Originally posted by marg6043
The Catholic church in particular, steeped in the theology of sinful babies, convinces the devout that any child not baptized will be plunged into
hell with the rest of the damned, even if the child dies at birth.
That is were my previous post came from.
This is totally incorrect. I have no idea where you got this idea from, but your source was obviously misinformed. According to the official
Catechism of the Catholic Church, "As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she
does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children
which caused him to say: 'Let the children come to me, do not hinder them, allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have
died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church's call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism."
In other words, the Catholic Church does not claim to know with certainty what happens to children if they die without being baptised, but if it had
to guess, it would say that there is probably some other means that God has set up to allow unbaptised children to receive the graces they would
otherwise have received in baptism (because Jesus was obviously very fond of children). In fact, the Catholic Church believes that there are a number
of situations in which someone can receive the graces of baptism without actually being baptised in the usual sense. So I have no idea where you got
that information from, but it is just wrong.
Also, I would like to make a few comments on some of the things that have been said in this thread. First of all, the problem with saying that God
has loose morals or whatever because he allows children to suffer and die is, from a Christian perspective at least, that you are looking at things
from a point of view that is too limited. According to the Christian way of looking at things, you can't look at death as an ending. You have to
look at it as a new beginning. Original sin and actual sin (i.e. wrong that we choose to do) both lead to suffering, death, unfairness, etc., but
that's not the end of the matter. God does not necessarily intervene directly to stop such things from happening, but when you look at the death of
the body as the beginning of a new, perfect life for the soul (and, eventually, for the body as well), maybe death is not such a horrible thing after
Now, it should be noted that this should not be used to promote abortion, murder, suicide, etc. Nor should it be construed as meaning that we should
do nothing to help others and alleviate their suffering when possible. It means that death is not something to be terrified about or viewed as a
totally negative thing, but it does not mean that death should be sought out. Death has its "new birth" aspect (according to the Christian view) as
a result of God's plan, and that plan includes life on earth. Our life on earth is like a pilgrimage, and it is an integral part of the process by
which we arrive at eternal life. In many cases (though not all), God uses our life experiences (the joy, the suffering, and many things in between)
as part of the plan. Thus, we should not take it upon ourselves to intentionally end a life prematurely, because that's like trying to force God's
hand by cutting the person's time on earth unnaturally short. On the other hand, the belief that suffering can be part of a divine plan that we
don't have the capacity to fully understand does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that we should not try to alleviate suffering. When you say
somehting like that, you make the assumption that suffering cannot serve a dual purpose, or that any given instance of suffering can play a role in
only one person's salvation. It ignores the possibility that God could use suffering in some cases not only as a redemptive thing for the suffering
person, but also as an opportunity for another person to show love and compassion for someone else, or to learn the many great life lessons that can
be learned by giving selflessly in service of others.
Finally, there are a few people (Amuk and others) who have posted a few times in this thread and a number of others who, in almost every one of their
posts I have seen, try to discredit the Christian view of God, salvation, etc. by alleging that God created people to sin, and thus created people to
go to hell. In other words, if God knew before he made Adam and Eve (or just the first human beings to have immortal souls, if you prefer), that they
would eat the fruit, introduce original sin, that their descendants would be sinners, etc., then the damnation of many people is something God wants.
Supposedly, this proves that the Christian view of God is absurd. However, I have serious problems with this, the most important being the
The Christian view of God involves an element of timelessness. In other words, Christians (and Jews, and others) believe that God exists outside of,
or beyond time. Thus, to use words like "before," "after," "prior to," etc. when referring to the thoughts and decisions of God (at least in
the context of Christian belief) makes no sense. If time does not apply to the mind of God, then it is nonsense to use words that refer to temporal
relationships when you are talking about the decisions of God. For God there is no past and no future. To God, everything that is, was, and ever
will be from our perspective, just is. He sees the whole picture, not just isolated bits of it like we do, so He doesn't see our lives as just
birth, life, joyful times, suffering times, death, heaven, and so on. He sees the whole thing at once. That is why He allows things like suffering,
sin, and death, because He sees them as integral parts of a whole that is good overall. Our problem is that we get hung up on details and forget that
God makes the whole thing good overall if we do not refuse to allow that. Also, once again in the context of a discussion on Christian belief, God
did not "creat sin." In Christian theology, the definition of the word "evil" is "the lack of some perfection." Since the concept of sin is
closely tied to the concept of evil, sin also involves the lack of some perfection. Thus, sin (according to the definition used in Christian
theology) is not something God created, but rather the lack of something God created. Those who say that "God is both good and evil, because He is
everything at once," should also take note of this. If good is perfection and evil the lack of some perfection, that statement makes about as much
sense as saying that "God is both perfect and imperfect, both complete and incomplete, because He is all things at once." Saying that God is all
things at once, therefore, actually makes it impossible for God to be both good and evil. This all brings up a lot of really fascinating
philosophical stuff that may or may not be relevant to the topic of this thread, and this whole thing is not quite as developed as I would like for it
to be, but regardless it is late and I have to get up early in the morning to run from a hurricane. Maybe I will post more at another time, and we
can have a very interesting discussion. In any case, I think Christian theology and philosophy are much more complex than a lot of people around here
seem to think.