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What If God Is A Brutal Authoritarian?

If you don't pay your taxes you'll go to jail.

If you don't believe in God you'll go to hell.

But of course, each is "voluntary" and you have the "free will" to object?


If force against peaceful individuals is wrong, then why would God do it to those who peacefully reject him? Just something I've been increasingly thinking about.

The reason we object to the income tax is because it's backed up by force, therefore there's no "free will" or freedom to choose otherwise without the potential for serious repercussions. Thus it's not a choice and is a tyrannical act of force against peaceful individuals and WRONG. We see the reality of the income tax - it's the act of a brute or tyrant, not the act of a peaceful or benevolent person.

Well, when it comes to this belief in a hell - I see the same glaring contradiction, only this one is much bigger.

You have free will to choose to believe in God, but if you don't then you'll be burnt in perpetual agony in a place with no doors and no time. If God cannot even grant his own creation liberty, what makes us think it comes "from God"? And if it does, then why hold the threat of hell over our heads when doing so is basically a shakedown by an intellectually weak or dishonest authoritarian?

This question is posed for those who actually believe there is a physical hell and that God will send us there should we CHOOSE not to believe in him, and that it's a perpetual punishment/pain. If there are any on here... lol

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Call me converted.

Call me converted.

Michael Nystrom's picture

What if gravity is?

If you don't watch out, you might fall down.

If you fall from too high, you just might die.

But of course, submitting to the Law of Gravity is "voluntary" and you have the "free will" to object.


If force against peaceful individuals is wrong, why does gravity exist?

- - - -

I don't say this with frivolity, I say it to reorient perspective.

Gravity is real, and

Gravity is real and can be proven to exist.

We all know it exists from REALITY.

God is faith and cannot be proven to exist.

Thus the differences are pretty stark.

Gravity cannot violate liberty because it's not human.

Only living entities can violate liberty.

For example - There's a great difference in being poor and being stolen from.

When someone is poor they're not poor because someone has violated their liberty. They're poor perhaps just by chance. But when someone makes you poor by stealing from you that's when liberty has been violated.

If it rains real hard and floods and I lose my house - who's violated my liberty? The rain drops?

No, that's silly. Liberty only applies to living human beings.

"Gravity is real and can be proven to exist." -really?

That which you call "proven to exist" is simply our consistent observation that things fall.

"Gravity" is simply a word we use referring to ever-changing notions we hold as to why we consistently observe what we do. We can prove an apple exists, but to claim we can prove "gravity" exists is a stretch that blurs our distinction between subjective concept and objective reality.

"No, that's silly. Liberty only applies to living human beings."

Is the rain not at liberty to fall, and from your perspective destroy your home?

"If it rains real hard and floods and I lose my house - who's violated my liberty?"

Perhaps the rain increased your liberty. ;) You are certainly at liberty to rebuild, even a better house, or move on, or construct an ark... :D

Liberty is a concept much like gravity.

No way, it's called Individual liberty

Gravity occurs because the earth rotates. It's obvious and provable. Water stays in place and does not float into the atmosphere because of this constant turning which creates this magnetic hold. This would also apply to us. Go out into space and you'll see lack of "gravity".

Individual liberty, means the individual as in a person. Therefore only an individual has liberty and only an individual can violate liberty. Individual liberty only has to do with humans and not dogs, cats, objects, nature or weather.

Gravity is no more a violation of individual liberty than a flood or tornado is. In fact, this is the argument of many progressives - they think the LACK of THIRD PARTY INTERVENTION in order to "promote better outcomes of nature" is somehow a violation of individual liberty! The problem of course is that they would seek to violate individual liberty in order to promote these better outcomes thereby contradicting their original complaint.

Some illogical hell believer may try to obfuscate, but we KNOW one thing (gravity) exists while others merely have a FAITH that the other one (God) exists.

A God telling every human that it created that it must worship him and his dogma or else it spend an eternity in a literal hell, would clearly make that God a tyrant and us it's slaves. In fact, it's rather stupid to create a people just so it can worship you.

God, what an idiot. Pun sorta intended. Reminds me of the scene in Men In Black where they open the locker and there's a race of tiny aliens worshiping the human. It's funny but in some ways illustrates the absurdity of the God of Hell.

"Gravity occurs because the

"Gravity occurs because the earth rotates."

Your notion of "Gravity" is that you believe things fall because the earth rotates. That's fine. I have no problem with that. My focus is toward your use of the term "Gravity". You may observe that things fall. You may also observe that the earth rotates. Your concept of "Gravity" is that in which you theorize that those two observations are directly related, that one causes the other.

