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"god Doesn't Send Anyone To Hell..."


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#1 jackbauer

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 10:50 PM

"we send ourselves there"

If I had a dollar for every theory I came up with as to how this makes any sense. I mean, technically, if we send ourselves there, we shouldn't worry about it. After all, it's a choice, and I sure wouldn't choose hell when I die, so I should be covered, right? Apparently, that's not the case because when we "sin" or reject Christ, we send ourselves to hell. The Catholics say that we choose hell when we reject God's love. Sinning = rejecting God's love. Therefore sinning = hell.

WTF?

I mean, how is it any different than "do what I say or Go to hell?". Some apologists will argue that it's not much of a threat as it is a warning. Kind of like how bridge out signs are warning us that if we drive, we'll fall. They compare sinning sending someone to hell to natural (observable) laws like gravity taking effect.

Again, WTF?

Is there some sin physics I'm unaware of? Is the human soul weighed down by whatever "sin" is, thus causing it to fall into hell? If so that's true, why can't we observe it? Also, why can't God intervene and save people if he really cares that much? Why we he even set it up that way, and why make humans that could easily be sent there? Surely, only an idiot would choose a place of torment and misery, so the "you choose hell" speil doesn't work here.

I've heard other interesting explainations. Like those who sin would not like it in heaven, thus heaven would be hell for them. Or that God is so holy and pure that anything less than perfect wouldn't be able to handle it, thus their soul will take them to hell by default. I even heard one analogy that said that God doesn't send people to hell as a "punishment" but just as a rejection of getting to know him in this life (and that hell is just a default, "seperation from God" setting).

While all these are interesting theories, they all has the same problem in saying that we must follow the rules to avoid an unpleasent afterlife. It all causes the same anxiety about whether you're saved or not, and ultimately makes simple choices into huge important decisions that will affect your eternal destiny. That's not a way I want to live. If God really is merciful, than the alternative to heaven would not be unbearable suffering (in what ever form) for all eternity. Otherwise, it's ultimately following a bunch of rules to avoid a horrific fate.
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#2 Astreja

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 10:53 PM

Even if we did somehow manage to send ourselves to Hell, one would hope that a responsible and compassionate god would strive to get us out of there at the first possible opportunity.
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#3 LivingLife

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 11:14 PM

What the woos are not aware of is that all references to the word hell come from 4 or 5 mistranslated words.

Sheol = grave = realm of the dead
Hades = underworld
Gehenna = valley of Hinnom = a defunct rubbish dump outside Jerusalemn which is now a grassy park
Tartarus = a mythical place prepared for satan and his angels (appears only once)

The lake of fire is not hell as hell gets cast into it.

When you look at contemporary pagan myths, you clearly see just how this was incorporated into the bible and xianity.

The xians are right however, spending an eternity with them in a 24/infinity church service would be hell for any normal rational person.

The church keeps hell real in their minds as it is the stick and jesus is the carrot.
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Posted 22 April 2012 - 11:14 PM

If god created the world, no matter how you slice it, he sends people to hell even if indirectly. He sends people to hell by how he planned out the christian bible and how the universe plays out. If he is the creator of all things(like free will for humans, having options between only heaven and hell), then logically all things would be under his direction.
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Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:30 AM

Hell is the classic logical fallacy of appeal to violence. It is as old as humanity. The Latin term "argumentum ad baculum" means "argument to the stick" - and this fallacy makes an implicit or explicit threat of physical or psychological violence against others if they refuse to accept the conclusions offered. Think of it as having this form:
1. Some threat of violence is made or implied. Therefore, conclusion C should be accepted.

Hell exists. Do as we say or you're going there.
Guantanamo Bay Penal Torture Colony exists. Do as we say or you're going there.

Have a nice day and be careful out there.




Edited by wester, 23 April 2012 - 12:34 AM.

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#6 Vigile

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 03:10 AM

An all-knowing being doesn't get to play Pilot and wash his hands. If he knew where you were going before he made you, he essentially created something for the sole purpose of torture. That's sadism.
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#7 Sirelien

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 05:07 AM

Christians are incredibly slippery on this matter. To demonstrate this, consider the following scenario:

I go out and murder someone. I'm caught, convicted of murder and then sent (rightly) to prison. In this scenario, is it right to say that I have sent myself to prison?

on some level, I think it is right to say that. I have sent myself to prison, in the sense that my being there is a direct consequence of my own actions - a consequence that I should reasonably have been able to foresee. I chose to take the life of another human being, knowing the penalty for such actions, and so I have no-one to blame for my being in prison other than myself.

