The follow are questions from a non Christian, how do I defend against it?
"Problem 1 : Original Sin (or “Sins of the fathers” doctrine)
We all know this one. It’s one of the first things you’re taught to accept as a Christian: you are flawed and sinful, an aberration in the eyes of god; worthless and bound to an eternity of suffering by default just for being born. Why? Because 6000 or so years ago, a woman was tricked by a talking snake into eating a magical fruit. This indiscretion is now your inheritance, and as far as god is concerned, you are equally responsible.
Original Sin is precisely why Christians are told to never ever question god. The doctrine is so unjust and unreasonable that the only way anybody could possibly believe or defend it is if they’d been actively discouraged from thinking about it critically.
Not in any justice system in the world would you find a judge that would punish the protegee of a criminal for the actions of said criminal. No parent would hold their grandchildren responsible for the misdeeds of their children. In no way is such a system fair or just. That any reasonable person could equate such behavior with the unconditional love of a benevolent creator is beyond ludicrous. This one doctrine alone makes the god of the bible not worth serving. So, not only am I personally guilty for the sins of Adam and Eve, but if my own biological father committed a crime and was sentenced, according to biblical laws and Christian thought, his “sins” are also “visited upon” me as well.
If we are to believe that as humans, we are flawed and imperfect but can devise a better standard of justice than a supposedly perfect, infallible being then what does that say of this so-called god? And if we are to accept that we cannot possibly fathom his ways because they are so beyond us, then one has to question why an infinite, unlimited god is somehow limited in making himself understandable to his own creation.
Problem 2 : Satan
Now this one has never made sense. According to Christianity, Satan is the enemy of god, the fallen angel, the Rebel that caused man to sin and messed up god’s creation. The belief is that Satan, in the form of a talking snake tricked Eve in the Garden of Eden having been cast out of heaven for insubordination (even though this is not actually what the Genesis account says).
So, instead of simply destroying the usurper that the omnipotent god already knew in advance would screw everything up, he simply “cast him down to earth” and left him hanging around so he could mess up the perfect world that he created. What’s more, having tricked Adam and Eve, god doesn’t punish Satan directly at all, instead, he curses his “beloved creation” and then curses all snakes which, according to the bible, used to have legs and now eat dust. However, the fundamental issue remains: why did god let his arch rival off the hook? Twice?
If Satan is the root of all the world ills, and god is omnipotent, then that makes the god of the bible entirely responsible for the consequences as he is the only being that could completely stopped him in his tracks. If a serial killer was rampaging your town, and the police knew who he was, where he lived and how to capture him but instead chose to do nothing, then not only would the police be grossly negligent, they’d inadvertently be responsible for any further killings. It could even be argued that they were somehow colluding with the killer. The same applies to bible god with regard to Satan.
Problem 3 : Hell
An obvious one, but still worth mentioning. In relation to the previous problem, the concept of hell is a direct contradiction to the notion of a god of love. Even as Christians we knew this, but were too scared to give it much thought, so instead we came up with all sorts of excuses to make god look like the good guy by laying the blame at the feet of humanity. It’s not that god is wicked and cruel for creating a system by which most of his creation will burn and writhe in excruciating pain forever upon death, we are the ones at fault for pissing him off. We are bad, we are sinful, and we deserve whatever we get. All we need do is pull ourselves up by the bootstraps, fall into line and OBEY and everything will be OK. God doesn’t send us to hell he created, we send ourselves there.
These were the excuses I used to justify god’s apparent cruelty. Of course, they are merely apologetic hand-me-downs dreamt up by Christian thinkers intent on blaming the victim.
The biggest problem I had with the doctrine of hell was that it seemed too binary, too simplistic. Any misdeed, no matter how small meant eternal torture in hell if one was to die at that moment. Thus, someone who simply didn’t believe in Jesus and a child molester, according to this doctrine get the same punishment. Some Christians console themselves that the “bad people” of the world (such as the aforementioned molester) will one day get what they deserve in the fires of hell, but fail to realize that if another person gets the same punishment for much less, then justice has not been served. Interestingly, for all their claims to objective morality, these same Christians are blind to the fact that the doctrine of hell, rather than discouraging “sin” can actually have the opposite effect. After all, if the punishment is always the same in the end, does it really matter what one does?"
How are these refuted?