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What Convinced You That There Was No Hell?


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Being raised Southern Baptist and then continuing on in fundamental churches until I was 45, I have heard more than I ever wanted to about the fiery furnace. I have left the church and most of it seems completely ludicrous now, and yet sometimes I still worry about Hell. It is such a horrible place...if there is any chance of going there, well the thought terrifies me. I truly believe if I can come to place of KNOWING Hell is not real, I will be completely free. Yes, I will truly be set free.

 

So, please give me your best argument against Hell.

 

WakingUp

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I thought, so God creates hell to teach us a lesson.

 

Not a moral lesson - believing in Jesus is not moral but dogmatic. You can be immoral and follow Jesus; you can be moral and go without him. This is a lesson to not, not believe.

 

So, perfectly good, honest people will broil in hell, and nasty, evil people will go to heaven.

 

And the entire point of the lesson-learning is moot when you consider that it goes on forever, which would make any kind of realization towards one's supposed wrong (not being Christian) pointless.

 

Ultimately, I read through Conversations With God at one point, and while I hardly view it as some kind of faultless tome (the way Christians view the Bible, and Muslims the Koran), it brought forth the argument for Hell's and God's judegement's rediculousness.

 

If God truly loved all and wished to save all and was all-powerful, why was he subject to his own law which he himself put into place? And why did he put it into place in the first place knowing that mankind would break it, and then put the blame on mankind?

 

So hell for me is a logical fallacy. But I do view it as a possibility. I believe that if you truly believe you deserve hell, or that you need to be sent through it - you will. But that will be your own decision, not God's judgement. And it will not last forever, because I very much doubt anybody would choose to teach themselves a lesson for all eternity for the same reason stated above: the eternity would render the lesson pointless.

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It is such a horrible place...if there is any chance of going there, well the thought terrifies me.

 

How do you know it is such a horrible place? Ever been there?

 

So, please give me your best argument against Hell.

 

WakingUp

 

God doesn't exist, so there is no hell.

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I decided that I could no longer believe in a cruel and viscous god who would send billions of His children to suffer eternal torment just for not believing the correct dogma. I would rather burn in Hell than serve such a god. I take personal responsibility for my own actions.

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sometimes I still worry about Hell.

I've been out of Christianity maybe 2 years now (after being in it my entire life), and I would say in the beginning after I left I would still get these moments where I would think about hell and get scared and think my god what am I doing leaving Christianity. As you probably know, in America Christian adults like to scare little kids with hell from such an early age (I was 7 when I first was told about it), and it gets burned into our psyches at such a young and impressionable age, I think many kids have been completely terrorized by the concept by either their parents or their church by the time they are 10. To me it was a real place and nobody could convince me otherwise, even though I had absolutely no evidence or empirical knowledge that such a place even existed. So that pretty much carried over into adulthood, and kept me a Christian for a long time, much longer than I should have been.

 

Now I don't think about it anymore, I think because so much of the rest of the Bible is totally ridiculous there's no reason to even waste time thinking about "what if" hell is real. Trust me if I thought there was even a statistically small chance the place was real I would still be a Christian. But lets face it there is absolutely zero evdience that such a place exists, outside of a book that also claims that donkeys can talk, sticks can turn into snakes, horses can fly, and zombies come back to life after being dead for 3+ days. If Jesus happens to show up in my living room for a chat and tells me point blank that hell is real then maybe i'll reconsider, but until that time hell is no more real than the Land of Oz as far as I am concerned.

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Waking Up, I know what you are referring too as that was one of my biggest hurdles as well. It would greatly help you to read through the OT. The first five books are enough to get you scratching your head and asking..."This supposedly takes place over a thousand and some odd years. Where are the warnings of such a place to Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, MOSES, Aaron, the Israelites? Where is there a promise of an eternity in heaven as well?" There is not one reference to eternal hell in almost the ENTIRE Old Testament.

 

You can then see the bible for what it truly is...a story that grows and adds tidbits here and there from other religions.

 

Hell was taught by the Zoroastrism religion which came before Judaism and Christianity. In their version of hell the "sinners" are purified by its fires and then allowed to enter heaven after 12 months.

 

The best way to overcome your fear of a possible hell is to study your way out of it. You the good head on your shoulders and do indeed lean on YOUR understanding through logic and reason.

 

Good luck.

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I studied 'the word of God' for 15 years. That did the trick! Then I went on to look into some eastern philosphies, (I'm particularly fond of the Tao), and by having my consciousness raised, by freeing my mind up and not devoting my precious time to some dead guy, I left off belief in anything supernatural.

 

After giving up all belief in the supernatural/superstition, not believing in god, I was freed from the true hell I'd been trapped in. No god, no heaven, no hell. Now, I can get on with the business of living, finally, and best of all, I can now think for myself.

 

I have enough to contend with in this world, it's the only place I'm concerned with, the only place I'll be doing any living and I accept that I'll suffer some along the way.

 

Best to ya.