Gravity occurs because you think it so.

"Go out into space and you'll see lack of "gravity"."

Correction: That is what you will see.

"Individual liberty only has to do with humans and not dogs, cats, objects, nature or weather."

Have you ever seen a dog pick up its pup by the scruff of the neck and carry it somewhere other than to where it was wandering? Have you ever seen bird snatch a tasty morsel from another bird's beak?

'Tis a tyranny of humans to think other animals don't engage liberty as we do.

Gravity is a scientific

Gravity is a scientific theory. Its "probably" true. We know a lot more about gravity than that it makes objects fall. Go watch some experaments on gravity in space or in a vacum. This isn't a guess. Gravity may not be as strong a force as people commonly equate to it it, but its still one of the absolutly best theories mankind ha going right now. Feel free to disproove it.

As to the original; gravity isn't a sentiant being able to make value judgements, deities, so they say, are.

I experiment with gravity myself every day. True story.

In fact I vacuumed my entire living room just this afternoon. ;)
I even moved the couch. :D
I concluded with emptying the vacuum. :)

"Gravity is a scientific theory."

I completely concur, and that was the point of my comment. I didn't have nor do I have here any intention of disproving any current theories [nor do I bear intention here to break any laws :D].

"We know a lot more about gravity than that it makes objects fall."

Theories don't make objects fall. That's one thing we do know.

"gravity isn't a sentiant being"

Then let us not flirt with treating it as such.

law is force

so really

"If force against peaceful individuals is wrong, why does gravity exist?"

You could read this as

"If laws against peaceful individuals is wrong, why does force exist?"

The larger the laws the more harm the force does.

Law is not voluntary it is force

If you don't obey you will face harm.

The only way to break out of the force of gravity is to find a force greater than gravity.



we fight gravity all the time

Planes, bridges, ladders, even jumping, these are all acts of rebellion.

"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind." - Khalil Gibran

Not really.

We don't fight gravity, we simply work within its constraints and find ways to improve our situation by understanding what will permit us to fly, cross a chasm, climb otherwise unclimbable heights, et cetera. Furthermore, if you frame all of those things as fighting gravity, we always end up losing, which makes it foolishness.

“My attitude toward progress has passed from antagonism to boredom. I have long ceased to argue with people who prefer Thursday to Wednesday because it is Thursday.” - G.K. Chesterton

Gravity is a misnomer.......

What IS "gravity"? I presume THAT depends what your definition of is is?

Anywayz, I choose 'not' to believe in gravity, because I like to float. I find it easier to answer these kind of delimas when I'm "out of body"......


I'm still stuck on "Why does gravity exist"?......


I'm phrasing things this way because even IF we could accurately answer these kinds of questions, the points of what 'one chooses to believe' would still cloud the truth and more questions/arguments would ensue. ....

And this would endorse the case FOR the existence of eternity.......

Because: Some animals are more equal than other animals. -Animal Farm- What the? > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MTIwY3_-ks
Strike The Root: There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.

This seriously isn't much of

This seriously isn't much of an argument.

You are basically implying since God is an authoritarian who has rights to your soul you cannot choose to not believe in him.

I am sorry, I reject all forms of tyranny, especially religious tyranny.

So what if I am wrong? What if I burn in hell fighting against a tyrant who created me with free will but demands i live a certain way under prospect of torture?

Isn't that what the liberty movement is about anyways? Fighting against tyranny?

This claim of "well God exists so you can't deny him, nener nener nener", is silly.

And for the downvote nazis, I know this comment will be downvoted so go ahead. Understand though, no one can honestly counter argue that God isn't an authoritarian since he created humanity WITH FREE WILL but demands we live a certain way or he tortures us.

Michael Nystrom's picture

I didn't imply anything about God

In fact, I didn't mention God at all.

Whatever you think I implied was a connection made in your own head.

I'm talking about gravity. Is gravity a form of tyranny?

Then your post was

Then your post was meaningless and didn't add to the discussion.

My entrance into this discussion...

wasn't as direct comment to Michael, but placed in a string spawned by him. You negate more than just Michael as you comment as such, and that leaves me quite curious about the notions involved in your choosing a username here. ;D

Looks like....

anyone who has travelled into outer space is doomed to gravity's hell??

Hell is a product of man, is it not?

