Daily Archives: July 28, 2011

The Concept of Heaven is Immoral

File:Paradiso Canto 31.jpg
What's that you say? Heaven is immoral? Yeah, I think so, and for the same reason that most people believe that hell is immoral.
Why is hell, or the concept of hell, immoral? It's not that punishment per se is immoral, it's that a punishment disproportionate to the offense charged is immoral. So, if I'm living in NYC in the early 90s, and someone steps on my new, clean, $200 Air Jordans, it would be immoral for me to pull out a gun and shoot that person. But if I stop the person and say “Yo, you stepped on my bleach white $200 Air Jordans, G!” and demand some sort of verbal apology, then this would be a more appropriate response.
With the concept of hell, we have the same disproportionate response to some sort of slight. What could possibly warrant burning or being tortured for all eternity? Since the god of the modern hell-proponent religions is described as being infinite, the theologians of those religions claim that the punishment for offending an infinite being should also be infinite. But of course, this logic doesn't hold.
Imagine Godzilla rampaging through Tokyo, and some random Japanese guy yells at Godzilla while running away “You suck!”. What has that insult done to Godzilla's ego, assuming he understands poorly dubbed Japanese? He's fuckin' GODZILLA. It's like the equivalent of throwing a rock at him; he probably wouldn't even notice. On the other hand, if King Ghidra comes flying down from space and is like “You suck!” and hits Godzilla with one of his lightening-breath attacks, Godzilla might feel threatened since they are of similar stature. And then it's on.
Or, keeping with the infinity theme, if I stole a dollar from a person that had infinite money, then I should be punished with the crime of theft; I shouldn't be punished because I robbed someone with infininte money as opposed to someone who only makes $70,000 a year. Some might even argue that I really didn't make the person with infinite money lose any “property” or net worth because they have infinite money.
Of course, who in their right mind would demand that, since I stole a dollar from someone who had infinite money, I should be punished by having to give infinite money back to the guy who had infinite money?
So back to this infinite god. What could a finite crime committed against an infinite god actually rob from this infinite god? What has this infinite god lost? The god is infinite; he has an unlimited supply of whatever it is that makes him infinite. Any sort of offense would be like dividing infinity by any finite number. The god is still left with infinity. If anything, any punishment would be infinitely disproportionate – thus infinitely immoral. On the other side of that, assuming that any god who gets offended has to punish at all implies that this god has lost something. Any god that has the ability to lose something would not be infinite.
Alora. If this analogy with infinite money holds, then its flip side – giving someone with infinite money a dollar – should also hold.
What exactly has the person with infinite money gained by me giving them a dollar? They have infinite money. If we want to maintain justice, then I should be rewarded in the same exact fashion that I would be rewarded if I gave a dollar to a person that makes $70,000 a year. But most of us would decry any sort of reward given to a person who gave someone with infinite money an “extra” dollar (how many of us congratulate millionaires or billionaires if/when they win the lottery?). Giving a better reward for giving a person with infinite money a dollar as opposed to the guy that only makes $70,000 a year  – when they don't actually gain anything – would be a disproportionate reward scheme and would actually be unjust, unfair, and could possibly even be considered immoral. It would be similarly infinitely disproportional, and subsequently infinitely immoral.
Like I wrote above, since the concept of hell is a disproportionate punishment this implies unfairness and this is why many people see it as being immoral. Likewise, the concept of heaven is equally as unfair, and should be seen as equally immoral. What sort of value could I add to an infinite god that he would notice any sort of boon? Again, the god is infinite; it would be like multiplying infinity by any sort of finite number. It might make sense to a 10 year old (i.e. “I'm awesome times infinity!” “Yeah, well I'm awesome times infinity plus one!“) but that doesn't work in the real world.
What's worse, what would happen in the real world if we awarded people who gave these hypothetical infinite money fatcats a dollar with infinite money themselves? People would be falling all over themselves to buy their one-dollar ticket to infinite money. All sorts of otherwise apathetic or truly immoral people would be quick to pay lip service or give their dollar to the guy with infinite money. Just like people would be walking on eggshells around the guy who would punish them infinitely if they were to have even thought of stealing a dollar from the guy with infinite money.
Make no mistake. Any liberal Christians who think that hell is immoral should be similarly outraged at the concept of heaven. If the concept of hell is immoral, then the concept of heaven is immoral as well.

Posted by on July 28, 2011 in apologetics

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