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God doesn't exist, so there is no hell.

 

Pretty much.

 

After I pondered and realized the utter impossibility of the Abrahamic deity, as well as studied the various Pagan myths from which the Abrahamic Hell myth was obviously drawn, as well as considered the fact that the Hell myth isn't even taught in the Old Testament™, it seemed pretty clear to me that the Abrahamic Hell is just another boogeyman.

 

But if Jebus doesn't exist, then certainly Hell can't exist, either.

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What did it for me was realizing how unjust and immoral the hell doctrine really is. If hell exists, then the Christian god is an evil being. But the Christian god is supposed to be a god of love and mercy. Love & mercy + eternal torture does not compute. It is a logical impossibility for that and many other reasons.

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Oh!, I wanted to mention that the writings of Robert Green Ingersoll might help. And the book Reason Driven Life by Robert M. Price.

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When you think of it, originally you were conviced there was a hell. Just like you had to be convinced there was a christian god. When you were born, you came into the world naked, pink, and for all purposes...atheist.

 

Someone had to teach you that the christian doctrine is true without physical evidence to support it. And because we are so accepting of any and all "knowledge" when we are young (we do not know yet that an authoritative person and an authority on a given subject are two different things), we accept what we are told by what we believe are "experts" on the environment we are striving to learn and find our niche in.

 

As you may have noticed, with religion that means a LOT of un-learning when we find nothing outside the christ-culture to support the reality or historical validation of any of it. Some people never have a chance to step out of the christ-culture it is so much a part of their environment.

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Some of these have already been mentioned:

 

1. Biblegod doesn't make sense. (We can elaborate if needed.)

 

2. Infinite time for finite crime is just stupid, unjust, unloving, and implausible. He could at least anihilate or not create in the first place.

 

3. Which hell? There's a million + 1 gods. Which one to believe in to avoid the fiery pits? Believe in biblegod and korangod gets ya. etc...

 

4. What happens to those who lived pre Christ? To those now who unfairly never heard the gospel?

 

5. It's stupid to demand belief in something that has NO, ZERO, NADA, NEECHEEVO evidence outside the bible. Moreover, the bible is contradictory and unclear; just look at all the sects.

 

6. (related to #5) Why torture someone for an eternity for doubt? What human court ever sentanced a person to even a day in jail for the awful crime of doubt? Are we better than biblegod? I think so.

 

7. The bible says god so loved the world... Can a god who created hell be loving? If he lied about that, what else did he lie about?

 

8. Biblegod is an omni god. Can a god who foreknew you and foreknew the decisions you would make with your life, yet created you anyway only to burn you forever in hell be a rational and loving being?

 

9. (related to #8) Can an all powerful, infinitely intelligent god REALLY have no other way to save poor lost sinners than the binary path of either hell or the sacrifice of his son who is also somehow magically himself? Can he really find no other alternatives to satiate his miserable sense of justice. I could probably think of half a dozen or more and I'm just a mortal.

 

Just off the top of my head. Surely there are many more.

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It is self-evident to me that there is no Hell. It exists nowhere outside of religion, and there is no evidence for it. The same is true of gods. Myself...I worship the Sun, of which I am certain. I also am particularly fond of Prince William.

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3. Which hell? There's a million + 1 gods. Which one to believe in to avoid the fiery pits? Believe in biblegod and korangod gets ya. etc...

Even within christianity itself, there are many versions of hell. The Hellfire, The "Dark Place", etc... If they can't agree on what they claim is an obvious truth, and their god won't set them straight, then there's nothing there to be afraid of.

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Being raised Southern Baptist and then continuing on in fundamental churches until I was 45, I have heard more than I ever wanted to about the fiery furnace. I have left the church and most of it seems completely ludicrous now, and yet sometimes I still worry about Hell. It is such a horrible place...if there is any chance of going there, well the thought terrifies me. I truly believe if I can come to place of KNOWING Hell is not real, I will be completely free. Yes, I will truly be set free.

 

So, please give me your best argument against Hell.

 

WakingUp

 

Hi Wakingup. My last stop in Christianville was Universalism. I have to admit that if you had to believe in a "nice" god, the universalist god is about as nice as you can get. Gary Amirault has studied the doctrine of hell and where the word and the concept came from. Check it out at www.what-the-hell-is-hell.com

 

It is well researched for being a christian site. As brutal and evil as the old testament is, it never mentions "hell". There is not one word of a place of eternal torture after you die. That should show why the entire idea is suspect. Even if you did believe in the jewish god yahweh, you could not say that an immortal soul would go to a torture chamber after death (if you relied on the old testament).

 

Well, that is all

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You can then see the bible for what it truly is...a story that grows and adds tidbits here and there from other religions.

 

This was a big stepping stone for me, too. If hell was real, why was there no talk about it in the entire old testament? Did the idea just come out of thin air?

 

Then, you start looking into it. The concepts of hell are hand-me-downs. Egyptian, greek, mesopotamian ideas that were absorbed by this new religion which claimed jesus as the antidote.

