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Thread: Hitler and why Abrahamic soteriology sucks

  1. #1
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    Hitler and why Abrahamic soteriology sucks

    Greetings All:

    Assume there is divine justice.

    Hitler slaughters 6 million innocent Jews in WW2. How does Xian/Mohammedan soteriology work here?

    It appears that as per Xity, if Hitler asked for forgiveness on his death bed, all would been forgiven. So, all Hitler had to to was "accept JC as his personal lord and saviour".

    Likewise, in Islam, had Hitler pronounced "There is no God but God and Mohammed is his last messenger" before breathing his last, Allah would have forgiven his sins and provided him with unending bliss [and 72 you know whos] in heaven.

    Thus, an Abrahamic faithful in her afterlife has every chance of meeting Hitler in heaven.

    I find this absolutely disgusting. If I were to meet Hitler in heaven, I would have serious issues with the God. There is no way I am worshipping a God that provides a chance for Hitler to so easily enter heaven.

    Hitler's crimes HAVE to be worked out via Karma. That is justice. We may not know how exactly Hitler's soul pays for Hitler's crimes. But that is an epistemological issue. We dont NEED to know the details. Per Karma, his soul WILL pay. That is guaranteed.

    Thoughts?

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    Re: Hitler and why Abrahamic soteriology sucks

    My thoughts are that we should stop lamenting on Christianity.

    In Hinduism we have similar beliefs, the bhagavad gita says:

    Antakale cha mameva smaran muktva kalevaram, yah prayati sa madbhavam yati nasty atra samsayah (8.5): “Whoever contemplates My Glorious Being while leaving this body will be inundated with that Being after death.”

    The Bhagavatam tells the story of Ajamila who is freed from his sins only uttering the word "Narayana".

    In the Vishnu Purana it is mentioned that rituals and prayaschitta can absolve bad karma. Many Hindus belief that taking a dip in the ganges will absolve sins.

    A lot of arguments against abrahamics made by Hindus are blindly taken from atheists.

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    Re: Hitler and why Abrahamic soteriology sucks

    Yes, the BG does say that. But I think, in general, that cannot be taken literally. Karma Phala will HAVE to be worked out regardless of "beliefs". It is action that burns sins and not beliefs.

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    Re: Hitler and why Abrahamic soteriology sucks

    There is indeed a difference, because in Hinduism karma is just like fire, it burns whether you belief in it or not. In the case of Ajamila, he did not say Narayana with faith, but was only calling out the name of his son. He still was absolved of his sins. In the story of Shivaratri, the hunter did not know he was offering bilva leaves to Shiva, but he still got the result of Shiva Ratri Vrata. So far the differences, but the obvious similarity is that Hinduism also offers the opportunity to absolve sins, even through such simple acts as calling out a name or remembering. If you tell your atheists friends about it, they will not hesitate to smack you down as much as they would do to a Christian.

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    Re: Hitler and why Abrahamic soteriology sucks

    The obvious problems I have with these stories you are giving of examples of people who have absolved their sins by praying/repenting to god, is none of these are historical people, they are mythological. I really hate it when Hindus cite from a mythological stories to back up their argument on something. A fundamentalist Hindu pandit gave me a story from the Puranas of some bramachari who was forced to reincarnate again to live the life of a householder to support his argument that I must get married in life, I cannot reject marriage.

    There is an obvious ethical problem in the OP, which needs a better answer. If somebody like Hitler who was instrumental in killing 6 million jews can get salvation at the end of their life simply by professing faith god in his last hour, then that makes such a god absurdly unjust. Allow me to illustrate:

    If entry into heaven is predicated by faith in god then an atheist who saves 6 million jews will get eternal damnation, but Hitler who kills 6 million jews will get salvation.
    If entry into heaven is predicated by faith in god or action, then both an atheist who saves 6 million jews and Hitler who kills 6 million jews will get salvation.

    The above are both cases of injustice. The only just case would be if entry into heaven is predicated by action only. In which case an atheist who saves 6 million jews can never be equal with Hitler who kills 6 million jews.

    Now how do we reconcile the statement in the Gita that if one thinks of god in the last hour of their life they will attain to him? The condition here is that one must be able to think of god at the last hour, but perhaps that is impossible for somebody who is not yet expunged of sin or desire. If one still has sin or desire remaining with them in the last hour, then it the desire or sin they think of, and not god. Thus it is impossible for somebody like Hitler to think of god in the last hour.

    If entry into heaven/salvation is purely predicated by action then there is no possibility of being granted grace or forgiveness, only ones action alone can absolve previous actions. If Hitler's soul kills 6 million jews, but then in the next life saves 6 million lives, does the soul still have to incur the penalty of killing 6 million jews or is its karmic balance clear? The karmic balance should be clear.

    However, are there alternative ways other than moral action topurify ones sin? In Yoga it is believed that yoga can purify ones sin. If Hitler meditated intensely he can also absolve his sins by burning up the storehouse of samskaras(a burnt seed cannot germinate) Likewise, if he practiced bhakti or karma he can do the same.
    Last edited by Surya Deva; 04 February 2012 at 03:43 AM.

