Monday, May 23, 2011

Post-rapture.

So the rapture didn't occur last Saturday. I was pretty sure it wouldn't. In fact, I was as sure that nothing extraordinary would happen as I am about anything. It was purely the popular presence of the idea that got me thinking, "What if the rapture did happen?"

Well, a Biblical rapture would indicate that the Biblical god was real. As an atheist, that would be problematic, although in the actual presence of a deity I would certainly change my position. I would no longer be able to call myself an atheist, that is certain. But what else would it do to me? The question is obviously an impossible one to answer, but  I can certainly try to guess.

Assuming that the Biblical god was real and true to his many (inconsistent) descriptors given in the Bible, and assuming that I was able to maintain my rational state of mind - that is, my "heart was not hardened" or I was compelled to fall into senseless or uncontrollable adoration - I would be torn. On the one hand, I would desperately wish to avoid an eternity in hell. On the other hand, I would also want to avoid an eternity in heaven giving praise to a being whose moral sense is so divorced from my own. Because that's what the Biblical idea of heaven is, if I am not mistaken. Heaven is not about your childhood pets and departed friends and relatives so much as nonstop and eternal worship.

Why is that a problem? Because the Biblical god is not a good guy. He is inconsistent, he is capricious and mean. He is manipulative and ridiculous. There are many reasons for my position, and it would be distracting to get into them here; I have written about many of them at length previously, although I am happy to discuss them again should the need arise. For now, let it suffice to say that the character of god is so full of inconsistencies that they are largely responsible for my loss of faith.

If this character were revealed to be real, I would face a real emotional and moral dilemma. I'm fairly certain that I could never freely worship him, but faced with the choice, would I prefer to be tortured by him? I really don't know. Fortunately, that is a decision I will never have to face. I am as certain about this as I am about anything.

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