C.S. Lewis is not accepted as a canonical writer by any Christian tradition. This doctrine is just his opinion and not universally accepted by all Christians..
It is, however, a very convenient way of getting around the awkward clash between a god who is claimed to be completely loving and one who creates evil, makes wagers with the devil and throws people in an eternal torture chamber because they don't believe the right things before they die.
It does not match what the gospel writers believe that Jesus taught without a lot of word twisting and semantic assaults and somersaults.
Of course! And Lewis himself would have it no other way, I am sure. :) After all, he was no theologian.
However I do not think that makes his explanation any less valid. After all, his books have earned him a lot of respect, I even hear some Catholic bishops quoting him from time to time. :D
Anyway, I do not think his explanation does not match gospels. If your previous posts are any indication I will not agree with the arguments that you may present to support that claim, but in spite of that I would like to hear them very much. Actually – is it possible that some author or other has already addressed those issues in writing so that one can perhaps read such well-composed and carefully reasoned argument? That might help. :) Any links?
Btw. I believe that the Anglican Church has pronounced C. S. Lewis a hero of faith, which seems to be basically as close as they get towards pronouncing a person a saint these days... :D
How do you rectify the need to believe the great myth that god works in mysterious ways and in the end all will know he was right... with the fact that we have the capacity to understand suffering and assign blame to god here and now
As for an intellectual out for hell its quite easy.
1. The torah has one occurrence of a word that means netherworld similar to hades not a place of suffering just a place of afterlife. Judaism has no set dogma on life after death beyond a vague idea that there is an afterlife and when the messiah finally arrives that the faithful may gain eternal life.
2. The gospels ... being the 3 that were chosen by committee to enter the bible not the 200+ others that were not chosen ...all have different accounts of Hell .. jesus speaks at length about it but has differing words on the subject. In Matthew Jesus goes to hell for 3 days and 3 nights. This trip to hell isnt mentioned in the other 2.
Its not hard just takes a little bit of critical thinking and reasoning.
The answer could lie in the fact that, in the end, the Judge of all the Earth is righteous and just.
@ d.clair. - Or the answer could be that your God is not just or it could be that there is no God, and that men wrote the Bible. It could be a lot of different things.
The number one thing I respect about atheists, is they are the first to step up and admit it when they don't have all the answers. Christians feel like even saying something like "ours is not to question why" is perfeclty acceptable as "an answer".
It's a cop out. It is an excuse not to use logic. It is the corner stone of why religion remains relevant at all in today's world. People cannot deal with not knowing where they are going.
He's not doing alright by child soldiers, by the millions starving in Somalia at this very moment. He didn't do alright by the Spanish and German Inquisition.
How could he sit on his hands, when a run of the mill atheist would,could and should do something when seeing people tortured.
My heart bleeds for people I don't know. Yet you say God will come good - but in the meantime they can starve and be tortured.
Perhaps you should give some serious thought to whether you would want any of your children to behave in the way the Jewish/Christian god behaves in relation to punishing others for someone else's crime and inflicting cruel and unusual punishment that has no relationship to the severity or time constraints of the "crime". Would you want your children to feel just if they got a small child and tortured him unmercifully for the rest of his life, making sure that he got whatever was minimally required to keep him alive for decades, simply because he failed to do what they told him to do in several instances, or because he exercised his natural genetic nature and pooped in his pants or sat on an ant or pulled the wings off flies to see what happened?
If you wouldn't want your children to grow up thinking that the barbaric behavior of the god in the bible is perfectly just and something to be copied whereever possible, then you need to rethink your ideas about morality and just and merciful behavior. Would you children's apparent cruelty be excused by the fact that others do not have the capacity to understand how they think? Could their behavior be excused because they were following the example of an entity that is defined as being perfect in every way, meaning that whatever they have been recorded as doing must, by definition, also be perfect, even when it appears otherwise to those who do not have the magic of god residing in them to make all the contradictions seem perfectly clear.
