What It Takes to Believe in Hell

A very ignorant person. There's no other way to describe this...

There are several conceptions among Christians about the belief in hell, all of them but one involve punishment, and even the annihilationist view doesn’t rule it out, since we’re not told the manner in which the unsaved are annihilated.

I amazes me how hard it is to make Christians see the truth of this horrible belief, since it should be obvious. The belief in hell developed during the Hellenistic intertestamental period. There was the idea of a fiery judgment (1 En. 10:13; 48:8–10; 100:7–9; 2 Bar. 85:13), in a fiery lake or abyss (1 En. 18:9–16; 90:24–27; 103:7–8; 2 En. 40:12; 2 Bar. 59:5–12; 1QH 3). Just take a look at I Enoch 48:8-9: “For in the day of their anxiety and trouble their souls shall not be saved; and they shall be in subjection to those whom I have chosen. I will cast them like hay into the fire, and like lead into the water. Thus shall they burn in the presence of the righteous, and sink in the presence of the holy; nor shall a tenth part of them be found.”

Are the writings from that period inspired? Doesn’t it make better sense to see that these ideas were adopted in the New Testament just like ideas about witch hunts were adopted then discarded in early modern Europe? We are children of our times. During those times people believed in hell. And this is what we find in the New Testament.

The truth is that most traditionalists don’t actually take what the New Testament says literally in our modern era, but creationist Henry M. Morris and Martin E. Clark do. They wrote, “So far as we can tell from Scripture, the present hell, Hades, is somewhere in the heart of earth itself….The Biblical descriptions are quite matter-of-fact. The writers certainly themselves believed hell to be real and geographically ‘beneath’ the earth’s surface.” [The Bible Has the Answer: Revised and Expanded (El Cajon: Creation Life Publishers, 1987), p. 312].

But theists today reject such a notion since the rise of modern geology, which shows otherwise. In fact theists have continually reinterpreted what the Bible says about such topics as hell, women, slavery, inquisitions, and witch hunts in the light of more and more knowledge. In today's world there are many liberal Christians who claim no one will end up in hell at all!

The belief in hell requires the assumption of retributive punishment, in that people should get what they deserve. But such a notion is being rejected by ethicists in today’s world. Basically the only people who still accept such a notion are those who still believe in hell. Psychologists have repeatedly shown how people are not evil so much as they may be sick. We may have a Freudian death wish, is all. Our environment and our genetic makeup dictate who we are and what we do to an overwhelming degree. And the more that a person knows about these influences the more of a love/pity he has for these sick people. Sociologists have shown that what we believe is based on when and where we are born, too. Geneticists are showing that whether we are prone to act out homosexual desires, and addictions like alcoholism, is in our genes. There can be no wrathful God, period, and therefore there can be no punishment in hell, however conceived.

This is especially true since we do not know that we are rejecting God by our choices. No one would consciously disobey God if he knew that hell awaits him when he dies…no one, unless he couldn't avoid it. The oft quoted phrase that “ignorance of the law is no excuse” implies that we can know what that law is, but the evidence of billions upon billions of non-Christians down through the centuries conclusively shows otherwise. Where is the evidence for such a claim?

John McTaggart has argued convincingly against the traditional view of hell. Since there is no empirical evidence for it, the only way we would know it exists is if God reveals this to us. However, the concept of hell is just too vile and repulsive for us to believe, so this calls into question anything of importance that such a God might reveal to us. Since a God who would consign people to hell cannot be trusted, we would have no good reason to trust that he is telling us the truth about anything important. So on the one hand there is no reason or evidence to believe in hell, and on the other hand there would be no reason to trust what God would say if he revealed it to us. [John McTaggart, Some Dogmas of Religion (London, 1906), section 177].

Christians will also claim that the unsaved will rather be in hell than in heaven too. But this is another ludicrous claim. If hell is painful then who in her right mind would enjoy being there? If however, hell is where we prefer to be then how is that to be considered punishment? Besides, once we arrive in hell we would immediately believe the gospel and feel anguish that we didn’t accept it. So in hell everyone will be believers. At that point the residents of hell should be great candidates for heaven and desire nothing else. In fact, because of the logic of this many theologians have argued for a second chance for these believers, the belief in purgatory being just one example. And if believers retort that heaven will be more painful for the unsaved than hell, then how does that make any sense? Even believers themselves argue there will be gradations to their reward in heaven, with some in the “nosebleed” section, just as there will be gradations of punishment in hell for the unsaved (Dante's Universe as one example). But why? Either Jesus washed away all of your sins or he didn’t? If he did, then why are there different rewards? Any lack of obedience from a believer on earth is a sin (sins of "ommission" or "missing the mark"), and yet all sins supposedly have been washed away…all of them. But if those sins are not forgiven and believers are correct about what we'll find in the afterlife, then just as there will be unsaved people in hell who prefer to be there, then there will be some believers in heaven who may not enjoy it there and prefer hell, or at least have periods where they would like to be there. Why not?

Beyond these things the belief that God was so vainglorious that even though life was perfect for him without any want whatsoever, he decided to create this world anyway, knowing in advance that by doing so he would have to punish billions (“the many”) in hell in order to gain a few believers by his side, which he never needed or couldn’t have even wanted in the first place!

The belief is hell is morally repugnant, superstitious, indefensible, barbaric, and contrary to democratic free thinking people since it demands people are punished for what they believe or don't believe. People who defend it are ignorant of a whole host of things, from understanding intertestamental literature, to science, geology, the history of Biblical interpretation, to sociology, psychology, and ethical understandings about punishment.

So what does it take to believe in hell? A very ignorant person. There's no other way to describe it. None.

53 comments:

Harry McCall said...

I sometimes tell conservative Christians that, as an atheist when I die and stand before God at the judgment seat, I’m going to shake my fist in the face of God almighty!

This really plays into their belief system of some dumb and angry atheist that really knows what’s true and going to happen in the end to him and vindicates their doctrine of Hell.

But then I tell them I plan to kick God off his throne (the Bema Seat) and sit in the seat myself in order to clean up his mess. Now this same dumb atheist who basically supported the doctrine of Hell above is now blasphemous and threatening to both God and Hell.

Hey, I do think I’d make a better and kinder God; even if I say so myself...Oh, the sin of pride! (I’m now ready to receive your prayers and money.)

What’s even funnier is that for evangelical Christians, belief in Hell is as important as belief in the atoning death of Jesus Christ, by this I mean that if one does not believe in either Jesus, Hell or Satan one can not go to Heaven. Thus the old evangelical saying: I’d rather scare a soul in to Heaven than to love it into Hell!

.

bart willruth said...

If it is really true that hell is deep underground, it is high time that we re-think our national priorities. Forget the exploration of space...we must change direction. If billions of our departed are trapped down there and suffering, we have a moral obligation to mount a massive rescue effort. Let's start digging!

The use of the term "Hades" in the NT is itself quite telling. Most translators have rendered "Hades" as a place and have named it "Hell."

