This blog intends to provide some balance in the religious debate by providing a counterpoint to Billy Graham's religious advice. On his website http://www.billygraham.org/ he responds to readers' questions by quoting from the bible. I am attempting to respond to those same queries by resorting to reason and rationality.

I must acknowledge a debt here to Jeff Hope who started in this vein but who has unfortunately taken a hiatus. His blog is http://atheistsanswer.wordpress.com/. Jeff has inspired me to continue.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Judgement For All

QUESTION: Today's comes from JM...
"Does God always judge people who are evil and deliberately do wrong? I'd like to think he does, but there are still a lot of evil people left in the world, and most of them seem to go through life without much bad ever happening to them."

Before your question can properly be answered we need to clarify two concepts. Firstly you mention evil people as opposed to good people. Please take a moment to think of a way to discern who is evil and who is good. Apart from some obvious villains such as mass-murderers it is extremely difficult to identify these character types. We are all a combination of varying degrees of these character types, and this can change over time. Are you an evil person or a good person? How many people are one extreme or the other?
Secondly you mention the concept of doing wrong. What guidelines would you draw up to determine whether an action is wrong or right? Most, if not all, decisions in our daily lives cannot be categorised as one of these extremes or the other. Different actions have different consequences for different people over different time periods. Often the consequences cannot be discerned in advance.
It's tempting to subscribe to the notion that the world's baddies will get what they deserve some day, and if it doesn't happen in this life then it will happen in another. However, the problem with this is identifying the baddies from the goodies and framing a moral structure to judge them. These are impossible tasks that religions claim to be able to achieve, however, they cannot exactly explain how. Beware of charlatans providing false hope.


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