is an important point that often gets thrown out there by Xians, and looks pretty reasonable until one actually looks at it a little closer.
If god is the "cure" then wouldn't we be stupid to resist? Wouldn't it be our fault for going to hell for not taking the "cure" that's staring us right in the face? Oh, if only it were so simply though, right?
This is similar to Pascal's Wager, which I won't rehash too much here, I hope. But, it must be said that the Xian has no assurance that a cure is even necessary, or that their beliefs constitute the true cure if one is indeed necessary. There are tons of purported cures out there for the all too human fear of death, and picking one out of a hat has just as much a chance of being right as being born into those beliefs.
But, what the analogy really misses is why the victim is suffering in the first place. How did the patient get gang green? If someone somehow gave the patient this condition, would we not find fault with that person? If that person then went out and found the cure and brought it back, would we simply absolve them of all their responsibility in bringing about this sequence of events? Wouldn't we hold that it was their moral duty to try and correct their mistake?
In this instance, is it not god that created humans as fallible beings with sinful natures? It would only be god's moral responsibility to fix that by giving us a cure, and one without strings, like demanding obedience from us and that we conform to specific beliefs. Sorry, but this is an analogy fail, because it glosses over the important parts of the equation, namely god's involvement in the condition. That's part of the problem with a so-called perfect, omni-max god, the buck always stops with him.