However, the word "Hades" is not indicative of a place but of a person. Hades is a proper noun, the name of the ruler of the underworld in Greek mythology. The souls of the dead were thought to pass across the river Styx in the underworld and pass through the fortified gates of the fortress of the god Hades. There they were held as prisoners behind the gates of Hades.

When Jesus was made to say "Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it," the reference to Greek mythology is unmistakable, and it is not indicating a place of torture and punishment. Rather, it is indicating that the god of the underworld, Hades, and his prison for departed souls, cannot hold them against the salvation offered through Jesus. It is therefore evident that the people in "hell" or inside the gates of Hades are not the damned of God but are the prisoners to be released.

The book of Revelation personifies Hades (as Greek mythology rightly indicates) along with the personification of the intertestamental Jewish enemy "Death."

fw01 said...

It's rather interesting to see the Persian influence on the things that found its way into Judeo-Christian tradition, final judgment and hell being one of them. Persian mythology is commonly spilt into early and late periods. The pantheon of the early one shows enough similarities with Indian Vedic that the two are thought to have stemmed from a common group. Changes to the early system led to the development of Zoroastrianism in the Iron Age. Recalling that Judea was a providence of Persia from the time of Cyrus to Alexander, there was plenty of time for influence. From Zoroastrianism comes the dualistic good god/bad god system, a final judgment, and a prediction of a virgin born world savior who will eventually defeat the evil god and usher in a reign of utopian existence. While many of these ideas didn’t stick with the more fundamentalist Pharisees, their appearance in inter-testimonial works is easily recognized and no doubt influenced the Hellenistic Greeks who reinterpreted the Hebrew Scriptures in reading the Greek Septuagint and began the Christian movement.

Jason said...

THIS is how evangelical Christianity should be debunked. Skip the fancy talk and get right into doctrine. It's about time.

Jason said...

lol Funny how it's only my pro-poster comments that get accepted now. It's censorship at its finest!

John W. Loftus said...

Jason the reason not all of your comments are posted, and you are the only one we do this with, is because you comment on everything. No one can be that smart, okay? You simply need to do a little more study before you comment so much. You make us waste our time bringing you up to snuff on the basics. No intelligent, respectful, educated comment will be ignored.

Jim Holman said...

A discussion of hell should also take into account the Christian universalist position.

Retired philosophy professor Tom Talbott's book The Inescapable Love of God is a good starting point. Also, check out his web site at http://www.thomastalbott.com/ where you can read three chapters of his book.

You may not agree with him (most here certainly will not) but you should be aware of the argument.

john w. loftus writes: You simply need to do a little more study before you comment so much.

Good advice also to anti-theists with respect to the topic of Christian universalism. Agree with it or not, but understand the argument. In my humble opinion.

Harry McCall said...

John,

Jason is a member of the sect of Christadelphians, who, like every other Christian group from Fundamental Baptiststo Jehovah Witnesses to Seventh Day Adventists to the Brethren and the Church of Christ are all convinced they are the ONLY sect to REALLY understand the Bible as the Wikipedia states: Christadelphians state that their beliefs are based wholly on the Bible, and they accept no other texts as inspired by God.

He also has a Blog for “Bible Study” which serves as part of the teaching to gain members for the Christadelphians as they place strong emphasis on proselytizing for which he started in January 2006 in which he writes long apologetic posts critiquing other Christian faiths while claiming ONLY the Christadelphians are God’s Biblically true sect. In a quick scan of the many posts and comment sections, I would say Jason is a very lonely Blogger, who, when he finds no one comments to his long defensive Christadelphian post, he comes over to DC for an outlet because he thinks: A. No one comments because the Christadelphian doctrine as reasoned by him is so true that none can refute it. OR B. To vent his frustrations and use some of the hard (but subjective) Bible study he has done on us. Thus, it’s not that he is so dumb as that he is totally convinced any point be it Christian or atheist which runs counter to the Christadelphian dogmas be must and has to be wrong!! On the other hand, when we at DC beats up on the typical idea of Satan and Hell, Jason is there to say; Amen!

He strikes me as some one who either never had a in-depth Christian faith and was fellowshipped by the Christadelphians at a needful time in his life or someone who felt he was tricked by the main stream Protestant sects or Catholic tradition and now feels the Christadelphians have it all when it comes to the “Truth” of the Bible. He appears to have had little dialogue with other “Bible only” sects such as the Church of Christ who claim the same thing.

With their view of equality for women in his sect, he fought hard to force this Christadelphia view on my post since the Christadelphia Biblical based doctrine MUST be truth for all. Jason needs to understand that the Christian religion is as much about fellowship on the social level as it is doctrines be it Bibles only or shaped by tradition.

Thus, Jason real reason to be at DC is not to learn objectively from us, but to teach Christadelphian dogmas without compromise.

For Jason, it’s not Christianity that‘s truth, but Christadelphianity that’s true.

I would suggest a MTV put on a Celebrity Death Match between Jason and District Supt. Harvey Burnett.

brewepau said...

"...So what does it take to believe in hell? A very ignorant person. There's no other way to describe it. None..."

Yes, there is: DENIAL. People who believe in Hell need to believe in it for some reason. That their belief is most often unconscious makes these people profoundly resistant to good reasoning.

Jean-Baptiste Emmanuel Zorg said...

I just love you guys! I have learned so much in the past couple of months reading this blog that one of my most eccentric friends the other day called ME eccentric!

Now to my point, I think, for those especially raised in fundamentalist backgrounds, the horror and terror of the concept of hell, drummed into them for so long, was so ingrained into their minds, that the fear of hell is hard to escape. In Bart Ehrman's book he describes his de-conversion process and recalls waking up in the night in fear that he might be wrong. In the book he says he still has moments when that thought attends him.
Even as one begins to understand the evolution of the concept of hell in history the rational mind tells you that hell simply makes no logical sense, but the emotions conflict and war against the rational.
The concept of hell is a powerful tool for making and keeping converts; which is what, I imagine, it was designed for.

PS I changed my name; I used to be lee and people kept confusing me with lee R. I felt unworthy.

Stan, the Half-Truth Teller said...

Wow Harry...

That explains a lot about Jason. I perused his blog, and I have to say that your conclusions sound pretty accurate to me.

I'd heard of Christadelphianism, but I thought it was just a cult. I guess I was right.

---------------

As to hell, all I really have to offer is this, from the Principia Discordia:

The Hell Law says that Hell is reserved exclusively for them that believe in it. Further, the lowest Rung in Hell is reserved for them
that believe in it on the supposition that they'll go there if they don't.

HBT; The Gospel According to Fred, 3:1


--
Stan

Jason said...

John,

I don't know why you're refusing to post my comments. I expect the opportunity to either respond to the accusations here or I'm going to request you remove them from this comment list as they're "harassing", "off topic" and completely uncalled for.

I'm also expecting an explanation as to why you're refusing to post my remarks regarding what God intended with the world. My completely harmless remarks are neither disrespectful, harassing, off-topic, sermons, or advertisements.

John W. Loftus said...

Jason, if you want to respond I'll give you one shot. Defend yourself as you see fit. I'll publish it.

