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28 January, 2010

A Question of Faith

I got the idea for this blog a few weeks ago when I was listening to a morning radio program that was having a discussion on Steven Baldwin's typical Born Again answer to the question, "If someone had a gun to your head and told you to renounce God, would you?"  Evidently, someone asked him if the gun was up to his young daughter's head, what would he tell his daughter to do? His response was something to the effect of "I would tell her to do what I had taught her," which pretty much means don't forsake your lord and get your brains blown out because you're going to heaven anyway.

An atheist would have no problem telling someone they did believe in God if it meant their life. There's nothing cowardly in that. It's simply that we have no over-bearing, jealous and unwavering Desert God to keep us from preserving our own lives. Also, it makes no sense that God would get some kind of satisfaction from people letting themselves be victims of crime just to stroke his ego. I mean, wouldn't God of all people understand? I'd tell a man with a gun that I hate my father and that he's the worst dad in the world. No problem. Afterwards, while my dad and I enjoyed the fact that I had escaped a crazed gunman, I'd thank him for being such a smart man and teaching me to keep my wits about me. He'd never for an instance think I'd actually meant what I said to the gunman. After all, my dad is the best father in the world. And apparently, he's even more forgiving and understanding than the God of Abraham.

The question came up, what if you were the one with the gun to your head, would you want the Christian to denounce God to save your life? Great question. The hosts said they would, even though they themselves admitted to believing in God.

But what about an atheist? A Christian knows through what they are taught in their faith that the moment the gunman pulls the trigger, that atheist is going to hell. What would be a worse sin? Denouncing God to save another person's life or getting them killed and sending them straight to hell?

Would would Jesus do?

I'd like to hear from atheist what they think about  this situation, why there shouldn't be a problem with lying to psychotic people with guns to save lives, and what their general reaction to this story about Steven Baldwin's daughter might be.

Christians, I want you to answer the question. Use scripture if you'd like. In fact, please do. But when you do, I'd like you to think long and hard about the answer that you are giving, and why it makes sense to you.

That's all.

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting that Atheists so readily denounce anything or anyone in an effort so save their life. On one hand, a Christian might think that the Atheist has the most to lose; if they don't do what the gunner wants, they go to hell. On the other hand, the Atheist realizes that he has the most to lose for other reasons; if he doesn't do what the gunner wants, everything simply stops.

    For an Atheist, there is no retrospection on acts resulting in death. Christians readily have them, as in "if I denounce my god, my time in heaven is compromised." Note that their own life is not in their mind, as is in the Atheist's, but rather their afterlife. If one doesn't believe in an afterlife, there is nothing to worry about. Thus, this question doesn't entirely revolve around the question of belief in god, but rather belief in afterlife.

    Note that an Atheist who believes in afterlife (a logical possibility) would also want to make any decision he needed in an effort to save his life for the purpose of not "kicking himself" about it later; a traditional Atheist would only want to save his life for the sake of being alive.

    There is one point that is blaring in my mind, however: if the Christian does not choose to denounce god in an effort to save his life, he is selfish. Many depend on his living; he has family (except in less-likely cases), and they certainly would like him alive. To leave one's family in the name of one's afterlife is selfish; it is to put one's own wants in front of the wants (or needs) of others.

    In the eyes of an Atheist, such selfishness is confounded even more by the fact that the afterlife may or may not be a reality. If it's not, not only was the Christian selfish, but he didn't even get what he wanted out of it. Of course, in that case, no one would be satisfied, as retrospection could never occur.