A Muslim recently asked why non-believers should be concerned about Allah torturing them for an eternity:
If you do not believe in something, why do you take exception to a condition that is implied by not believing in that thing? Take a hypothetical situation where a human creates a ‘universe’ wherein he creates robotic beings with need and wants, and he also fulfills those needs and wants. In addition, he gives these beings the capacity to comprehend and understand him and assigns them the task of recognising him as a means of evaluating each being’s validity. The basic requirement he places on these robots is that in the very least they accept and acknowledge their creators (sic) existence. Now if some of these beings do not, does the human not have a right to punish these robots as he sees fit? Will the human not expect his creation to understand the feeling of betrayal (from not recognising their creator) if these robots are capable of this feeling?Why do you find it difficult to understand non-believers’ concerns over a large proportion of humanity (1.6 billion Muslims at last count, I think) firmly believing that the rest of humanity (over 5 billion souls), will be roasted for an eternity?
We don’t believe it for one minute. But we do find it disturbing, to say the least, that so many apparently rational and intelligent people are happy to worship a deity who does such appallingly sadistic things.
Can you not understand our concerns?
For if you are happy to worship a deity of such mind-blowing cruelty, then that in turn says something about you, doesn't it? About how you view non-believers for a start…
Personally, I can’t conceive, nor would I want to, the agony suffered by someone being burned for an hour, let alone for an eternity. And yet you are happy not just to accept that your God inflicts this torture on countless people whose only fault is not to believe in such a sadistic creation, but to worship Him (and this really gets me) as “the most merciful of all who are merciful”!
Your metaphor of robots is interesting since it takes away the horror of torturing people. But let’s stick with a similar analogy.
I create a world of little creatures. I then ensure their world is full of clues to strongly suggest that I DIDN’T create it, such a fossils, evolution theory, junk DNA, a universe of unimaginable wastefulness, etc etc. I also make sure that my message to the little creatures, explaining it was me who created them and that their most important task is to worship me, is in a language only a small minority of them can understand. (I have also, of course, sent down previous messages to other groups of the creatures but I allowed these to get corrupted, so they're basically useless) I then sadistically torture any of the little creatures who use the intelligence that I gave them to question my existence.
What do you think that says about me?
I'd say the men in white coats ought to be along to put me in a nice, safe, padded cell.
(Oh - and by the way, isn't "betrayal" a very human emotion?)