Stan, the Half-Truth Teller said...

(Sorry Jason, my comment that "I guess I was right" was unnecessary. I anxiously await your responses to hell, and to the intentions of god.)

--
Stan

Stan, the Half-Truth Teller said...

I don't know if Jason will be returning...

After Harry mentioned his lonely blog, I visited it and posted some comments, most notably questioning this article he posted in which Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the Human Genome Project, describes why he is a theist.

I don't know if Jason actually read the article or not, but the esteemed Dr. Collins quite clearly states that a literal interpretation of the Genesis creation myth is intellectual dishonesty.

I questioned Jason on why he felt this article in any way strengthened his position, and, as he typically does here at DC, he simply dodged the question, resorting in the end to asking if Dr. Collins directly said that the Genesis story was allegory and/or metaphor.

Having answered that direct question once already, I let him know that he was daft.

Here is Dr. Collins' relevant quote directly from the CNN site:

Yes, evolution by descent from a common ancestor is clearly true. If there was any lingering doubt about the evidence from the fossil record, the study of DNA provides the strongest possible proof of our relatedness to all other living things.

But why couldn't this be God's plan for creation? True, this is incompatible with an ultra-literal interpretation of Genesis, but long before Darwin, there were many thoughtful interpreters like St. Augustine, who found it impossible to be exactly sure what the meaning of that amazing creation story was supposed to be. So attaching oneself to such literal interpretations in the face of compelling scientific evidence pointing to the ancient age of Earth and the relatedness of living things by evolution seems neither wise nor necessary for the believer.


(emphasis added)

If Jason couldn't read that, and recognize how it weakens his own position, then I can hardly imagine how he could possibly respond intelligently to any of our posts on the existence of Hell, or anything else that contradicts his system.

But, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe he'll respond, and maybe it'll have substance other than "Where in the bible does it say _________?", where the blank is filled in with any number of explicit and/or implicit statements taken directly from any number of independent sources in the bible.

Jason?

We're waiting.

--
Stan

Trou said...

The belief in hell is silly based on the supposedly omnipresent God. If he can be everywhere at once, knowing all and seeing all, then where could hell be that would be removed from God's presence? We are told that God needed a sacrifice in order to atone for our sins so we could enter his presence. If God is everywhere then what is the difference between God being present and God's presence? Also when Jesus took on the sins of the world then was he not allowed into the presence of God? Yet he is God, so, he was not allowed to be in his own presence?

It's all nonsense and contrary to the supposed nature of God. You can't have both doctrines because they are in direct conflict. Either God is holy and can’t abide sin or he is omnipresent and is everywhere at all times.

I won't even mention the contradictions involving the so called infinite love of God and the point in which he somehow finds this love to be finite after all and chooses to torture sinful souls for eternity.

No I won't mention that.

Jason said...

Precisely.

brewepau said...

The great psychologist, Karen Horney (1885 - 1952), once wrote that the main reason people cling to irrational beliefs is because "their emotional needs override the evidence".

That's all we're really dealing with here. And the belief in the reality of Hell is just a gimmick to terrify the mind (both the conscious and unconscious mind) into a state of distraction that will prevent it from contemplating the questions that would lead to the truth if answered - which are these:

Is Jesus coming back? Extremely unlikely. And it's doubtful that he was ever really here.

Is there an afterlife of bliss with Jesus in eternal paradise? Extremely unlikely.

These answers are unbearable for many. So, they use a belief in Hell to keep them at bay. Sad.

Michael Ejercito said...

However, the concept of hell is just too vile and repulsive for us to believe, so this calls into question anything of importance that such a God might reveal to us.
In what way is the idea of punishing wrongdoers repulsive?

Michael Ejercito said...

If billions of our departed are trapped down there and suffering, we have a moral obligation to mount a massive rescue effort. Let's start digging!
Why should we rescue them?

They are sinners being punished for their sins.

brewepau said...

If ejercito isn't putting us all on, this is one horrifically sadistic human being, in my opinion.

"Punishing wrongdoers?" With eternal agony? This is JUST punishment, ejercito? For failing to believe the right thing? The punishment doesn't seem wildly out of proportion to the "crime" to you?

And vindictive punishment? You support that? How? Does the thought of all those suffering in Hell make you feel good, ejercito?

It should make you feel terrible, ejercito. If you had a shred of compassion in your soul, you'd never be able to enjoy Heaven knowing about the agony of those in Hell. But, it's all going to be just fine and dandy with you, isn't it?

Know this erjecito, it was people like you who convinced me unequivocally that Fundamentalist Christianity was not the religion of love it claimed to be.

And that's one thing I can really thank you for.

Michael Ejercito said...

If ejercito isn't putting us all on, this is one horrifically sadistic human being, in my opinion.

Only those who sympathize with evil would call punishing wrongdoers sadistic.
"Punishing wrongdoers?" With eternal agony? This is JUST punishment, ejercito? For failing to believe the right thing? The punishment doesn't seem wildly out of proportion to the "crime" to you?

That is for the Authority to judge.

I am sure you understand the concept of authority.

And vindictive punishment? You support that? How? Does the thought of all those suffering in Hell make you feel good, ejercito?

What exactly is your problem with punishing wrongdoers?

Was it wrong to punish the two thugs who robbed and murdered Matthew Shepard?

Was it wrong to punish the pervert who kidnapped and raped Elizabeth Shoaf?
If you had a shred of compassion in your soul, you'd never be able to enjoy Heaven knowing about the agony of those in Hell.
Compassion is for the compassionate.

Tyro said...

What is this punishment accomplishing? It isn't a deterrent, and it's totally disproportionate to the crime. It makes a mockery of justice.

Authoritarian, yes. Vengeance, yes.

Loving, no. Justice, no.


When we see an unjust, vengeful authoritarian regime, is it moral to submit or should we reject it?

Michael Ejercito said...


When we see an unjust, vengeful authoritarian regime, is it moral to submit or should we reject it?

God is all-powerful and has absolute power to condemn people to eternal torment.

The right thing to do is submit.

brewepau said...

"Only those who sympathize with evil would call punishing wrongdoers sadistic".

This response doesn't even qualify as a "nice try", ejercito. You haven't even attempted to respond to me in a thoughtful manner here.

Instead, you simply resort to one of the many rhetorical gimmicks used by fundamentalists everywhere - evade the question by attempting to demonize your questioner as "evil" in some way.

But, you also threw in another "doozie": You equate my opposition to eternal torture with a simultaneous opposition to "punishing wrongdoers".

I didn't suggest that "wrongdoers" shouldn't be punished and you know that, erjecito. My statements make it clear that I believe that the punishment should fit the crime. And you know that, too.

Example: When fundamentalist Jim Bakker ripped off his followers, he was sent to prison. He did wrong and was punished. But, if they had wanted to torture him there, I would have protested that the punishment didn't fit the crime and, further, that the use of torture is never justified no matter what the crime.

Hell is eternal torture for failing to believe in a particular way. Being tortured for all eternity is the punishment that fits that crime, erjecito? Evidently, you agree that it is. And you would claim that it is I who sympathizes with evil?

