Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Absurdity of Hell

Looking back, I don't know how I could ever have believed that I was going to go to some magical place somewhere over the rainbow when I died while others were going to get sent to eternal torment and suffering for merely not believing in something for which there is absolutely zero evidence except some ancient text written by ignorant humans thousands of years ago. To think that one is going to be rewarded with the country club life on puffy clouds for just saying some magical words, while others who are not religious but are good people go to a fiery furnace forever for merely not saying magical words is totally ludicrous. Heaven and Hell are mythical places invented by humans because they cannot stand the thought of not living forever and Hell was invented by them as some sort of mental revenge against people who dare not believe the same way they do.

When we are dead, we are dead. The only way we are going to live on after we are dead is in the memories of our dear friends and loved ones . . . as long as they are alive and able to remember. Every living thing has a beginning and an end. That is the cycle of life. It's how everything in the universe operates.

21 comments:

Tommy said...

Here's the real absurdity of it. If you believe that anyone who does not accept Jesus Christ as their lord and savior goes to hell, then that means you believe that all of the Jews who perished in the Holocaust are in hell right now.

Cole said...

What bothers me bout it is that people are going to be praising and worshiping God as He torments people day and night forever and ever with pain and suffering. It sounds insane to me.

Stardust said...

Hi tommy...that is a terrible thought. All those people who suffered in this life, also suffering for eternity. People who believe this crap have a huge sadistic evilness inside them.

cole, hi there! How are you doing?

Yes, it is insane that there would be god's special people all praising him and kissing his feet while he is busy at the same time prescribing eternal torture for their "unsaved" family members and friends for simply not believing in him, or believing some other religion even though they were better people than the ones who said the "correct" magic words. Absurd!

Cole said...

Hey Star!

I'm hanging in there. I haven't completely given up on a supernatural Being yet. I know you disagree with me and that's Okay. I don't want to argue with you. Neither do I think it's my job to convince you. But I do have my reasons. Not that I believe in an afterlife or anything. But I do like to think that maybe there is hope for life after the grave. Anyway, thanks for asking about me. I'm having a pretty hard time and all. But I'm getting through it. Anyway, I hope you're doing well. Talk to you soon.

Stardust said...

Hi cole, I'm not going to argue with you. I think we have done enough of that ;) You have your reasons. Life is hard and we have to find our own way to get through it.

I am still going through medical testing to get to the root of an ongoing problem. Hopefully this test will figure it out. Just hope I don't need more surgery. But otherwise, I am doing okay Taking each day at a time.

Hang in there and keep on keepin' on, as the saying goes.

Cole said...

Hey Star!

Yea, that's really all we can do is take each day at a time. Or that's what I try to do anyway. I don't try to think about the afterlife anymore. I mean for me it may or may not exist. I don't see the point in saying everybody is going to go to heaven. If that's the case then I think we should just blow up the planet and ease all our suffering and problems. Better yet if there is a God why does He take us home through pain and suffering? Why not send down a chariot to escort us into heaven. I don't know. It doesn't make any sense. Anyway I'm rambling. I hope they get to the root of your problem.

Stardust said...

Thanks cole, I hope I get some results soon.

As for a god "taking us home", I always wonder if Heaven was so damned wonderful, and if heaven is the goal, then why would a god even create an earth? Just make people in heaven in the wonderful way this god wants them to be. As far as wanting humans to make a free-will choice, that is not true because with this god there is only one choice, or suffer eternally. For a god to create the whole heaven and hell thing when he only wants people to kiss his feet eternally only proves this god is man made with man made either or options. "Do or die, if you are different we kill you, if you don't follow what we believe you we seek revenge upon you." That's the thinking of human imaginations. If there was a god, I can't imagine a "supreme being" thinking exactly like warring humans.

Cole said...

The free will choice doesn't make any sense to me when you're dealing with things like abuse and suffering. If someone I loved was being raped (or anybody for that matter) I would protect them. The God of the Bible supposedly has the ability to protect but He doesn't. So He's either evil or He's not there. That's why I lean towards some form of dualism right now. I'm not sure which one right now. But it makes more sense than the God of Theism. That's the only way I can explain it.

Here's what I believe right now:

He's a Higher Power
Greater than myself
And He's loving.

Cole said...

I don't know though Star. I'm thinking about forgetting this Higher Power thing. But I still believe in the extra-dimensions of string theory.

GraceHead said...

Hello.

at the risk of sounding nit-picky...

Hell (as an eternal dwelling of the damned) is a teaching, like purgatory, that has no basis in scripture. It is a tradition that has become orthodox, but scripture as in most cases runs contrary to traditional viewpoints.
Consider John 3:16 ... "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that as many as believe in Him may not PERISH but have Eternal Life."

Life is a gift ... we are not owed life, but we each have it for a time. But it is inherently TEMPORARY ... having a beginning and an end. The doctrine of hell depicts no end ... no "PERISHING" ... but continued and unending conscious torment.

In reality, to accept the very Life of God is to be made alive by His life ... a Life that is unending and unbeginning .. .ETERNAL. To reject that Life is to remain temporal ... having no Eternal destiny.

