Saturday, March 29, 2014

Outsourcing Child Abuse

Imagine if parents told their children this:

If you always agree with our views, you will live a very pleasant life. If you disagree with our views however, we will torture you for as long as you exist.

This would seem like some form of child abuse, right? Then if we are to be consistent, should we not say the same thing about religious parents who tell their child the same thing but outsource the reward/torturing job to a deity?

Then of course there’s the problems with the existence of a supposedly morally good deity behaving in a manner akin to child abuse. Should God behave this way towards children—or for that matter people of any age? Would a good deity torture people forever simply because they weren’t convinced he was real?

I should add as a caveat that these problems don’t apply to all religions or religious families, but for those it does apply, it does seem to be a criticism worth considering.