You've got it backwards, erjecito. It is you who sympathizes with a God who instituted that heinous and darkest evil of all - allowing eternal torture for those whose only crime was failing to believe in him as he supposedly demanded.

What kind of god is that, erjecito? Answer: A truly evil and unloving one. And fortunately, also completely imaginary.

You need psychological counseling, erjecito. In my opinion, your cleaving to a god like that shows big problems deep inside your psyche. I can only imagine the humiliation, rage, and grief that must exist there.

Who hurt you so severely that you could condone the existence of an unspeakable horror like hell and then turn around and worship the god who decreed that it is a just punishment for non-believers? Who terrified you and crippled your soul, erjecito?

With all the compassion I can muster, I submit a non-theist's prayer to the spirit of human love that you get help soon.

Tyro said...

Might Makes Right, that's the extent of your moral decision-making? Disturbing.

Michael Ejercito said...

You've got it backwards, erjecito. It is you who sympathizes with a God who instituted that heinous and darkest evil of all - allowing eternal torture for those whose only crime was failing to believe in him as he supposedly demanded.

What kind of god is that, erjecito? Answer: A truly evil and unloving one. And fortunately, also completely imaginary.

That is the God as depicted in the Bible.

Worship or burn. It is our choice.

brewepau said...

"That is the God as depicted in the Bible.
Worship or burn. It is our choice".

I rest my case. Ejercito is a deeply troubled human being in need of psychiatric help, in my opinion.

With his mindless and chilling words above, ejercito could not possibly have made a better case against himself:

"That is the God as depicted in the Bible.
Worship or burn. It is our choice".

Worship or burn, erjecito? Do you hear yourself? Is there anything at all left of your "self" that even remotely resembles a human being who feels compassion for others? Worship or burn? This is all ok with you? Really?

Say those words over and over, erjecito: "Worship or burn". BURN.

See the agony in your mind.
BURNING. PEOPLE BURNING.

Are you not moved to pity in any way at all? Are you not troubled in the slightest? Do you really believe that anyone deserves eternal torture?

Never mind. I know your answer is "yes".

In my opinion, your mind is now very little more than a repository for a doctrine of religious tyranny. In my opinion, you and the people who cleave to your horrifying beliefs in hell as a just punishment for non-believer are like the "pod people" in the old science fiction film, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". You've been lulled to sleep by religious demagogues who are using you to further there own aspirations for power here on earth.

And you've taken the bait "hook, line, and sinker", erjecito. Sad.

How much money are they making off of you every month? All to do "God's work", I presume.

Wake up, erjectio. You've "been had". Don't let them continue to bilk you with empty promises of how well you'll be protected by the big bad ass in the sky as long as you continue to act as one of his personal sycophants here on earth.

It's all a scam, erjecito. And I suspect that way deep down under all those buried layers of your mind where your true feelings leak through every so often, you know that's it all a scam, too.

And if what I suspect about you in this regard is true, I hope that someday you find the courage to face that reality.

Michael Ejercito said...

Worship or burn, erjecito? Do you hear yourself? Is there anything at all left of your "self" that even remotely resembles a human being who feels compassion for others? Worship or burn? This is all ok with you? Really?

Say those words over and over, erjecito: "Worship or burn". BURN.

See the agony in your mind.
BURNING. PEOPLE BURNING.

Are you not moved to pity in any way at all? Are you not troubled in the slightest? Do you really believe that anyone deserves eternal torture?

God is Lord of Lords and King of Kings; He may punish transgressors as He sees fit.

brewepau said...

u"God is Lord of Lords and King of Kings; He may punish transgressors as He sees fit".

That's it, erjecito? Your only response is yet another in a series of religious platitudes? That's all you've got? Let's look at that one again:

"God is Lord of Lords and King of Kings; He may punish transgressors as He sees fit".

Erjecito, you did it again. You didn't answer my questions. You ran away.

I asked about YOU. I wanted to know what YOU feel. Here are the questions again. Here's what I asked YOU. I already know about your god.

I asked:

"Are you not moved to pity in any way at all? Are you not troubled in the slightest? Do you really believe that anyone deserves eternal torture?"

What I want to know is how YOU feel in response to these questions. Here's what I suspect:

Deep down, you DO feel pity. Deep down, you ARE troubled by the suffering of those in Hell. Deep down, you really DON'T believe that eternal torture is a just punishment for failing to believe in the right way.

And if I'm right, erjecito, do you really believe that you can hide those feelings from God?

And if I'm wrong, erjecito, I fear that there's nothing left of your humanity.

If I'm wrong, erjecito, truly wrong about you, and you, yourself, actually do feel NO compassion in response to the questions I asked you, what, then, have you become in your religiousness, other than an impoverished repertoire of conditioned responses?

It's always sad to see a human mind subsumed by an ideology. I fear that is what has happened to you, erjecito.

Mary said...

Think about this: What if there was a person who everytime they came in your house, they trashed the furniture, beat you up, and ate all your food and kicked the dog? And did this EVERY SINGLE TIME. When confronted with their behavior they tell you to piss off. What would you do? Would you not want to put this person somewhere where they can't do anymore damage and keep them the **** away from you? That's what hell is, people. And if you wanna b**** about hell not letting in certain people, then you'd better let the most abusive bastards into your house and let them have free reign. GG.

brewepau said...

"...What if there was a person who everytime they came in your house, they trashed the furniture, beat you up, and ate all your food and kicked the dog? And did this EVERY SINGLE TIME. When confronted with their behavior they tell you to piss off. What would you do? Would you not want to put this person somewhere where they can't do anymore damage and keep them the **** away from you?..."

Oh,boy...

Now let me see, I am a father whose wife and children love me, I am college professor whose students tell me over and over again how I've changed their lives for the better, I'm kind to animals, I don't do drugs or abuse alcohol, I obey the law, I give my fellow human beings the benefit of the doubt to the best of my ability, I am respectful and considerate to the elderly, etc.

But, because I do not believe that Jesus Christ is my personal Lord and Savior, I deserve the same punishment for that "crime" as the guy who...

""...every time they came in your house, they trashed the furniture, beat you up, and ate all your food and kicked the dog? And did this EVERY SINGLE TIME. When confronted with their behavior they tell you to piss off..."

Yes?

And what is that punishment? Being burned in unspeakable agony for all eternity?

Once again, here is the central issue:

Punishments that fit the crimes.

I never wrote or implied that criminals shouldn't be punished for crimes. But, my Christian responders here have responded to me AS IF I HAD.

Many of you reading this will recognize their use of the old "Straw Man" fallacy. It goes like this:

Accuse your opponent of saying something he didn't say and then - with "moral" outrage - respond to him as if he actually had said the thing he didn't say or imply.

I almost embarrassed for the people who are using that argumentative gimmick here. Almost.

Say it over and over. The issue here is:

"Punishments that fit the crimes".

