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On the Subject of Heaven, Hell and the Afterlife

Discussion in 'Opinions, Beliefs, & Points of View' started by Grinch, Jan 22, 2008.

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  1. Grinch

    Grinch New Member

    I’ve been lurking on these boards for months now, and I’ve seen instances where Christians attempt to “help” people by frightening them by using the doctrine of hell.

    Simply stated -- “YOU NEED TO FUCKING STOP!” There is NO “hell” and anyone using it to “help” someone is either deluded, ignorant or just plain evil.

    What follows is a lengthy read (with a link), but I believe it would be worth your time to wade through these words.

    “An idea, which has terrified millions, claims that some of us will go to a place called Hell, where we will suffer eternal torture. This does not scare me because, when I try to imagine a Mind behind this universe, I cannot conceive that Mind, usually called "God," as totally mad. I mean, guys, compare that "God" with the worst monsters you can think of -- Adolph Hitler, Joe Stalin, that sort of guy. None of them ever inflicted more than finite pain on their victims. Even de Sade, in his sado-masochistic fantasy novels, never devised an unlimited torture. The idea that the Mind of Creation (if such exists) wants to torture some of its critters for endless infinities of infinities seems too absurd to take seriously. Such a deranged Mind could not create a mud hut, much less the exquisitely mathematical universe around us.

    "If such a monster-God did exist, the sane attitude would consist of practicing the Buddhist virtue of compassion. Don't give way to hatred: try to understand and forgive him. Maybe He will recover his wits some day.” ……… Robert Anton Wilson, "Cheerful Reflections on Death and Dying," Gnoware, February 1999

    "No human being has imagination enough to conceive of this infinite horror[called Hell]. All that the human race has suffered in war and want, in pestilence and famine, in fire and flood all the pangs and pains of every disease and every death all of this is nothing compared with the agonies to be endured by one lost soul.

    “This is the consolation of the Christian religion. This is the justice of God. The mercy of Christ.

    "This frightful dogma, this infinite lie, made me the implacable enemy of Christianity. The truth is that this belief in eternal pain has been the real persecutor. It founded the Inquisition, forged the chains, and furnished the fagots. It has darkened the lives of many millions. It made the cradle as terrible as the coffin. It enslaved nations and shed the blood of countless thousands. It sacrificed the wisest, the bravest and the best. It subverted the idea of justice, drove mercy from the heart, changed men to fiends and banished reason from the brain.

    “Like a venomous serpent it crawls and coils and hisses in every orthodox creed.

    “It makes man an eternal victim and God an eternal fiend. It is the one infinite horror. Every church in which it is taught is a public curse. Every preacher who teaches it is an enemy of mankind. Below this Christian dogma, savagery cannot go. It is the infinite of malice, hatred, and revenge.

    "Nothing could add to the horror of hell, except the presence of its creator, God.

    “While I have life, as long as I draw breath, I shall deny with all my strength, and hate with every drop of my blood, this infinite lie."
    ..........Robert Ingersoll, "Why I Am An Agnostic", 1896

    "Christianity has such a contemptible opinion of human nature that it does not believe a man can tell the truth unless frightened by a belief in God. No lower opinion of the human race has ever been expressed."
    ..........Robert G. Ingersoll

    "If there is a God who will damn his children forever, I would rather go to hell than to go to heaven and keep the society of such an infamous tyrant. I make my choice now. I despise that doctrine. It has covered the cheeks of this world with tears. It has polluted the hearts of children, and poisoned the imaginations of men. It has been a constant pain, a perpetual terror to every good man and woman and child. It has filled the good with horror and with fear; but it has had no effect upon the infamous and base. It has wrung the hearts of the tender, it has furrowed the cheeks of the good. This doctrine never should be preached again. What right have you, sir, Mr. clergyman, you, minister of the gospel to stand at the portals of the tomb, at the vestibule of eternity, and fill the future with horror and with fear? I do not believe this doctrine, neither do you. If you did, you could not sleep one moment. Any man who believes it, and has within his breast a decent, throbbing heart, will go insane. A man who believes that doctrine and does not go insane has the heart of a snake and the conscience of a hyena."
    ..........Robert Ingersoll, "The Liberty of Man, Woman and Child", 1877

    "God says do what you wish, but make the wrong choice and you will be tortured for eternity in hell. That's not free will. It's like a man telling his girlfriend, do what you wish, but if you choose to leave me, I will track you down and blow your brains out. When a man says this we call him a psychopath. When god says the same we call him "loving" and build churches in his honor." -- William C. Easttom II

    “Any infinite Being who feels it is their duty to torture me for eternity, should switch to decaf.” -- E.T.B.

    “I don't believe in an afterlife, so I don't have to spend my whole life fearing hell, or fearing heaven even more. For whatever the tortures of hell, I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse." -- Isaac Asimov

    The Case Against Hell by Mercy Aikens…

    And now for my OWN opinion on the subject of heaven/hell and the afterlife…

    Humans are born with a survival instinct. Even those of us who are bent towards suicide have it, which is why we’re still alive. That survival instinct prevents us from doing permanent damage to ourselves.

