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Then, humanly speaking, God (if he existed) must be unjust. So clearly God's justice would be wrong for humans.

I'm certainly no expert in theology. But I can think of several responses to your assertion. One, human justice can only be considered an analogy to God's justice, and if it breaks down at some point, well, that's the nature of analogy, and doesn't imply anything about God's justice.

Second, the "justice" motif in explaining what Jesus did on the cross is only one facet, or way of looking at it. If you look at it as a ransom paid, then that theme is played out in the movies all the time: one life is traded for another (say a father to redeem his daughter from terorists). If one person willingly gives himself up to free another, I don't see the injustice.

Third, God's justice in other cases does seem to fit with your concept of justice. The people that do the crimes (against God) are often depicted as paying the price in the bible. So maybe your statement is true concerning God's justice in the case of Jesus. But that leads to:

Finally, when you judge God's justice by human standards, the question arises: which should take precedence? Why should human understanding of justice trump God's in the case of Jesus' death? Since it clearly is a unique case in history, and since we don't have unlimited insight into the mind of God, a different conclusion than yours may be warranted.

The whole point of having laws is to prevent crimes.

Yes, in human systems of government. But the difference is obvious. Why do parents give rules to their children? Is it simply to prevent crimes? There are many reasons I make rules for my kids. For their safety (Don't stick your finger in that!), to learn to be law-abiding, to learn to respect authority, etc.

Our relationship with God was intended to be parent/child, not judge/criminal. This analogy has limits as well. But a parent doesn't make rules for their children just to boss them around and make life miserable (which seems to be the common complaint here against God)

Could the god have decided on a different set of rules? Suppose the rules it made said that murder, theft and rape are good ideas? Would we still be bound to follow them?

I think the question is moot, since we have the rules we do. If there was a god who made different rules, and said you must follow them or else, and gave you the choice to follow or not, then you'd be in the same position you are now. A choice to not believe in the god in the first place is equvalent to a choice to not follow. And if that god doesn't actually exist, then it doesn't matter what you do. If he does . . .

Bryan
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