And please realize, Christian responders to this post, that every time you accuse any of us of being against penalizing/punishing criminals for egregious violations of laws that protect others, we are going to call you on your use of the "Straw Man" fallacy.

Count on it.

Harry McCall said...

Hey Mary,

Ever do any Greek or Latin word studies on hades / hell? Can the Bible be original in anything?

If Jesus when to Hell (after his death on the cross) then "WWJD", Christians should go to Hell too!
Amen?

Mary said...

brewpau:

If you don't believe in Jesus as your Personal Lord and Savior, what would be the POINT in letting you into Heaven? Your "crime" was rejecting His free gift of salvation.

Now whether there is actual "burning" in heaven is up for debate, because of the issue of whether fire can actually torment spirit beings. But at the very least, it will involve the torment of eternally kicking yourself for not believing. If you did not believe in God, why would you WANT to spend eternity with Him? And furthermore if you don't believe in God WHY WOULD HE WANT YOU THERE?! Be logical about this please, not emotional. Hell by its very definition is SEPARATION from God. It'll be your dream come true--a "land" (dimension) that is truly absent of God. Basically it's for not only those who do bad, but for those who just don't want to be around God by virtue of what they believe for whatever reason.

While the scale of punishment will probably see someone like you NOT getting punished as much as someone who was a real rotter in life. You have no evidence that your particular punishment will NOT fit your "crime." You are only going by your imagination.

It's like a parent telling a kid not to touch the hot stove, and the kid not believing that the stove element is hot. If you touch the stove element you are going to get burned.

And Harry, you missed the point and the boat about Jesus going to Hell. He went there to proclaim his Victory over Death. Notice he did not STAY there. Christians do not have His special powers nor are they goona be stopping by to LOL @ the Devil, so of course they're not going to Hell. I know you're trying to be funny, but anyone who has any understanding of what Jesus was doing is going to realize that your comments are made of EPIC FAIL. And how do you know the Greeks didn't borrow the concept of Hades from the Israelites (or some earlier common knowledge, back when most everybody knew and worshipped the "True God"? ;)

Harry McCall said...

“And how do you know the Greeks didn't borrow the concept of Hades from the Israelites (or some earlier common knowledge, back when most everybody knew and worshipped the "True God"?”

Lets see, cuneiform logograms predate the 22 character consonantal Hebrew text by some 2,000 years and if you include the non-Semitic texts from Sumer, about 3,500 years. My point being; at what point in time was this God true?

Mary, please relate to me the relationship between the logogram text unearth in 1929 at Ras Shamra (Ugarit) and Biblical Hebrew as written in texts from Qumran.

brewepau said...

Mary wrote:

"...if you don't believe in God WHY WOULD HE WANT YOU THERE?! Be logical about this please, not emotional..."

Mary asks me to be logical, not emotional, about all of this. Fair enough.

But, notice Mary's emotion-laden use of capital letters and the expressive "?!" in her request! I guess it's ok for Christians to get emotional but the rest of us are supposed to behave like good little boys and girls in our responses (I do use capital letter below, but it's only because I can't get the italics or underline script to work on my computer - Sorry).

Mary, Sweet Mary. I'm suspect that you are a darling. You sound sincere and impassioned. Good for you. I truly do admire you for challenging me.

But, forgive me, love, when you challenge me to be logical about this, I find myself compelled to issue that same challenge to you. Here's why:

You wrote:

"If you don't believe in Jesus as your Personal Lord and Savior, what would be the POINT in letting you into Heaven? Your "crime" was rejecting His free gift of salvation".

I don't believe in the Judeo-Christian, mono-theistic god, Mary. Now let's follow the logic from THAT position (which is quite simple): Given my belief that the Judeo-Christian god does not exist, there is no "point" for me regarding God's "letting me into Heaven" as you put it.

And a "free gift of salvation", Mary? Oh, no, dear. That's the biggest scam of all. There is, in fact, a HUGE price to pay for that one: You must surrender your life -your whole life, Mary - to the Christian religion. Never again will you be allowed to truly challenge ANY of the sacrosanct tenets decreed as inviolable by your bible (and your church).

That is very, very far from a "free gift", dear. In my opinion, you have paid an exorbitant sum for that one, love.

Mary wrote:

"Now whether there is actual "burning" in heaven is up for debate, because of the issue of whether fire can actually torment spirit beings. But at the very least, it will involve the torment of eternally kicking yourself for not believing".

It's interesting to note here what might very well be a Freudian slip: Mary wrote - "...burning" in heaven..."

Burning in Heaven? It's hard to believe that one got by you, Mary. But, I digress...

Where is the hard evidence for any of your claims here, Mary? Moreover, where are the many independent lines of evidence converging in a cumulative manner that could possibly support your singular claims here?

Answer: Nowhere.

Not even in the Bible, Mary. Not really. And by your own admission, a certain amount of all this conjecture is "debatable".

If ANY of this really is debatable, Mary, then where does that actually leave us?

Answer: Endlessly debating.

But, over what? Whether or not we can trust a book (the Bible) whose central character is an infallible god who deliberately creates a race of fallible beings (humans) who he then punishes for their fallibility?

Come on, Mary! What kind of jerk would do that? He punishes people who succumb to temptation while he, himself (due to his infallibility) never even has to FEEL temptation? He punishes people whom he knows in advance will yield to temptation? Doesn't that sound like a "set-up", Mary? A scam maybe?

Here's the ruse in a nutshell: If your god actually is who you claim he is, then he knew well in advance how things would turn out for everybody - well BEFORE he created anyone or anything.

That is necessarily true if he is actually God. Because by virtue of being God, he has to know all there is to know. If he doesn't have total knowledge in that regard, he is far less than a god.

This is logic, Mary, not emotion.

Ok. He knows every choice everyone will make well before he creates the people who will make those choices. Follow me here.

Unless you do not believe in cause and effect - and it appears that you DO believe in cause and effect because you claim to hold people accountable for the effects caused by the choices they make (rejecting God, Jesus, etc.) - then we've got a big problem, Mary.

Here it is: If God is the First Cause of everything and if he knew at the beginning exactly which choices everyone would make afterwards, then it follows - logically - that he had to have known all the effects that would follow due to the precise manner in which he directed the First Cause.

What that means is this: Having complete knowledge at the First Cause, God clearly knew where all the effects of his First Cause would lead.

Last point: If God knew all the effects that would follow his First Cause, Mary, then he must have WANTED all those effects to follow. Otherwise, he would have designed the First Cause in such a way that different effects would follow.

But, he didn't. So, all the effects that he knew would follow in the chain reaction set in motion after the First Cause had to have been built into the First Cause.

Built into it, Mary.

God knew what everyone was going to do. He created time and cause and effect. He knew at the beginning.

And then he punishes us for what he knew we were going to do? He punishes us for simply being one of the many bad effects resulting from what he built into the First Cause?

If so, this is not a god who has given everyone an equal chance. If this is so, very many of us have never had a chance for "redemption" at all. Not fair.

Here's the logic you asked me for, Mary. Nothing emotional about it, really.

May I expect the same from you should you decided to respond?