    The belief (a naked assertion with no proof, i.e. wishful thinking) that we will live again after death is nothing more than the product of our survival instinct. People tell themselves that they will survive death in an effort to comfort themselves, to assuage their fears.

    But then it gets worse. Not content to believe they will live again, someone had the bright idea to invent fairy tale realms, such as heaven and hell, and the process of re-incarnation. And thus were born retarded religions to promote and safeguard these spurious theologies.

    There is NO afterlife. No heaven, no hell, no purgatory. People have just made up this noise and have been polishing these turds for centuries just to make the world a more confusing place.

    I’m not going to waste my time (anymore) arguing with anyone. People are going to believe (wishful thinking) whatever they want, no matter how much common sense I bring to bear on the subject. They’ll demand from me “proof,” knowing full well that I can no more prove my assertions, than can they. If UN-common sense can’t prevail, then I surely can’t help you.

    However, I’ll just ask the question: (Considering all that you’ve read thus far herein)…

    “Which one of us is more LIKELY to be correct? YOU, who believes (wishful thinking) in some sort of afterlife, just because you want to or have been told to believe? Or ME, who conjectures from rational thought and available data, that there is no REASON to believe (wishful thinking) in any afterlife?”
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2008

  2. If you concede that you're not going to change anyone's mind - why start a thread (a large chunk of which also has already been covered in another recent thread)?

    And why are you seemingly 'obsessed' with being CORRECT and solely RATIONAL? (True - the concept of Hell is a devastating notion perpetuated for a long, long time...obviously pissing you off supremely - don't care for it much myself...)

    You did make me smile when you used the term "common sense" though (thankx)...
    I consider it an oxymoron (like "military intelligence" and "postal service"...)
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2008
  3. tesseract

    tesseract Well-Known Member

    my only real problem is, stating something noone knows anything about.

    I mean, Heaven and Hell may or may not exist. It's up to you to decide. But noone knows, so why do some people (mainly Christian priests) state it to be true, and outrule the possibility of any other theory?
  4. LostMyMind

    LostMyMind Well-Known Member

    It's in the Bible so to them it's the only truth. :rolleyes:
  5. tesseract

    tesseract Well-Known Member

    Ok, so assuming they believe whole heartedly in the bible, what do they do with the contradictions inside?
  6. Random

    Random Well-Known Member

    Interesting thing here. If there's no hell (or equivalent) then evil doesn't exist. The word "evil" is inescapably tied to Lucifer and Hell.

    Now don't get me wrong. I don't necessarily disagree. I, too, think the whole heaven and hell thing is rubbish. But you're being inconsistent in your argument when you say that people who believe in hell are evil. Or might be evil.
  7. ACRon

    ACRon Well-Known Member

    human nature created the need for such doctrine. to civilise our truth is an impossible task that should not be placed on anyone here or anywhere for that matter. we're in the shit of our own demons and our awareness of this throws up choices that we seek an answer to dissolve. call that a general wishy washy opinion if you like but you can't ignore that we are fundamentally impossible to control due to the things we want. i don't dissaprove of christians or anyone else for that matter because they find a pocket somewhere in this shithole of a culture to exist with some basic dignity.

    to deconstuct our methods for controlling 'evil' would be against our abilities. nobody asks for life, it just happens. although the vision of a utopian state will always seem like the answer, we won't ever be able to muster enough trust in each other to co-exist. find your pocket and stay there i say
  8. InnerStrength

    InnerStrength Well-Known Member

    I kind of think, human nature is hell.
  9. ACRon

    ACRon Well-Known Member

    i have the same inclination. i avoid it to this day wherever possible. i loathe myself for it. ideas born out of ignorance of our nature only hurts people who accept it. i struggle to live with that guilt because i feel their pain and pretend i'm better than them because i lie
  10. tesseract

    tesseract Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah, evil is Lucifer/hell..

    wanna know whatw made that link? the bible. A story. its like saying, "if your home dissapears, you will meet the Wizard of Oz soon.."
  11. ACRon

    ACRon Well-Known Member

    vengeance against ones own fate, can it ever truely be appreciated. i doubt it. ones fate, can it be denied or manipulated? no. but i guess thats not for those who can't face it without getting aggressive
  12. Random

    Random Well-Known Member

    I'm trying to say that "evil" doesn't exist any more than heaven or hell does. It's a made up word that primitive people came up with to try and explain things they didn't understand. Today, we still don't understand everything but we know enough to know that "evil" people are usually just ill, confused or misguided. The damage they do is real but it's a cop out just to write them off as evil. That's no solution.

    to believe in evil is to believe in spirits. To believe that something is "possessing" a particular person or persons. All behavior can be explained without resorting to ghosts and spirits. And eventually, will be.
  13. tesseract

    tesseract Well-Known Member

    kinda reminds me of literature classes..