To perish is to be UNFORMED to nothing .. and those that receive the second death to be made no more will have no thoughts to realize they have received it or not. Thoughts perish with the perishing

The serpent said: "You shall surely not die." ... and the church has been repeating the refrain, even when such teaching goes against the most popular verse ... John 3:16.

Perish means perish.

Consider this:
1/14/06 - From God the Father
...Shall I, even I, torment My beloved, they who are tormented continually by he who is, and has, torment in his vesture? Satan is the tormentor. ... Become, again, a child of God, and learn to walk uprightly, leading others into love, by love, not fear.MORE of this letter about unbiblical "hell" HERE

18 reasons why in a single verse

Theological Myth - Unending conscious torture

Stardust said...

gracehead, my post is mainly addressing those who do believe in a literal hell and those who tell me we heathens and non-believers are going to burn there forever.

So, you are not being nit-picky, you are merely pointing out things that I already know. Different forms of Christianity believe different things, interpret the Bible in many different ways -- too bad their god was such a vague writer ;)

And though very nicely written, your "From God the Father" was written by human beings who wish to see their god in this certain way. Some choose to imagine their god to be all loving, many believe him to be good and perfect and kind while overlooking the evil god of the OT (like in Leviticus, for example)

Everyone makes their gods however they want them to be. Scripture, pretty verses and stories about this god and Jesus are all written by human beings based on their own desires, personalities, beliefs, imaginings and needs.

Hell is made up by people who are vindictive and want to see people suffer for not following their personal interpretation of the mythology. Others are more loving and want to share the "love" of their own interpretations. But usually whether they believe in a vindictive god, or a perfect loving god they all want others to join in the beliefs they hold in order to validate what they believe without evidence other than a dusty and jumbled mythology book written by ancient and ignorant humans.

GraceHead said...

Hello Stardust!

You said: """gracehead, my post is mainly addressing those who do believe in a literal hell and those who tell me we heathens and non-believers are going to burn there forever."""

Belief or lack-thereof makes nothing real or fake. What is True eventually gets proven, whether or not anyone ever believed it ... Right?

My interest is more in knowing reality than believing notions.

"""too bad their god was such a vague writer"""

Some things are worth the challenge. Though I know many would prefer a color-by-numbers type of thing.

"""And though very nicely written, your "From God the Father" was written by human beings"""

I don't believe you.
;-)

"""Some choose to imagine their god to be all loving, many believe him to be good and perfect and kind while overlooking the evil god of the OT (like in Leviticus, for example)"""

Most likely that such emotional notions are greatly influenced by one's own early-childhood experiences with authority figures ... for example. As someone such as yourself who imagine God not to exist are likely to have developed that concept before the age of 2 when one or both of their guardians demonstrated a knack for not being around. Correct me if I am wrong.

"""Everyone makes their gods however they want them to be."""

Especially atheists! After all, none of them are in touch with God to find out otherwise.
:-)

Stardust said...

As someone such as yourself who imagine God not to exist are likely to have developed that concept before the age of 2 when one or both of their guardians demonstrated a knack for not being around. Correct me if I am wrong.

Ummm...you are wrong ;) My parents were together always. They raised four of us, took us to Sunday School and they have been married for 54 years this year and their family is everything to them. We have a very close-knit family of believers, non-believers, mediocre believers. We all get along in life however we must.

Especially atheists! After all, none of them are in touch with God to find out otherwise.

You believers sure try everything to keep convincing yourselves. There is no evidence for the existence of a god. That is why I don't believe it. You are in touch with the god you make in your own mind, your own version of this god the same way Hindus believe adamantly in their gods, the Egyptians adamantly believed in their gods, the Greeks adamantly believed in their gods. There have always been those of us who realize all gods are man made. Humans have quite an imagination in creating coping devices for themselves. Whatever you need to get through life is fine by me as long as you are not trying to force it on anyone else. That is the problem atheists have with theists...theists have this obsessive desire to share and to have everyone jump on their god bandwagon.

GraceHead said...

Stardust,

"""Ummm...you are wrong ;) My parents were together always."""

Fine. I still believe you were neglected to some extent, even if your parents were together always. Were they both retired or something and having no other children, they gave you all their attention? If so, then you would actually have something to say I was "wrong" about. Otherwise, I couldn't help but notice the shift.

"""You believers sure try everything to keep convincing yourselves."""

Some do ... and some simply know. Atheists, on the other hand, don't know first hand and thus have no choice but to convince themselves. (they can't exist, if I have never interacted with them ... yada yada) Right?

"""There is no evidence for the existence of a god."""

I don't have it all figured out. There is only so much information of which I am aware ... but isn't it interesting that I don't go around making a federal case for the non-existence of all those things of which I am unaware?

Maybe someone knows something of which you have no knowledge and experience ... get over it.
;-)

"""That is why I don't believe it."""

Whatever the reason ... Fine. there is nothing in-it for me if you believe or believe otherwise.

It is a beautiful day, isn't it?

"""You are in touch with the god you make in your own mind, your own version"""

Or maybe not.
Maybe someone knows something of which you have no knowledge and experience ... get over it.
;-)

"""There have always been those of us who realize all gods are man made."""