Stay well, dear.




Mary wrote:

"...if you don't believe in God WHY WOULD HE WANT YOU THERE?! Be logical about this please, not emotional..."

Mary asks me to be logical, not emotional, about all of this. Fair enough.

But, notice Mary's emotion-laden use of capital letters and the expressive "?!" in her request! I guess it's ok for Christians to get emotional but the rest of us are supposed to behave like good little boys and girls in our responses (I do use capital letter below, but it's only because I can't get the italics or underline script to work on my computer - Sorry).

Mary, Sweet Mary. I'm suspect that you are a darling. You sound sincere and impassioned. Good for you. I truly do admire you for challenging me.

But, forgive me, love, when you challenge me to be logical about this, I find myself compelled to issue that same challenge to you. Here's why:

You wrote:

"If you don't believe in Jesus as your Personal Lord and Savior, what would be the POINT in letting you into Heaven? Your "crime" was rejecting His free gift of salvation".

I don't believe in the Judeo-Christian, mono-theistic god, Mary. Now let's follow the logic from THAT position (which is quite simple): Given my belief that the Judeo-Christian god does not exist, there is no "point" for me regarding God's "letting me into Heaven" as you put it.

And a "free gift of salvation", Mary? Oh, no, dear. That's the biggest scam of all. There is, in fact, a HUGE price to pay for that one: You must surrender your life -your whole life, Mary - to the Christian religion. Never again will you be allowed to truly challenge ANY of the sacrosanct tenets decreed as inviolable by your bible (and your church).

That is very, very far from a "free gift", dear. In my opinion, you have paid an exorbitant sum for that one, love.

Mary wrote:

"Now whether there is actual "burning" in heaven is up for debate, because of the issue of whether fire can actually torment spirit beings. But at the very least, it will involve the torment of eternally kicking yourself for not believing".

It's interesting to note here what might very well be a Freudian slip: Mary wrote - "...burning" in heaven..."

Burning in Heaven? It's hard to believe that one got by you, Mary. But, I digress...

Where is the hard evidence for any of your claims here, Mary? Moreover, where are the many independent lines of evidence converging in a cumulative manner that could possibly support your singular claims here?

Answer: Nowhere.

Not even in the Bible, Mary. Not really. And by your own admission, a certain amount of all this conjecture is "debatable".

If ANY of this really is debatable, Mary, then where does that actually leave us?

Answer: Endlessly debating.

But, over what? Whether or not we can trust a book (the Bible) whose central character is an infallible god who deliberately creates a race of fallible beings (humans) who he then punishes for their fallibility?

Come on, Mary! What kind of jerk would do that? He punishes people who succumb to temptation while he, himself (due to his infallibility) never even has to FEEL temptation? He punishes people whom he knows in advance will yield to temptation? Doesn't that sound like a "set-up", Mary? A scam maybe?

Here's the ruse in a nutshell: If your god actually is who you claim he is, then he knew well in advance how things would turn out for everybody - well BEFORE he created anyone or anything.

That is necessarily true if he is actually God. Because by virtue of being God, he has to know all there is to know. If he doesn't have total knowledge in that regard, he is far less than a god.

This is logic, Mary, not emotion.

Ok. He knows every choice everyone will make well before he creates the people who will make those choices. Follow me here.

Unless you do not believe in cause and effect - and it appears that you DO believe in cause and effect because you claim to hold people accountable for the effects caused by the choices they make (rejecting God, Jesus, etc.) - then we've got a big problem, Mary.

Here it is: If God is the First Cause of everything and if he knew at the beginning exactly which choices everyone would make afterwards, then it follows - logically - that he had to have known all the effects that would follow due to the precise manner in which he directed the First Cause.

What that means is this: Having complete knowledge at the First Cause, God clearly knew where all the effects of his First Cause would lead.

Last point: If God knew all the effects that would follow his First Cause, Mary, then he must have WANTED all those effects to follow. Otherwise, he would have designed the First Cause in such a way that different effects would follow.

But, he didn't. So, all the effects that he knew would follow in the chain reaction set in motion after the First Cause had to have been built into the First Cause.

Built into it, Mary.

God knew what everyone was going to do. He created time and cause and effect. He knew at the beginning.

And then he punishes us for what he knew we were going to do? He punishes us for simply being one of the many bad effects resulting from what he built into the First Cause?

If so, this is not a god who has given everyone an equal chance. If this is so, very many of us have never had a chance for "redemption" at all. Not fair.

Here's the logic you asked me for, Mary. Nothing emotional about it, really.

May I expect the same from you should you decided to respond?

Stay well, dear.

brewepau said...

Oooop! Sorry about the double entry above. I cut and pasted one too many times!

PB

Harry McCall said...

brewepau; well put!

Now Mary, that's what I call logic!

Plus, just which Creedal Jesus is required for salvation?

If none, then are Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses saved too?

brewepau said...

Thanks, Harry.

Let's hope that the logic Mary demanded of me finds its way into her own thinking. But, if it does, she'll most likely go through a rough time for a while.

I've seen it happen with a few others (only a few, however). And when it does, there is usually a period of time where feelings of loss (and actual mourning) follow. It's not easy when logic invalidates the likelihood that one's god is actually real.

But, it's worth it in the end because once we are free of the delusion that some voyeuristic and judgmental god (who is continuously scrutinizing and judging our every thought, feeling, and action) doesn't really exist, we are free to be who we really are.

And we know what comes with that: RESPONSIBILITY. No longer can we just "turn it all over to God". Now it is WE who must act to make things better because there is no god we can count on (or wait on) to solve our problems.

I'll take that any day over surrendering my mind to a god of an persuasion.

Harry McCall said...

I totally agree, brewepau.

We need to have our "car of life" firmly in our control.

Most Christians think God is the U.S goverment welfare office; there to always bail out the person in need in their time of trouble.

Mary said...

Now Mary, that's what I call logic!

Plus, just which Creedal Jesus is required for salvation?

If none, then are Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses saved too?


Well harry, what you just put there is what I call ignorance.

Belief in Jesus involves believing that He is God (since He revealed himself as such in the N.T.). JW's don't believe He is God; they believe He was created. Mormons have an almost Scientology-esque belief that anyone can become a god and that the God of the Bible is Himself one of many Gods and do not treat Jesus as a god, nor do they go "through him" like they're supposed to according to standard, NT-based "no-one can come to the Father except by me" teachings. Either way, fatal error. Blue screen of death.

brewpau:
Let's hope that the logic Mary demanded of me finds its way into her own thinking. But, if it does, she'll most likely go through a rough time for a while.

I've seen it happen with a few others (only a few, however). And when it does, there is usually a period of time where feelings of loss (and actual mourning) follow. It's not easy when logic invalidates the likelihood that one's god is actually real.

Sorry, but I have seen no such logic to date, and the evidence is clearly more in favor of a god existing, than not.

But, it's worth it in the end because once we are free of the delusion that some voyeuristic and judgmental god (who is continuously scrutinizing and judging our every thought, feeling, and action) doesn't really exist, we are free to be who we really are.