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    Re: Hitler and why Abrahamic soteriology sucks

    Namaste,
    In chapter 2 Gita it is explained that it is not the killing that is the sin in itself but the intent and if that killing is in accord with ones duty. When speaking of hitler one must look at his intent and not only action. God has already explained that in Gita. Every action is judged by the karmic law in terms of accordance with ones duty.
    That said, I agree with the op. I refuse to accept the heaven in which criminals are sitting with god. To that end I reject such an unjust, egoist and foolish god.
    satay

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    Re: Hitler and why Abrahamic soteriology sucks

    The very concept of salvationism is weird.

    What will then happen with all of the person's desires, limitations, anarthas, etc? Will they all be wiped away so this person stays in a heavenly situation? For what? Makes no sense at all.

    Heaven is a state of "mind". The evolution of consciousness involves struggles, hardship, realizations, etc. And it is in this process that men ascend to a heavenly existence.

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    Re: Hitler and why Abrahamic soteriology sucks

    Well, you're never going to find me disagreeing with someone who speaks negatively of Christianity. I agree wholeheartedly that Christianity has an utterly immoral view of the afterlife. However, it may not be for the reasons we all want to think.

    I believe Hitler is a fine example to use here, so long as we all recognize that we're simply using his name as a placeholder for the Platonic ideal of an absolute bad guy. In the Christian mindset, he could be absolved of his sins by simply accepting Jesus as his lord and savior. I'm sure the Christian would add that he must sincerely repent of his sins. But the effect is nonetheless that Hitler escapes eternal hell while all of us Hindus, good and bad, are condemned to eternal punishment (additional caveat: Christians redefine good and bad in terms of whether you believe in Jesus, so we are all bad for being Hindus). But as Sahasranama pointed out, we've got similar beliefs in Hinduism. And we needn't simply look to arcane stories from the Puranas. Every month when several of us do the Satyanarayana Puja, we are asking God to release us from the burden of our sins. And really, you're going to find this in any religion. Anyone who believes in a God believes that he is willing to forgive a good deal of sin if we are truly devoted to him.

    However, in the Hitler example there's one issue that everyone has overlooked. Whether Hitler believes in Jesus and is saved or does not and is condemned, each of the Jews he killed ends up in hell for not giving up their religion and converting to Christianity. And that, I think, is the truly immoral part of Christian soteriology. Hindus do not condemn others to eternal torment, even if we believe that our religion is objectively true to the exclusion of others. Sri Krishna says that those who worship other gods are unknowingly directing their devotion to him. This is what I think separates Hinduism from Christianity. Yes, we do believe that you don't need to necessarily reap the ill effects of your sin if you are a devotee of God. But we do not believe that a non-Hindu will burn for all eternity due to theological error.

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    Re: Hitler and why Abrahamic soteriology sucks

    Quote Originally Posted by sanjaya View Post
    Whether Hitler believes in Jesus and is saved or does not and is condemned, each of the Jews he killed ends up in hell for not giving up their religion and converting to Christianity.
    Yes indeed.

    In fact, you raise an important issue. I ask the following question to Abrahamics every chance that I get.

    How does your God allocate souls to newborns? Is it random? It HAS to be random for your theology does not allow for souls to be differentiated prior to birth. There is no concept of Karma. Assuming most of us end up living and dying in the cultural/traditional/religious setup that we were born into, it is manifestly unfair that my soul ended up in a Hindu family if Hinduism is a false religion.

    If Shia Islam is the one true religion, why did my soul not take birth in a Shiite family? Why the blantant favouritism, Allah?

    The Abrahamics usually come back with "But you can always convert to Shia Islam. Allah is benevolent you know?"

    How 1.5 Billion Muslims and 2.5 Billion Christians believe in such nonsense is beyond me.

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    Re: Hitler and why Abrahamic soteriology sucks

    There is yet another argument against Islamic soteriology brought up by Ibn Rushd in his "Incoherence of the Incoherence".

    Per Islam, any child [regardless of faith] that dies less than 10 years of age automatically enters heaven.

    [Of course, this then raises the issue of whether everyone in heaven will be of the same age and if so, what age will that be, and if that age is 33 years, how will children who died less than 10 years of age on earth grow up to be 33 years in heaven. But that is for a separate thread. ]

    I will let Ibn Rushd speak for himself:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibn Rushd
    Let us imagine a child and a grown-up in Heaven who both died in the True Faith, but the grown-up has a higher place than the child. And the child will ask God, “Why did you give that man a higher place?” And God will answer, “He has done many good works.” Then the child will say, “Why did you let me die so soon so that I was prevented from doing good?” God will answer, “I knew that you would grow up a sinner, therefore it was better that you should die a child.” Then a cry goes up from the damned in the depths of Hell, “Why, O Lord, did you not let us die before we became sinners?”

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