The Greatest Story Ever Told and Ignored / The Moral Imperative of Hell
Tyrone D. Williams, of Ex-Christians, tells us why his favourite story is The Wizard of Oz, tells us about another favourite story of his- "Bel and the Dragon", from the book of Daniel- and what it all has to do with the duplicity of religious belief.
"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!,” the big-headed apparition bellows, but it is much too late. Dorothy and friends have already seen too much. The “Wizard” is nothing but an old man. A “humbug”, the Scarecrow calls him. They are disgusted and disappointed, and rightly so. All that bowing, scraping and serving – all of that WORSHIP – and it was all for nothing. A lousy trick.
Sound familiar? It should. How can a working, rational mind fail to see the corollary between this scene of revelation and how religion works in our world? How can you NOT see “the man behind the curtain”? What will you do now? Close your eyes and pretend you didn’t see him? Would that be very wise?
Nevyn O'Kane argues that nonbelief is the only moral alternative, even if God existed. Some people may argue with his conclusion, but it is difficult to argue with his reasoning, insofar as it goes:
If such a god is active, it appears that either belief is irrelevant to its activity or the activity is unrecognizable and thus cannot be justifiably attributed to an omni-God. The only morally just alternative then, is to seek the alleviation of suffering and the avoidance of torture in the material world as ends in themselves. Correspondingly, moral consistency would demand we behave as if the omni-God, who implicitly or explicitly sanctions suffering and torture in the afterlife, did not exist.