And we know what comes with that: RESPONSIBILITY. No longer can we just "turn it all over to God". Now it is WE who must act to make things better because there is no god we can count on (or wait on) to solve our problems.

I'll take that any day over surrendering my mind to a god of an persuasion.

Ahhh yes, but who enforces that "responsibility?" Society? If someone decided on their own that raping and murdering was acceptable, is that not just their own opinion then, and thus equally valid?

And while I'm sure it feels great to be unhindered in whatever, guilt-free, I still haven't seen the logic that demands that a Universe which obviously had a beginning had no Creator.

ANd you know, or should, that Paul basically said that if Christianity were (hypothetically) false, then Christians were to be among the most pitied. In other words, they weren't just following Christianity for their health. Yeah, if it's not true then following it is pointless. But if it is true...

Mary said...

Most Christians think God is the U.S goverment welfare office; there to always bail out the person in need in their time of trouble.

I dunno harry, many Christians I know are fond of the saying "God helps those who help themselves." They only really depend on God to bail them out of something they really can't get out of on their own.

brewepau said...

brewepau wrote: "I've seen it happen with a few others (only a few, however). And when it does, there is usually a period of time where feelings of loss (and actual mourning) follow. It's not easy when logic invalidates the likelihood that one's god is actually real".

Mary wrote: "Sorry, but I have seen no such logic to date, and the evidence is clearly more in favor of a god existing, than not".

Here's what I suspect, Mary: You haven't seen the logic (that you dismiss above) for one reason and one only:

You don't want to see it.

And when you say, "the evidence is clearly more in favor of a god existing, than not", you don't mean "a" god. You don't mean just any old god. You mean the god of the Judeo-Christian bible.

But, you can't put it that way. The I.D. people NEVER put it that way. If they did, they'd have to say something like,

"Look at the complexity of the eye. It's far too complex to have evolved. An intelligent agent must have designed it. Therefore, everything in the Judeo-Christian bible is true!"

Ooops... Big non sequitur there. If intelligent design proponents followed their own attempts at logic, they would have to conclude that the premises they offer could lead to a variety of different gods who have nothing at all to do with the Judeo-Christian bible.

Why would the intelligence who created everything be required to reveal him/her/itself? Maybe the universe IS the product of intelligent design. But, if it is, the arguments offered by I.D. people don't necessarily lead to Jesus Christ as the son of God and savior of the world.

But, I.D. people are almost exclusively fundamentalist Christians. So, I think it's logical to infer that they are simply trying to create a semantic subterfuge in an attempt to promulgate the bible as science in some manner or other.

Let's look again at what you wrote, Mary:

"...the evidence is clearly more in favor of a god existing, than not".

I read your words and then read on to see what you would offer in the way of evidence supporting your statement above.

You offered nothing, Mary. What are we supposed to do, just take your word for it?

As Carl Sagan used to say, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". Again, you offered not a word in support of your claim.

How about faith? Isn't that THE central tenet in Christianity, Mary? I've never met a Christian who didn't claim that faith, at the very least, was profoundly important.

But, why?

Here's why: Because you don't have nearly enough evidence to support your claims about God and about Jesus Christ being the savior of the world.

If you actually did have compelling, powerful evidenced, Mary, of what use would faith be?

Answer: None. You wouldn't need it.

Example: I don't need faith to know that there is heat in fire. I can feel it every time I'm near it. I can also understand it in scientific terms (oxidation, for example). I can predict the experience and re-create it to test the veracity of it time after time.

I don't need faith in this instance because I have the evidence to prove it.

Extend that to other phenomena. Use the scientific method to predict outcomes based on data that have been tested repeatedly and that yield the same results time after time.

THIS is evidence, Mary. And it has led us to the knowledge that, among countless other discoveries, the earth is not flat as the bible clearly suggests it is - "four corners of the earth" and all.

And, yes, I know that bible apologists have tried to rationalize their way out of this one, but it doesn't work. A sphere does not have corners. A circle does not have corners.

And even if the Hebrew and Greek translate as something that could mean "extremity" or some substitute for "corners" we still have a problem: The English bible says "corners". And in English, that means corners - something you don't find on a sphere.

What happened, Mary? Why did God allow a mistake in translation in his own book? I thought it was His word? Why would He allow that kind of confusion to arise at all, and for centuries on end, no less? Why didn't he guide the hand of the translators to use an English word other than "corners"?

Answer: He didn't. He didn't because he's not there.

I wrote this:

"I'll take that any day over surrendering my mind to a god of an persuasion".

Mary wrote this:

"Ahhh yes, but who enforces that "responsibility?"
Society?"

My answer: Yes, society does exactly that and for a good reason: Civil society would break down without it. But, knowing that doesn't require a god to inform us about it.

We are a social species. We learned long ago what Ben Franklin put so cleverly, "We must hang together, gentlemen...else, we shall most assuredly hang separately." Franklin's droll axiom was manifest long before his time - when our ancestors realized that cooperation would lead us to survival better than than "going it alone" ever could. The saber tooth tiger could do it. We couldn't.

But, with strength in numbers and cooperation, we outsmarted and outlasted the saber tooth predator. It's gone. We're here.

And that evidence led us to the concept of "responsibility", Mary. We realized long ago - by virtue of the evidence - that irresponsibility always led our species to greater vulnerability and that individual and collective responsibility would protect us better than anything else we could come up with.

Responsibility was "enforced" by our desire to survive, Mary. And that desire trumps all others in all known life forms on this planet.

Given that dire imperative, no god would be necessary to motivate us to be responsible. It was "be responsible to each other or perish". It's really that simple.

Mary wrote:

"If someone decided on their own that raping and murdering was acceptable, is that not just their own opinion then, and thus equally
valid?"

Answer: A qualified "No".

Here's why: We have collectively decided - for all the species survival reasons mentioned above - that whether or not a syllogism could be structured that would yield the valid argument (and it actually can be done) that the heinous activities you mention above are "just their own opinion then, and thus equally valid?", we don't care.

Pragmatism wins here. We don't care if a "valid" argument for murder and rape can be skillfully structured. We care about survival as a species. We know that irresponsibility on a large scale threatens that survival.

But, because there are virtually limitless possibilities for the existence of human beings possessing every conceivable personality trait, social anomalies occur with predictable frequency.

Knowing that, we have created a system of laws designed (when designed by legislators who don't suffer from anomalous thinking themselves) to protect our species as a whole.

Again, the issue is survival. And since most people are responsible most of the time, our collective responsibility overwhelms the anomalous by incarcerating them or isolating their deleterious tendencies.

The grand motivator is survival, Mary.

Go back to that saber tooth tiger. I think it's a sure bet that whenever any of our ancestors saw one, they acted fast - motivated by the desire to survive. Scamper up a tree. Create a diversion. Throw a spear. Act now -RESPOND. Not to do so meant death.

Maybe they prayed later. Who knows? But, the lesson is clear. The ability to respond in ways that protect me and my brethren is what led to responsibility, not the decrees of some imaginary god.

