Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Which Is More Moral, Mercy Or Justice?

Mercy: the discretionary power of a judge to pardon someone or to mitigate punishment.
Justice: the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness.

If a man commits terrible crimes like rape or murder, or even lesser offenses such as theft or assault, but at the end of his life recognizes the error of his ways and comes to sincerely repent before the Christian god, he gains entry into heaven.  This is claimed by Christians to be evidence of their god's mercy.  You cannot earn your way into heaven; God must grant his mercy.

However, if another man has lead an exemplary life, one without crime and full of compassion for his fellow man, but simply cannot see any reason to believe the fantastical tales of the Christian religion or their savior, he does not gain entry into heaven, but faces an eternity of punishment.  No mercy here; and no justice in either outcome.

Of course, the Christian may say that all have sinned and any sin is abhorrent to their god, so both men are equal in the eyes of their god.  The one man receives mercy because of his honest acceptance of Jesus.  That's right.  It doesn't matter how heinous your crimes or how trivial your missteps, they are viewed as equally reprehensible to God. I find it disgustingly laughable that the being directly responsible for the deaths of millions, perhaps billions in the Bible finds even the most gentle, compassionate, and honest citizen of this planet too sinful to accept.

Of course, he can accept the good person, the rapist, the pedophile, even the mass murderer, if they pay the right price; absolute belief in God and along with it their intellectual freedom as well as their sense of fairness.  Turn over your life and place complete faith in a being that has demonstrated that he is far worse than you and you can be forgiven anything, but live a good life of reason and compassion and deny this being and there is nothing that will save you.

There is no justice in this Christian view of God.  In fact, it looks more like a religious version of organized crime's protection money scheme: "Pay me now, with your unquestioning faith, or something bad might happen and neither one of us would want that now would we?"

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