    Greek outlook on life, (you know, the time of Zeus, gods, etc..)
    If something gets f*cked up, its the Gods fault. Instead of working out what you messed up, you blame it on someone else, and you just escape.

    I mean, a lot of suicidal topics:
    suicidal person: Life sucks, bla bla bla...
    helper: dont do it, youll go to hell.

    Its like, I hate you, I want you to die, but I'll just say something so I don't look like an asshole..
  14. ACRon

    ACRon Well-Known Member

    i hate people too, we have something in common. this is good. but don't give up on yourself, i'm sure there's still plenty of facts and literature to keep learning about. its tempting to read and study and learn, but one of my biggest fears is turning into jk rowling.

    aka boring fantasist, although i think i would enjoy spending her money
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2008
  15. tesseract

    tesseract Well-Known Member

    hehehe.. No person should have so much..

    anyhow, when someone says: <random text here> to hell - That assumes there is one. I respect the fact you believe in one, please respect the fact that I consider you a lunatic.
    <Not aimed at anyone, just what I would to say to someone who starts preaching whatever.>
  16. ACRon

    ACRon Well-Known Member

    well i don't exactly believe in hell, it just kind of tags along, mocking me, denying my right to liberate. guess my 'x' factor isn't what i can bare to admit. and why should i when fate throws me an east end life line?

    you decide.....:laugh:
  17. ACRon

    ACRon Well-Known Member

    ignore that, 'twas kinda immature
  18. Puddytat

    Puddytat Well-Known Member

    i was just reading these threads about heaven and hell because ive been doing a lot of study on the subject and thought id shed some light on the matter which i found to be quite interesting and for me i guess somewhat relieving. i hope that no misunderstanding arises from my attempt to explain it as ive never been good at explaining things.

    so here goes...

    There is neither Heaven nor Hell. The bible does not teach that we will go to heaven or hell when we die. it is badly interpreted and some of the things people have popularly believed did not come from the bible but from other philosophers and myths that have developed into many different attitudes and ideas. Todays definition of hell is not taught in the original manuscipts that make up the bible. the greek and hebrew words which are used SHEOL, HADES, GEHENNA, TARTAROO have all been translated as HELL.
    The word SHEOL has been translated as HELL, GRAVE, PIT in different verses.
    what they actually mean are not the hell we invision. SHEOL and HADES both mean the grave. once you die, you will just be dead and buried. nowhere in the bible does it state that you will go anywhere other than the grave. it actually likens death to sleep each time its mentioned. in the 'last days' when everyone will be judged, those who do not choose to follow god, will not suffer a firey torment for eternity they will die and never be resurected again. the popular belief that evil beings will burn for eternity in a 'lake of fire' grew about from the misunderstanding of the verse in which the word GEHENNA was translated as HELL(in revelations i believe). GEHENNA which is a greek word refering to a place called ge'himnon (or something like that) which was the valley of himnon which became sort of a garbage dump where they would burn all their refuse. God used that description to describe 'the end' to the greeks at that time so that they would better understand. using that place as an example he discribed the bodies of the people who do not choose to follow him would burn in 'gehenna' and it would be an everlasting punishment. he did not say that they would burn for eternity and suffer forever, he just stated that their bodies would be made to ash and they would be dead. it is 'everlasting' in that they can never come back from that, can never be re-resurrected. that would be the end of them totally.
    As the bible does not teach we have any spirit (more mistranslation, wont get into that now) no one goes anywhere after they die. they are dead. the bible actually states that 'the dead know nothing at all' meaning that death is like an unconscious/unthinking like sleep.

    As for Heaven well it teaches that 'no one has ascended to heaven except him which came from heaven, which is the son of god'
    the words translated to heaven all have their own significant meanings, 3 in particular. the place where god resides, space where the moon and stars etc are and the atmosphere where there are birds etc. all their own words which have been translated to the same HEAVEN! no where does it say that we will be going to heaven when we die as i said before, we will be dead, in the GRAVE. in fact it says that in the last days god will come to establish his kingdom here on earth. we will not be floating up somewhere singing praises and worshiping him. we will live normal lives, well as normal as you can imagine considering we will not have the limitations we have now. we will live on earth with GOD as HIS family.

    This was not meant to start any sort of religeous debate. if you dont believe the bible then you dont believe. for those who do, well you can decide for yourself. there is an abundance of evidence to support this but im not trying to change anyones mind or beliefs. im just trying to explain what i have come to learn. do with it what you want. hope it does give some extra clarity on the subject for some tho. as i said there is a lot more information that explains it all better than i could but i would be typing forever. if you have any questions i would be glad to try answer them.
  19. pit

    pit Well-Known Member

    Heaven and Hell does exist.

    It's Black Sabbath's finest album, and it raawwwkss!!
  20. Darken

    Darken Well-Known Member

    If there is a afterlife, it will have at least a little logic to it. Totally agree with original poster.
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