This video, which I found at The Bronze Blog, is a very insightful and entertaining evisceration of Pascal’s wager. (Read the amusing comments section, too.)
I’d add that any deity that levied eternal punishment for not believing in it is a narcissistic, pathetic, infantile asshole (to put it mildly, and to set aside its resemblance to most privileged men and women I’ve known) in whose heaven I would not want to spend eternity. And I would hope the millions of souls it consigned to hell would rise up in revolt, depose it, and take over heaven.
The vision of God most Christians seem to have — the one taught to me as a child — is dressed up in the rhetoric of love, but is described in terms that clearly resemble a psychopathic parent-figure, and while I can kinda-sorta understand how people who strip the god-of-their-beliefs of this psychopathology, what baffles me is how some people can fully believe in a god without stripping out this psychopathic stuff.
The language used in so many churches is itself an indictment. Most of humanity has rejected the validity of monarchy in the political domain, yet they keep calling their god a king, a lord, a master. Words from monarchy, serfdom, and slavery. It’s very, very interesting, and troubling once you grasp it. Especially how “father” gets conflated with these three titles, and “love” gets conflated with stuff like control, surveillance, and manipulation.
You would think that people who don’t see this simply are not trying trying not to see.
Exercise to the reader: what would a Christian theology adapted to a deep-seated democratic consciousness look like?Are they even reconcilable?
(It’s a puzzle I’ve slowly been thinking over for years, for a novel I want to write someday…)