Saturday, May 06, 2006

"Fairly" Good Quote

Blogging has been a bit sparse for me recently, but I did come across a quote last week in the sidebar of Pharyngula that I thought I would mention. This relates back to my ongoing discussion with Ernie, back when we were talking about hell. At the time, there was some question over whether we should expect God to be fair, and further which definition of the word "fair" we were talking about. As I said at the time, fairness in the sense of impartiality was not an issue, but fairness in the sense of justice was. Anyway, this quote captures the essence of the argument pretty well.

Is God fair? The Christians say that God damns forever anyone who is skeptical about truth of bunkistic religion as revealed unto the holy haranguers. What this means is that a God, if any, punishes a man for using his reason. If there is a God in existence, reasons should be available for his existence. Assuming that such a precious thing as a man's eternal future depends on his belief in a God, then the materials for that belief should be overwhelming and not at all doubtful. Yet here is a man whose reason makes it impossible for him to believe in a God. He sees no evidence of such an entity. He finds all the arguments weak and worthless. He doubts and he denies. Then is a God fair in visiting upon such a skeptic the penalty for his inevitable intellectual attitude? The intelligent man refuses to believe fairy tales. Can a God blame him? If so, then a God is not as fair as an ordinarily decent man. And fairness, we think, is more important than piety.

E. Haldeman-Julius, "The Meaning Of Atheism"

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