Tuesday, July 16, 2013

John W. Loftus

From Why I Became an Atheist... uh, I... Oh, here it is.  I had printed out a page from the free pdf on his webpage.  It's on page 9-10:
William Lane Craig explains geographical religious diversity by arguing, in his own words, “it is possible that God has created a world having an optimal balance between saved and lost and that God has so providentially ordered the world that those who fail to hear the gospel and be saved would not have freely responded affirmatively to it even if they had heard it.” Craig argues that if this scenario is even “possible,” “it proves that it is entirely consistent to affirm that God is all-powerful and all-loving and yet that some people never hear the gospel and are lost.” [5] Notice him retreating to what is merely “possible?” He’s trying to explain the evidence of global religious diversity away. The probability that not one of the billions of people who have not heard the gospel would respond if they did hear the gospel can probably be calculated, if missionaries kept records of their efforts. To claim what he does against the overwhelming evidence of missionary efforts belies the facts. Contrary to Craig, when we look at the billions of people who have never been given a chance to be “saved” because of “when and where they were born,” his scenario seems extremely implausible, to say the least.
Here he is on Hell and Psychology (p. 33),
I read Four Views on Hell, ed. William Crockett, and came away thinking “conditional immortality” was the preferred option (defended by Clark Pinnock). This is an important conclusion when it comes to rethinking my faith—for otherwise my questions would have been hamstrung by a fear of everlasting punishment in hell if I got it wrong. The loss of the fear of an eternal conscious punishment allowed me to pursue my doubts. Another key assumption is that faith has nothing to fear from the truth—so I pursued my questions with intensity. [I have since come to deny the existence of such a hell—conditional or metaphorical. It just doesn’t square with what Freud has taught us about the depths of our subconscious motivations. Because of Freud we now know that people do bad deeds because of faulty thinking patterns and experiences that happened even before the age of accountability—we know this!

Prior to Freud actions were judged prima facie as indicative of people’s conscious deliberate attempt to be bad. We also know that once we understand these subconscious motivations and background experiences that we can find a love for people who commit evil deeds. Since God understands all of these hidden motives, past experiences, and faulty thinking patterns, then he completely understands why people do what they do. Hence, in a post-Freudian world, we can no longer talk about a wrathful vengeful God who seeks our destruction because we disobey our parents, shoplift a tool, or tell a lie to escape a confrontation (I use these easy examples here because examples like Jeffrey Dahmer, Hitler, Stalin, are harder for us to comprehend—but only to us, not to God, who understands all, and cannot help but love all, since religious traditions abound in teaching us that God is love.)].
Oh, btw, the pdf is an abridged version of the book for sale on Amazon.

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