The "non-existent god" of the atheist is man made just as all the others.

"""Humans have quite an imagination in creating coping devices for themselves. """

Sometimes I like to project myself upon others, too.

"""That is the problem atheists have with theists...theists have this obsessive desire to share and to have everyone jump on their god bandwagon."""

I think that is weird, too. Like an obsessive herd mentality. Life is too short to press one-another into our own molds, and make each other just as moldy as we are.

I suppose you are sensitive to something that most theists don't realize is so annoying. But, I am with you on that one.

Stardust said...

Fine. I still believe you were neglected to some extent, even if your parents were together always. Were they both retired or something and having no other children, they gave you all their attention? If so, then you would actually have something to say I was "wrong" about. Otherwise, I couldn't help but notice the shift.

Like your religion, you are making up things that are not true. My parents were always there for each of us. You are trying to make a case for your god based on a stranger's life that you know absolutely nothing about. I was a Xian for 30 years, professed my faith, taught Sunday School. I began to question after going back to the university to finish my Bachelors degree, and then my Masters. Astronomy, Bible as Literature, World Mythology, Social Anthropology, and other courses opened my eyes, made me think about people's beliefs and where they come from. Joseph Campbell was also a big influence in my "epiphany" that there are no gods, except the ones that humans create for themselves.

Atheists, on the other hand, don't know first hand and thus have no choice but to convince themselves.

Most atheists I know have been Xians, and our problem isn't convincing other people, but trying to get believers of all stripes to keep it to yourselves and out of our secular government. I do not go around evangelizing. I write about a variety of subjects. I am not writing each and every post on atheism and why everyone should get rid of their god beliefs. I do not frequent theist blogs. I do not intrude upon believers' blogs and tell them they should all become atheists and post links to atheist sites that dispute theist beliefs. But you all come a-trolling to do that to me and other atheists who have sent up blogs to talk amongst ourselves and watchdog religious groups so as we don't turn into one big turd of a theocracy.

Stardust said...

I think that is weird, too. Like an obsessive herd mentality. Life is too short to press one-another into our own molds, and make each other just as moldy as we are.

Then why are you here in such a provocative manner, psychoanalyzing someone you have never seen or met before? As you do with your god, you are trying to do with a perfect stranger and make me into who you want me to be to somehow justify YOUR beliefs in your imaginary friend.

Ok, now the hard question. What is your evidence for the existence of this god? So far, no theist has been able to provide that, and no god shows himself/herself. Little starving children still die horrible deaths around the planet as they cry out for help. Sickness, war, death, destruction, is everywhere and the prayers go unanswered. The only help that comes is in the form of HUMAN BEINGS. If no humans come, no help comes. If no human grows and brings food, people starve. After terrible natural disasters, no god comes to sort out the mess...humans do that.

No gods come.

We are on our own. Most people cannot accept that fact.

Stardust said...

The "non-existent god" of the atheist is man made just as all the others.

Oh, and for the record...atheists means "without god beliefs"...atheists have NO GOD. We have ourselves. We are our own gods and nothing happens unless we take action. We judge ourselves, we make choices, and those choices affect our lives. No god is going to do that for us. Nothing happens unless we do it ourselves.

GraceHead said...

Hello Stardust.

I'll make a short reply and let you have the last word (as I am sensing that I am largely misunderstood and having no interest in self-defense)

I certainly did not mean to analyze you ... I was speaking about "someone such as yourself (ie, with your beliefs.)" I can see how that might have been taken on a personal level and as an opportunity to defend the honor of your fine upbringing and the result of attentive parenting. I won't bore you with how I compare even relatively attentive parenting with insufficiency as the point seems lost at this time.

As Morpheus said in Matrix ... "believe whatever you want to believe."

Beliefs (like the rest of the cosmos) are in flux. Only that which is Absolute remains unaffected and unchanged.

What I spoke of requires nothing of you in the way of agreement ... so feel free to ignore, dismiss, or even besmirch. Like I said, there is nothing in-it for me one way or the other.

Stardust said...

Gracehead, I should point out that I have three siblings. We were all raised in the Lutheran religion. My sister has become an evangelical Southern Baptist Christian, my one brother never goes to church and not sure what he believes since he never discusses it, and our other brother found himself a rock and roll church where they can let their kids head bang during the service to their heart's content. So, your "neglected" theory is quite wrong.

My last word will be that I didn't come to my lack of belief overnight or nonchalantly. I came to this conclusion after years of being a Christian, years of analyzing what I believed and why I believed something with absolutely zero evidence. Education opened my eyes and made me realize that human beings create religions as coping devices to help them get through life, to explain things that cannot be explained, to explain things they do not understand.

If I misunderstood your intentions, it was simply because of the way in which you presented yourself.

GraceHead said...

Have an excellent day. Hope the sun is shining where you are.
I'm going to the park to play some frisbee golf while we have a few months before "the Great Tribulation" hits.
:-)

Stardust said...

You too, gracehead. I am heading out for a swim in my pool. Have a good one.