You have free will to follow God, if true, do you accept personal responsibility? If you follow God your destiny will be with God. If you choose to reject God, than obviously you can't expect to be with God. Should you?
This isn't authoritarian, this is a matter of choice.
If you choose to reject God, choosing to do evil, and He forces you to be good, then I agree that would be authoritarian, but that isn't how God created men.
If you travel south, you surely can't expect to arrive at the north pole.
If you have an area of land with nothing growing on it, you can't expect to harvest anything if you don't plant seeds; can you?
Belief in God is dead without works.
To exist means to come out of something else.
God does not exist, God Is.
Because of God, the source, i am; to be, is good and i am grateful.
Literature about Hell is poetic.
I doubt God punishes anyone who did everything right except for rejecting Him, they choose their destiny. But what about punishment for those who are tyrants against others, who choose not to change their ways, (repent), are they not to be judged?

"If you don't brush your teeth, you'll get cavities"

Re:"If you don't pay your taxes you'll go to jail.
If you don't believe in God you'll go to hell."

What if it's more like this:

"If you don't brush your teeth, you'll get cavities"

Are dentists brutal authoritarians for showing you what necessarily follows from a certain type of behavior? Are you being forced to brush your teeth? Does the existence of consequences for a lack of responsibility mean there is no liberty? Do you have something against dentists who show people pictures of neglected teeth? If only one dentist was available to you, and they worked on a free will basis of their own for free, and you started calling them a dictator for telling you about cavities, would you blame them for walking away and leaving you to your own devices? It seems it would be more authoritarian if he forced you to brush your teeth than if he merely told you the consequences of certain behaviors and let you decide to be stuck with them.

Interesting Analogy

I have considered this myself. I am not a Christian and personally believe that we reincarnate for our souls to learn lessons to spiritually evolve and eventually we reach a point we graduate into the next realm or 'Heaven'. At which point you can choose to reincarnate back into human form to help people or guide them from the realm beyond.

In any case, it is our own actions and conscious that dictate what our next life is or what we experience after death, not some entity that arbitrarily judges us.

That I why I have such an issue with certain Christians who have the notion, "You just need to believe in Jesus and you go to Heaven." as it becomes a form of elitism and is contrary to the teachings and foundation of the religion itself.

We all share this eternally evolving present moment- The past and future only exist as inconsequential mental fabrications.

Your funny

As I was reading your comment. I thought, this guy is open minded and sounds like a decent human being....... until the end.

Christian's don't ask you to believe in Jesus! Your stereotyping Evangelical Christians who most Christian's find quite stubborn and short sighted!!!

As a christian, I agree with you. I to believe our purpose is to learn and grow. That one life isn't even close to learn enough.

To say that if you don't believe in Jesus your going to rot in hell is INSANE. What people are trying to express is the teaching's of Jesus are that of good. To be good. That's it! If your a good person it doesn't matter what you believe. Actions speak louder then words!

That's a real Christians stance. Anything else and your talking to a pretender!

"That I why I have such an

"That I why I have such an issue with CERTAIN Christians who have the notion"

I choose my words wisely and mean what I speak. I have had conversations with "Christians" who have straight told me that to my face. I even told them, that the goal of Religion should be to help us live better and more meaningful lives and she said, "No that is not the point, if you don't accept Jesus you are going to Hell."

Your post is an important one though, even your rightfully indignant response as it was based on a perception on the DP that I am hoping to correct. This perception is a source of much strife here on the DP between Christians and non-Christians.

For many people, including myself before joining the DP was that most Christians follow the belief of what I described earlier which is pretty much a Jesus cult of personality. That perception was in fact crafted by our media as part of the 'Evangelical Christian Right' against the 'Atheist Left' dichotomy which is insidiously effective at dividing us. In my conversations with people here, I have noticed that there are in fact True Christians who follow the teachings of Christ and make that a priority of their lives to be better people. I have grown to have a great respect for this despite my different belief system regarding dogma.

I guess what I am trying to say is that we don't have a "War on Christians" in this country as much as we have a war on spirituality and spiritual growth in which ego is lauded over wisdom and hedonism over temperance. This war is everywhere from the physical acts of aggression to poisoned food as well as poison for the soul from our media outlets.

Christian or non-Christian we both share a common enemy and common threat and should seek to learn from each other in ways for mutual benefit despite different specific belief structures.

I mean this as a message to everyone here and not necessarily just a response to you, RYBY although your post sparked me to write this.

We all share this eternally evolving present moment- The past and future only exist as inconsequential mental fabrications.

Your idea of an arbitrary judge is not Christianity

Your idea of an arbitrary judge is not Christianity. Christianity bases it's idea of judgement on objective morality.