Of course, the slippery thing that Christians do is to pretend that this scenario is morally and ethically equivalent to the scenario where a human being breaks God's law and subsequently ends up in hell.

The first massive difference is that unlike manmade laws on earth, we have no reason to believe that God or his so-called law even exist at all. The religious can provide no serious evidence for this at all - the best they can do is rely on incoherent and contradictory ancient texts, written thousands of years ago by people who were completely ignorant of science, which no rational person can take seriously. It is a fundamental principle of justice that you cannot punish people for rules that they cannot reasonably know exist.

Secondly, even if God's law does exist, I see no reason why we should be obliged to follow it. I did not ask to be born. I never agreed to abide by God's impossibly high standards of behaviour. Of course, the Christian might point out that neither does anyone explicitly agree to abide by human laws either; but the problem with this is that in free, democratic societies, we decide what the laws are. We vote in elected politicians to our respective legislatures, and can hold those politicians to account through the media and the ballot-box. Moreover, we are free to campaign and protest on any issue that we like. Where is this right of petition with God and his law? He demands the right to be judge, jury and executioner. We have no say in what his law is, we have no right of appeal against his judgements, and as he demonstrated with Job, he reserves the right not even to explain his judgements.

The only person responsible for people ending up in hell is God himself. He creates the rules - rules that he knows are impossible for human beings to abide by - he gives human beings no say in what these rules are and he cannot be bothered to ensure that people can be reasonably certain that these rules even exist! I think the late Christopher Hitchens said it best: Under the Christian worldview, we are all created sick and commanded to be well - and will be tortured for eternity if we don't. This is insanity and stupidity on a colossal scale.

So when a Christian peddles this nonsense about people sending themselves to hell, the correct analogy is not that of the human being who commits murder and is rightly punished under a fair human judicial system. Rather a more appropriate analogy is as follows:

"Hitler doesn't send the Jews to gas chambers. By being Jewish, they send themselves there."

Edited by Sirelien, 23 April 2012 - 06:57 AM.

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#8 owen652

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 08:06 AM

some christians will say 'no no no no no, I don't believe in a literal hell of fire and brimstone, that would make god a torturer. God would never do that. No, hell is actually just seperation from god, being alone with your thoughts, in darkness, for all eternity.' Yeah, sounds like a sweet deal.
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#9 LivingLife

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 08:26 AM

Hell is still paying the rent.

W/o the hell doctrine, the stick is removed. Philosophies like annihilation does not invoke fear as that is pretty much the atheist take. You will not be aware you are dead (except for the last few firings of neurons as your brain dies) then simply a fade to black, much like falling asleep.

Perpetual torture is the the greatest fear xians have (if an afterlife is real) and thus most invoke Pascal's wager to be on the "safe side".
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#10 mymistake

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 08:40 AM

It's double talk to try and justify an all powerful, all knowing tyrant creating a plan that results in billions of people suffering for all eternity.

Fortunately the whole thing is fiction.
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/\/\.  /\/\.

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#11 florduh

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 08:41 AM

According to the legend, God created everything. Every. Fucking. Thing. With complete knowledge of future events he still created all the Catch-22 rules, evil itself, flawed human beings, the Lake of Fire, and Justin Bieber.

We ain't got a prayer.



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#12 centauri

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 09:41 AM

It's interesting how believers will rationalize anything as long as their version of God does it.
One could just as easily say:
"Stalin didn't send people to gulags, they sent themselves there."

The apologetic is weak, and the New Testament undercuts it by showing it is God that takes the action of throwing people into hell.

Luke 12:5
But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

If people really had the mythical "free will" that Christians love to advertise, they could use that will and refuse to go to hell.

Edited by centauri, 23 April 2012 - 09:42 AM.

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#13 Ouroboros

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 10:13 AM

"It's our fault we go to Hell," it's a bit of blaming the victim. God sets up a really crappy system for us to deduce if he exists or not, and we're support to just believe it without the evidence, and if we fail, we're punished. Seems more like it's a big Lotto. Guess your God. Guessed wrong. You're tortured eternally, and it's your own damn fault.
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#14 jackbauer

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 10:20 AM

Sirelien: Exactly. What makes the whole thing a pain is that we can't talk to God and ask "what the hell?". God doesn't answer, Christians defend this by saying that God doesn't have to answer to you puny mortals, and one who still believes is left frusturated.