 

Jubilant is right. You can learn your way out of a fear of hell.

 

The Old Testament or Hebrew Bible knows NOTHING of an eternal damnation of sinners in a lake of fire. This notion does however appear in the so-called "inter-testamental era," circa 330 BCE to 100 CE in various Jewish writings called the Pseudepigraphia and Apocrypha. I suspect that Hellenistic Greek notions of an underworld filled with fiery rivers and lakes came to be accepted by some Hellenized Jewish individuals, or sects, from which a Hellenized Christianity emerged.

 

The Greeks who settled in Sicily and southern Italy by the 6th century BCE would have seen the "fiery rivers" or lava flows at night erupting from the Mount Etna volcano or Mount Vesuvius. These fiery rivers of lava coming from the under the earth, probably caused them to imagine a fiery underworld for the damned.

 

From bibleorigins

 

So, education was key for me. In addition to personally discovering how many other falsehoods there were in the bible. (such as the notion that if you turned your back on Jesus you would lose all ability to restrain yourself and would fall into irreversible depravity)

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Here's what helped me in random order:

 

1) The concept of Hell existed long before Christianity. It was in pagan Egyptians and Greek mythologies. I look at hell on the same level I look at Hades and the Underworld along with all their gods/rulers.

 

2) Studying the actual meaning of the first part of the bible (Torah) by the writers of it opened my eyes to a completely different understanding of what I had been taught god was. (Rabbis helped me along with defusing my fears and all of their teachings logically fit and made sense) There is no hell belief by the Jews only death. It is a completely pagan concept adopted by Christians, (Same as with everything else in the Christianity cult) They also live for today and do not obsess about after life as it's a waste of precious time to do so. You could be putting that time worrying to better use and it is unproductive.

 

3) If God is suppose to be greater then mere men, how is it his justice is so lopsided and unjust? Justice needs to be blind and punishments needs to fit a particular crime. Life in prison by us measly humans requires us to still treat the prisoner humanly with out suffrage in the bounds of reason. A god that is greater then his creation must have a greater concept of justice and equality regardless of race or creed. A failure to believe in an improvable being doesn't a crime make. It hurts no one not even god him/her self if she/he/they are to exist. It is crazy to believe one will be forever burned alive for doubting with good cause.

 

4) There is no evidence that such a place exists.

 

5) It was carried over from the pagan religion for a simple reason. Control. When one controls the masses fear they control the masses. Churches and governments are both pro's at fear mongering.

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I eventually just couldn't see Hell as being real because it made no sense for it to be real. If the god of the Bible was real, the world would have fallen apart a LONG time ago from serious mismanagement.

 

Also, I came to believe in a god of unconditional love. Unconditional means NO CONDITIONS. So why would there be a Hell? This also made the need for Jesus and the Bible pretty much pointless.

 

I don't really believe in gods anymore, but I do believe Hell is a state of existance. Same with Heaven.

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I may be sounding like a broken record on this one, but I like to debunk hell (along with the entirity of christianity) using the concept of reincarnation.

 

Supposedly god wants all men to be saved.

He could have set up a reincarnation system giving people as many chances as they need to 'get it right' - and so eventually all men would be saved just like he says he wanted.

Yet he has set up a system where people only get one chance to 'get it right' before they are cast into eternal hell - and so most people end up there, defeating his divine desire.

 

If mere mortals can think of something better than the system chosen by the bible god then why worship him, he is inconsistent with his own stated desires and so cannot really be god, and so hell can't really exist.

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You can also say that if Gawd really wanted to save everyone, Jebus' death would've wiped out sin and the devil and magically freed everyone in eternal torment, thereby making Hell needless.

 

But where would the Xian religion be without the drama of "spiritual warfare" and "salvation" to suck people in with?

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I'v heard all my life hell was underground.

With all the people drilling for oil, and digging for various reasons, it seems like we'd of run into hell by now.

Think about it everyday people drill deeper and deeper for oil, dig in the ground putting in sewer lines, and I'm sure there's other things people do.

I heard once that if you dug from the united states downward you'd end up in china. Is hell between there?

Also demons are supponsingly humans with horns,goat face, goat legs, wings, and a pointy tail.

What'd god do crossbreed a human and a goat? Maybe throw a bat in there for wings?

He made man from dirt, eve from a rib, and a hybrid human-goat-bat boy named satan.

The way it sounds you'd wonder if the bible was just an ancient science fiction story, and everyones believing in it now.

A billion years from now harry potter might be thought of as a savior :lmao:

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5) It was carried over from the pagan religion for a simple reason. Control. When one controls the masses fear they control the masses. Churches and governments are both pro's at fear mongering.

 

You hit the proverbial nail on the head!

 

I have to agree with everyone else who says to study the issue out for yourself. It will indeed take time to replace all the fears in your mind about it, but just hang in there and use your mind not your emotions, to determine what is real.

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