No-one consulted me or asked my opinion on the matter. Not that they could, really, since sentience only arrives in your physical form after that form has spent some time developing. So by definition, you are made not under a contract, but with the hope that when you become sentient that you will give joy to the people who made you, and maybe even to the world.
Some people have a different views to families than I do, which I can understand as I have only an outsider’s perspective. Many people who love each other fully and truly also believe in familial obligation, where the sons and daughters are irrevocably beholden to the family. This is fine by me for the most part.
Why am I talking about this when I can’t have a family of my own?
A common tactic of Christian apologists is to claim that we are beholden to the authoritarian God as His children, and to turn away from Him is a crime that makes His blood-curdling threats justified. Naturally this conflicts with my beliefs. I think it is very wrong indeed. Let me make my views explicit by acting out the role of a child of God.
– First, as I mentioned above, I didn’t ask to be made. My parents had a lot more to do with that decision than God in the first place, even accepting the premise that God is the conscious creator of the universe, as my hypothetical parents were given free will by God and hopefully chose their spouse according to their best judgment.
– Second, the God of infinite power cannot claim to have been overly troubled given that He expended zero energy growing me in his womb and took zero milligrams of morphine in the process of giving birth to me.
– Third, my spiritual development depends largely on the culture of my society, and even more crucially on my parents behavior. If I were tortured by abusive parents then my spirit might be damaged; if I had no role model showing me that I might one day survive and be able to grow independently then I would’ve become like my parents, unable to understand empathy, damaged forever. What does God do for my spiritual development? Even less than he did for my physical body.
– Fourth, the resources which might make me beholden to my parents are acquired through their hard graft, not God’s. God has (once again) infinite power, and would not have any less power had he given my parents a cornucopia when I was born. Instead parents with limited income have to make do with a cold, unsafe house and an unreliable food source to raise their children.
– Fifth, the very idea that I am obliged to obey a parent by fiat is dependent on points 1-4 being true of that parent. This is far less the case with God than it is with your human parents.
– Sixth, why does God want me to follow him anyway? What does He get from it? How is He hurt by my hesitation or refusal? My parents would have their heart broken; God can claim to be very empathic, but I doubt He would commit suicide over the misaligned flight of one swallow, in spite of his boasting. Indeed, I know for a fact that (in some cultures) God commands parents to throw children out of the family if they turn out to be homosexual, or atheist, or in some other way undesirable to God. Can you imagine a greater pain for the parent? Yet it is characteristic for an Abuser to constantly demand proof of loyalty, and to force their victim to throw out their friends and family one by one until there is nothing left in the victim’s world but their tormentor, His accomplices and their fellow victims.
If your God demands that you submit to him or face oblivion or worse, then you must bear in mind that an eternity with an abusive father is a horrible fate. Abusers always demand more control and self-abasement, and invent problems whenever they need them. Is heaven better than hell? Is either better than death?
Many people’s conception of God is shorn of heaven and hell, which reflects well on them. Their God’s words may yet be worth understanding.