And even the murderer analogy fails because while the murder is the reason for going to jail, it's they don't really send themselves to jail, the cops and judges do. Even more so, the cops and judges didn't create the person they sent to jail, so it's not like the could have prevented the crime to start with. Hitchens analogy is correct, God creates people sick and punishes them for not being well (victimless crimes). Christians will defend this with the whole Jesus thing, but in the end, it still comes down to following a system or suffering.

Owen: Yeah, "seperation of God" doesn't sound as bad, but it's still supposed to be unbearable suffering for eternity. Non existance would be the more humane choice. After all, who wants to live forever?

Florduh: Justin Bieber... Now THAT'S hell. *shudder*.
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#15 Kurari

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:34 AM

My normal response to Christians who bring out one of the Hell cards is "There are over 36,000 denominations of Christianity alone, and over 4,000 religions in the world. Even if I was a Christian, my chances of getting into Heaven are pretty well nil."

It shuts them up.


Hell and the idea of a truly loving God simply cannot coincide with each other.

If God sends people to hell for not loving him, then all of Christianity is a massive sham. You are not loving God, you are fearing him. He supposedly knows what's in your heart, so either he accepts your fear as a suitable substitute for love, or you're really fucked no matter how Christian you are.

Christians will always reveal their true colors. When they can't cajole you with the idea of love, they revert to the scare tactics. Their religion is based on fear, death, damnation, and horror.
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#16 jackbauer

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:36 PM

^^^

That was one of the things that got me out of the mindtrap. God can read my mind so he'd know that I'm really doing it to avoid punishment. It really is impossible to love anyone who's threatening you for non compliance so it creates a catch 22. I guess you could twist it around with those justifications about God "rescuing" you from hell, but I couldn't stop thinking. Deep down I was really frusturated with the whole situation, wishing I could just die and cease to exist. But then God knew I was challenging it so I wouldn't get saved, continuing the cycle again and again and again. It was literally impossible for me to get "saved" because I always had questions and doubts.
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#17 stealth44

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 04:01 PM

Good points, the relationship with God is supposed to be out of love but theres always the threat of hell. The OT doesn't seem to be as concerned with it as the NT/Christian bible.
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Posted 28 February 2013 - 10:21 PM

When christians say, "you put yourself in hell, god has nothing to do with it or hell" its like god took a massive steamy hell dump in your living room and said, "you put that there not me"

Edited by chrisstavrous, 28 February 2013 - 10:34 PM.

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#19 QualifiedCommenter

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 09:17 PM

I mean, how is it any different than "do what I say or Go to hell?"

 

It isn't. It's basically a way to keep you reeled into Christianity. You're supposed to be too afraid to ever leave, or even ever think about leaving.

Christianity revolves far, far more around fear and guilt than it does love. The love is more of a side-thought, which results in you eventually just feeling even more fear and guilt. It's a dreadful circle.


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The argument goes something like this: "I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing." 
"But," says Man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves that you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't."  The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

 

I do not feel obligated to believe that the same god who had endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended to forgo their use and by some other means give us knowledge which we can attain them by. - Galileo Galilei.


#20 kolaida

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:36 PM

I mean, how is it any different than "do what I say or Go to hell?"

 

It isn't. It's basically a way to keep you reeled into Christianity. You're supposed to be too afraid to ever leave, or even ever think about leaving.

Christianity revolves far, far more around fear and guilt than it does love. The love is more of a side-thought, which results in you eventually just feeling even more fear and guilt. It's a dreadful circle.

 

Yes, man, I felt guilty all the time and I sure as heck felt dread. I used to dread meeting NEW people because it was like, "o god, are they xtian? Please let them be xtian because I don't want to have to worry about ANOTHER person's soul!"  I was always confused by the xtian in other religions or even some Catholics  I worked with at once. Apparently, they were under the impression that me and another co-worker (we attended different baptist churches @ the time) thought they were all going to Hell and it was somehow brought up at lunch (I was just like wtf? realllly.... my boss wants to talk about religion at work??). But my boss used to be ex-baptist and threw a fit about the Apocrypha and how she never knew about it and how could they CHANGE the bible like that?! (haha ,bet she'd be surprised if she dug deeper).  I just remember thinking, "Whaaaat? I thought we were all going to heaven? We all believe in god/jesus/why is this even an issue?  Yet, I STILL chose to believe. I think that was when I first really started making justifications. But I always felt SO much guilt and dread over the state of other people's souls (am I doing enough!? Am I being a good enough witness?! Are they going to go to hell because of me?!) I'd even have nightmares about it.  

 

Now, it just all seems so stupid and I feel like a total moron. 


Edited by kolaida, 02 March 2013 - 09:15 PM.

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