Friday , December 13 2019
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God the Teacher

Summary:
I was looking at the reaction on Facebook to Bernie Sanders’ hospitalization. Someone wrote, “I hope he dies and burns in hell” (or something like that). It really struck me: I do not at all think God operates in such a crude fashion. I am happy for people to post Bible verses that apparently endorse this conception of the afterlife; I’ve seen very good rebuttals to the ones I knew about. (BTW here’s a book challenging the idea that the writers of the Bible think of Hell the way we do.) Try it this way: Start by imagining your ideal 3rd grade teacher. Can you possibly imagine if her reaction after an altercation between students would be to inflict physical punishment on the one in the wrong? (Or both, if they were both in the wrong.) And furthermore,

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I was looking at the reaction on Facebook to Bernie Sanders’ hospitalization. Someone wrote, “I hope he dies and burns in hell” (or something like that).

It really struck me: I do not at all think God operates in such a crude fashion. I am happy for people to post Bible verses that apparently endorse this conception of the afterlife; I’ve seen very good rebuttals to the ones I knew about.

(BTW here’s a book challenging the idea that the writers of the Bible think of Hell the way we do.)

Try it this way: Start by imagining your ideal 3rd grade teacher. Can you possibly imagine if her reaction after an altercation between students would be to inflict physical punishment on the one in the wrong? (Or both, if they were both in the wrong.) And furthermore, can you possibly imagine if what she did to the “bad student” was WAY WAY WORSE than what he had done? Because in the conventional interpretation, Hell is the worst thing imaginable. So if God sends you to Hell, then He (by construction) is giving a punishment worse than the crime.

Now if you are with me so far, do this: Think through why you answered the way you did, in the paragraph above. Does it involve things like: The teacher is much stronger than the 3rd graders, she is much smarter, she is much wiser, more mature…?

Finally, notice that for each of the reasons you cited, that is also true of God vis-a-vis us, by times infinity.

Does it really sound plausible that because some guy advocated socialism, that God is going to torture him for eternity? That makes no sense at all.

Robert Murphy
Christian, Austrian economist, and libertarian theorist. Research Prof at Texas Tech and author of *Choice*. Paul Krugman's worst nightmare.

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