If you're a regular reader, I really made you look didn't I?
I think that one of the major appeals of any religion is a sense of justice. People look at the evil in this world and how many people who carry act heinous acts of murder, rape, genocide, etc, don't receive their just dues in their lifetime.
If you read comments on social media or on news sites about someone committing such an act, there's inevitably going to be people who will say that the criminal, terrorist or dictator who committed these acts will have to "face their maker" or "burn in hell" or they will receive their punishment "in the next life".
Likewise, we want to think that someone who lived a good life is "in a better place", as is often said at funerals. People want to believe that humanity will be judged for it's actions whether in a positive or negative way. We want to believe that actions have consequences.
It is really a comforting thought that there is order and justice to the world like that. I even sometimes want to believe that there is an afterlife and that those who are good will receive their rewards, and those who cause horrific harm to others will be punished in the next life. I mean, even if I ended up in hell myself, I would still enjoy watching the suffering being inflicted on people like Stalin, Ted Bundy, Hitler and pastor Ron Williams of the religious torture camp for teens called Hephzibah House. (After you read that article, if you haven't before, you would agree that he would deserve to roast for all eternity).
Then reality sets in.....
I begin to question that if god exists and the truly is a merciful god who is interested in justice, then why doesn't he punish people for their evil now? Better yet, how can the god of Christianity be a just god if he supposedly condemned all of humanity to be sent to hell because a woman 6,000 years ago (if you ask most creationists) ate a piece of fruit she wasn't supposed to because a talking snake told her to? How is it fair for a god to get so angry over something so minor, and then condemn her descendants (the entire world) for it. How is the concept of original sin just? It's not any better than sending someone to death row because their great grandfather is a serial killer.
When it comes to the Garden of Eden story, it truly doesn't make sense, it's almost as if the god of the bible wanted evil to enter the world. Think about it, according to fundamentalism, god is all knowing, so he knew once he placed the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden that Eve would eat from it, (and that he would not forgive her for it), yet he set it in the garden anyway, and did nothing to stop her. Also, according to the Bible, he created Satan, known as Lucifer when he was an angel, knowing what he would become, but he did it anyway, and did not get rid of him, even though it in his power to do so.
Fundamentalism teaches that god did this so that humanity could have free will, and he gave us free will because he loves us, and you can not have love without choice. Love can not be forced. Although, in the Bible, god doesn't enjoy people using their free will. Why would he give someone free choice, and then condemn them to eternal punishment (or a death in a worldwide flood according to Genesis) for rejecting him, if people are free to choose?
The Bible is all about telling all of humanity to love me or suffer in an eternal fire pit, that's not love, that jealousy and possessiveness, and it contradicts what the Bible itself says about love. I Corinthians 13:4 (NASB) says: "Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant..."
Yet the Bible often calls god a "jealous" god. Deuteronomy 5:9 says:
"You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,"
The Bible itself in the New Testament says that love is not jealous, yet in the Bible, god is called a jealous god. So god isn't actually love then?
Oh well, Heaven and Hell seems like a great idea sometimes, but I logically know that it can't exist, because the god of Christianity exists, he can't possibly be a just or loving god.
It's nice to dream sometimes....