Mary wrote:

"And while I'm sure it feels great to be unhindered in whatever, guilt-free, I still haven't seen the logic that demands that a Universe which obviously had a beginning had no Creator".

Presumptuous, Mary. I didn't say or imply that I'm "guilt-free". I'm not. But, I can understand why you would want to characterize me that way. It makes it easier to set up that straw man and knock him down. Not fair, Mary.

Again, you "don't see the logic", Mary, because you don't want to. You want to believe in Jesus.

And this where we differ most. I don't want to believe in the godless world of evolution, Mary. It's messy and "red in tooth and claw" and filled with predation and death.

Yeah, I'd love to believe in a god who loved me and would get me out of this mess by and by. How nice!

But, here's the kicker: What I want or don't want has no bearing on what IS. What is simple IS whether I want it or not. So, what now?

I can do my best for as long as I can. And given the nature of this life, Mary, the very best I can do is to bring as much honesty and responsibility and joy into the lives of others (and my own) as I possibly can.

But, I know I can't do that, Mary, if I insist on believing in supernatural beings for whom there is no real evidence.

And it is not at all obvious that the universe had a beginning caused by the god of the bible. All we really know is that it got here somehow. Who or what got it here is unknown.

And only that - for the moment - is obvious.

Stay well, Mary. And as paradoxical as it might sound, I'm glad you've had the courage to challenge me on these issues. Keep it going if you like. I'll be right here.

brewepau.

Rico El said...

hell is not a punishment. hell is the trash area for the unusable parts of HIS BODY. These parts chose to not BE of HIS BODY.

Again, GOD and hell are not provable to an unbeliever until they see GOD or hell.

They will.

ricoel

brewepau said...

Well..., ok, Rico. That's a good portion of cryptic material you offer there:

"...Again, GOD and hell are not provable to an unbeliever until they
see GOD or hell.

They will..."

At least you admit that your claims aren't provable to unbelievers.

Are you also saying, then, that belief precedes proof for Christian believers? If so, couldn't I use that same approach to "prove" any belief I adopted - before I found the proofs to support it?

This is what as known as "confirmation bias", Rico. You find a conclusion that you want and then simply look for the data to support it. However, if you do this, you must also ignore all of the evidence that might seriously question or refute your desired conclusion.

What argumentative tool do Christians use in this regard?

"Faith". Why have faith? Because you don't have proof. If you have proof, faith isn't necessary. But, something else is needed to protect faith from
doubt:

Terror. Sheer psychological and emotional terror.

That's why the idea of Hell exists. Take my fear of it away and doubt will walk right up and say a very friendly, "hello, there"!

And we can't have that, can we! We might then be required to offer evidence for our extraordinary claims.

Nope, better keep the terror of Hell intact. That's so much simpler than being real - and decent - to those who would dare to question us.

You won't get that here, Rico. In fact, we invite you to question us. We'll even go as far as to offer good reasons in support of our arguments. All we ask is that you do the same.

And please realize: you're attempts to incite terror in our hearts with your comments about how we will all find about hell when we die (meaning, I assume, that we're all going there) - those attempts have already incited nothing but curiosity about why in the world any reasonable person in this day and age would still be clinging to such absurd beliefs about a place called Hell and how unbelievers deserve to go there.

Those beliefs don't make any sense, Rico, and there's no verifiable evidence to support them.

Strange.

Rico El said...

I don't mean to instill fear in anyone.

My idea is to accept how everyone believes
and let them.
You believe there is no hell;
I believe there is.
You cannot prove that there is no hell,
without a doubt;
and I cannot prove that there is a hell;
without a doubt.

I would rather SUBMIT to my GOD YHSHWH
and be wrong that there is no hell,
than to not SUBMIT to my GOD YHSHWH
and be wrong that there is a hell.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

My grandfather used to wear a t-shirt
that he loved so much; it said,
"SUBMIT to JESUS or go to hell."
He used to wear it all the time.
It never placed any fear in me.

I think the fear of hell
comes from not knowing whether
it exists or not.
I don't fear hell because
I know it exists.

ricoel

Rico El said...

Oh, and BLESS YOU for having this blog.
It is set up real nice and the subject
matter is good in that these things
need to be discussed.

Again, may GOD YHSHWH BLESS YOU
and your ministry.
LOVE, RICOEL

Philip said...

Rico,

You're still in danger of going to Muslim hell, you're not out of danger yet. So why not become a Muslim just in case, as you seem to have with Christianity?

Or you can join us in saying that there's no good reason to dedicate your life to something predicated on the statement "but what if it's TRUE?"

Rico El said...

I don't need to question your beliefs. You believe what you believe.

I know evil spirits exist. I use to mingle with them. I know a place for them exists. In fact, it was an evil spirit that made me realize that if evil spirits can manifest/exist in our demension, there must be a GOD, WHO IS SPIRIT.

I searched and I found.

You all refer and emphasise religions; christians and muslims. I am not of either. I am of GOD'S PEOPLE here on earth, HIS BODY, and HE WILL WORK through HIS BODY. I have seen HIS MIRACLE of CHANGING me and others and how HE HAS AFFECTED many things in this world.

unbelievers are ignorant of GOD. That is why I don't need to question your belief. I used to unbelieve, also.

How can anyone fear hell? GOD YHSHWH SENDS no one to hell. Fear is not of GOD. Fear only exists if it is accepted that a hell exists and you don't know if you're going there.

I know it exists. hell IS CREATED for the evil spirits; not for humans. The way I understand it; only humans that volunteer/choose to go - go to hell.

I KNOW GOD YHSHWH.
I KNOW HE EXISTS and HE IS CALLING all of you to HIMSELF. It is your choice; LISTEN or stay ignorant of GOD.

Again, BLESS you for this place.
LOVE, RICOEL

Philip said...

Prove it.

Rico El said...

Growing up, everyone kept telling me that my Grandfather was my Grandfather. Could I prove it?

Today, there is DNA testing for blood but that would prove him to be related. It would not prove that he was my Grandfather. I believed he was my Grandfather because he proved himself to be my Grandfather.

So it is with GOD. I KNOW GOD is REAL because I KNOW HIM. Those that choose not to KNOW HIM do not KNOW GOD. There is no SPIRITUAL DNA test to prove that GOD EXISTS.

One needs to look for GOD to KNOW HIM. One needs to KNOW GOD to KNOW GOD EXISTS. Once you look for GOD and FIND HIM to KNOW HIM; HE WILL PROVE HIMSELF.

Go ahead, ask HIM to PROVE HIMSELF to you but, be careful what you ask because HE MOVES through you and/or through those around you.

poofer1980 said...

Punishment on earth for a crime committed on earth is justice. Punishment for eternity is simply evil. Is it not possible for humans to learn from their mistakes?

poofer1980 said...

I cannot believe that if there is a god, that god would condemn any human being to he'll for eternity, as that would be more evil than any evil done by humans on earth. Yes, people sometimes choose to commit evil actions, and it is logical to hope that there will be consequences. However, what is the point of consequences unless you can learn from your mistakes?