If this god does not measure up to the values you want to teach your kids then he is not "perfect" or "moral" or "good" and you have no reason, other than lack of critical thinking, for worshiping it.
El shitto, xians are doing that NOW. A teenager comes out and says she/he is an Atheist - out the fucking front door they go. Loving xians parents. AAghhhh.
This really makes no sense to anyone but someone who has suspended their reason and critical faculties because of indoctrination achieved prior to the full development of the reasoning frontal lobes of the brain, or because of a reason suspending emotional conversion experience.
How do you make sense of the idea that all humans are cursed because an early ancestor ate some fruit that helped her tell the difference between right and wrong, just like the Yahweh god who put the tree in the garden? How do you make sense of this god's anger over Adam and Eve's acquisition of this divine attribute (not because they had disobeyed an order that they did not yet know to be "sinful")? How can humans develop a moral sense without first have some understanding of what "good" and "bad" is in their community, time and nation? How do you explain how "Adam" and "Eve" were painted as sinful but nothing is said about the negligence of the Yahweh god in leaving them alone in the garden without proper supervision and support, given their naivette and vulnerability? Isn't this an example of poor parenting, one that you would condemn in any human who emulated it?
How do you make sense of a half god-half man being offered as a sacrifice to its father, which is really part of its god half, in order to appease himself on behalf of all of human kind who are deemed guilty because they caught "sin" from a tree that the parent god left within reach without proper safety guards in place.
How do you make sense of the idea that the Yahweh god originally "saved" his adopted Nation on the basis of animal sacrifice? This god required that first born lambs were first cruelly bleed to death, then burned so that the stench of burning flesh would excite his quivering divine nostrils. How did this work to cleanse this nation's sins? Why doesn't it work in this day and age?
Before you suggest that the Jewish nation were also required to keep the "statuates" of this god make sure you know what these were. Can you recite the Protestant version of the Top Ten Commandments? How about the Catholic version? What were the earthly penalities for breaking each of these commandments? Would any of these punishments be permitted under the laws of the country you currently live in? Can you recite God's Amended Commandments? Remember that Moses broke the original tablets in a fit of rage before going on a horrifically cruel killing spree so the Yahweh got had to provide him with a Replacement Set. What is the Tenth Commandment this time?
And what about the other 600 or so commandments that were given to Moses to give to the people at the same time? Can you recite these requirements? Is there any reason why you might not want to follow them? Do any of them seem immoral to you?
How is it just to make an innocent party suffer on behalf of a guilty party? How is the relatively short torture of the Jesus god-man, his temporary death and his 2 day visit to hell in any way comparable to the agonizing eternity in god's torture chamber for those who believe the wrong things after this god-man's death? The agony of Jesus was not even comparable to the agonizing and prolonged deaths and tortures inflicted by good Christian Inquisitors, Crusaders, Heretic Burners, Witch Hunters throughout the age of Christendom, including the horrific Christian-inspired treatment of Jews by Nazis with belt buckles reading "God WIth Us".
Jesus Christ is not half-god, half-man.
I think I have actually answered most of the other questions in this thread already, although now that I think of it I really cannot imagine how these are even related to the topic. :D ;) If there are some which have not been mentioned yet, like your references to inquisition and crusades (I was rather waiting for these as no thread would seem complete without them :D), surely you are aware that these have been discussed ad nauseam. Therefore search is the only word I am going to relate to you concerning this topic. :D
When confronted with news of the death of a believer, I personally feel no sadness, no sense of mourning, and have not really understood why there is grief attached for so many other Christians, but it breaks my heart when I hear of one passing in unbelief.
@ d.clair. - If you sit down and think about it, when you behold the innocence of a new born baby and then juxtapose that with the knowledge that there exists a chance that human being may one day suffer intensely for all of eternity... don't you even get a little bit of a red flag emotional hitch in your heart that something is amiss? Or is your heart sign, sealed, and delivered into such maddening fantasies?