I don't see how it's elitism for Christians to admit that they are sinners who deserve hell, and are thankful for the provision that God made for those who use the provision. If you want to call Christians elitists for believing they are correct, then everyone is an elitist.

I believe my post was

I believe my post was misconstrued as happens sometimes in this medium of communication as I was agreeing with you.

Its not a matter of some God saying "You are bad, I am going to send you to hell."

Its more a matter of, an architect has created this physical reality with certain archetypal patterns and rules. You have free will to follow the archetypal patterns of love to spiritually grow (heaven) or you choose to go against this pattern and spiritually devolve (hell).

Of course your conscious speaks to you always to guide you toward the patterns of love but if you reject these patterns and your subsequent guilt, your ego must take over to provide a fabricated rationale reinforce the counter notion.

We all share this eternally evolving present moment- The past and future only exist as inconsequential mental fabrications.


I don't think I misunderstood. I realize that you were agreeing with an aspect of what I was saying, but I was disagreeing with what seemed to be carried along with your agreement. I think that the reason why people get bent out of shape when Christians talk about the necessity of belief in Jesus at the risk of hell is almost always misunderstood. Your contrasting of an arbitrary judge with your view and your distancing your approval from Christians who emphasize the necessity of Jesus, together seem to give the impression that you share the same misconception about Christianity that many others hold. The key point is this: People don't go to hell for not believing in Jesus, they go to hell for their sins because God is holy and would not be good if he were not just or were not concerned with justice. The concepts of good/evil and righteousness/sin are not just an arbitrary archetypal pattern. Goodness is something that is part of the essence of God and is yet recognizable as goodness from outside of God, But God has eternally been the same and doesn't change, so there is nothing arbitrary about his goodness or his law. When people talk about changes in biblical law, there is no change in God or his goodness, there are different contexts and different kinds of law that get conflated. Moral law never changes, but ceremonial and civil laws had specific purposes which could become fulfilled, or specific contexts in which they would apply, so that they might not be applicable in some circumstances or after fulfillment. Christians only believe that belief in Jesus is necessary to avoid hell because they believe that belief in Jesus is the only means of atoning for sin. If taking insulin is the only solution for diabetes, would it be elitism when a doctor prescribes insulin to a diabetic?

John 14:6 "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Acts 4:12 "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

There was a prophesy about the atonement of Jesus written hundreds of years before he was born: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isa+53%3A3-11+&v...

An ego or something taking over to provide a fabricated rationale to reinforce a counter notion is something that the Bible seems to convey about those who reject Jesus. 2Timothy 4:3 "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;"

That paragraph was not

That paragraph was not directed toward you but rather the people that bash Christians claiming God is some mean spirited guy who casts people to eternal torment on a whim. I admit, that gets mixed up sometimes when I make a general statement in a reply.

I was not saying that you or Christians believe that Heaven and Hell are an arbitrary judgment, I was reaffirming your analogy that there are certain patterns of Love (God) that we can choose to follow or not and Heaven/Hell is a consequence of those actions. IE the consequence of not brushing your teeth is getting cavities, the dentist (Scripture) outlines the consequences but is not necessarily the agent of the cavities.

A note though, something that is an archetype cannot be arbitrary as the word denotes the repeating fractals of patterns that the intelligence used as a blueprint to manifest this physical reality, at least to us.

We all share this eternally evolving present moment- The past and future only exist as inconsequential mental fabrications.


I see what you were saying about arbitrary judgement, but what you said about elitism still seems off. I wonder if you were speaking of antinomians when you mention the 'just believing' people though.

A fractal might not contain arbitrary patterns within it, but among a series of fractals, one fractal might be arbitrarily chosen.

One thing I never understood

God gives you free will, but if you don't choose him you go to hell? I'm not anti religion or anything, but that just never made since to me.

what is hard to understand?

You have free will, you can love God or you can deny Him, nobody is forcing you either way. But there are consequences beyond this physical life of ours. God doesn't force people to love or believe in Him, that would take the whole point of 'faith' and flush it down the toilet. In the end, it is Gods world to do with as He wishes, and luckily for us he left a written plan and 'directions' for man to follow. We have the 'free will' to accept this plan or not. Just because you reject the 'plan' and 'rule book' doesn't mean the rules don't apply. That's like saying I reject the speed limit law so therefore I don't get tickets for speeding.

Once again. Not shoving religion down throats, just explaining it from my point of view. Don't want to be accused of thumping people with Bibles. That seems to be the point of most of these post. Ask a question of faithful people, then claim Bible thumping and forced religion when they answer the question.