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Number Of People Fucked Up Over Hell Doctrine Pisses Me Off


Mongo
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The topic pretty much says it all doesn't it?

 

As I read people's stories and the vital issues they confront I am pissed at just how many people make life changing decisions based on the threat of going to hell and how many people have to deal with family/friends who are afraid the "ex-christian" will be going to hell.

 

The doctrine is utterly rediculous and yet holds excessive power of the poor souls who believe it.

 

I am compelled to wonder what strength xtian doctrine could possibly have if there were no hell doctrine.

 

Any thoughts out there?

 

Mongo

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Like Anton LaVey was fond of saying, the Devil is the best friend Xianity ever has, as he has kept it in business all these years. Without the fear of Hell and the Devil to beat people over the heads with, Xian have nothing with which to motivate others. There's no way people will believe all the illogical, immoral, insane crap required of us in the Babble unless the Xian says "but you'll burn in Hell forever with Satan if you don't!".

 

If it weren't for the threat of Hell, Xianity would've never stuck. Sure, it was spread by the sword a great deal, but successive generations would've ditched it pretty quickly if not for the fear of eternal roasting. Most folks have been burned before, and few want to feel it for all time, so they suck up to the invisible man of the Babble.

 

The Hell doctrine in particular, and Xianity overall, is nothing more than spiritual terrorism. Funny, that Fundygelicals in America's heartland will rail against Moose-lim terrorists yet practice terrorism within their hearts and minds.

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The topic pretty much says it all doesn't it?

 

As I read people's stories and the vital issues they confront I am pissed at just how many people make life changing decisions based on the threat of going to hell and how many people have to deal with family/friends who are afraid the "ex-christian" will be going to hell.

 

The doctrine is utterly rediculous and yet holds excessive power of the poor souls who believe it.

 

I am compelled to wonder what strength xtian doctrine could possibly have if there were no hell doctrine.

 

Any thoughts out there?

 

Mongo

 

I've given this a lot of thought, Mongo. Even with non-Christians, the ultimate fallback position always seems to be something along the lines of "Some people need religion". It has been in researching the truth of this position that I've found testimonies only prove otherwise. It is in Christian testimony itself, where people confess feeling horrible about themselves for perfectly natural feelings, they are fearful, and stressful for no other reason than because their church wants them to. I haven't yet found a person that 'needs' religion, but I consistently find more and more that would be mentally healthier without it. And one day, when I hold a social-psychology degree that warrants it, I'll prove it.

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That's what I always hear "oh I gotta go to church cause god'll punish me" I think ever christian I know would give it up if it weren't for the fear of the sky daddy's wrath and hell. It's sad people got to live in fear over nothing.

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Christianity builds on the negative emotions...fear, guilt, shame. Guilt over a life of sin, even if one didn't do anything seriously wrong, anysin of thought, word, or deed is enough for condemnation to hell. Leads to shame. Now the hook. God forgives all sins, through JC of course, and even death, the ultimate unknown is defeated. Life without end. What a hook. Funny...Christians conjure up all kinds of terror visions about what life in hell must be like, but they don't seem to have much of a clue about what they'll find to do with themselves for eternity in heaven. Seems like after, say, 20-30 thousand years, wouldn't it get a little boring, I mean with no challenges to living or anything?

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I've given this a lot of thought, Mongo. Even with non-Christians, the ultimate fallback position always seems to be something along the lines of "Some people need religion". It has been in researching the truth of this position that I've found testimonies only prove otherwise. It is in Christian testimony itself, where people confess feeling horrible about themselves for perfectly natural feelings, they are fearful, and stressful for no other reason than because their church wants them to. I haven't yet found a person that 'needs' religion, but I consistently find more and more that would be mentally healthier without it. And one day, when I hold a social-psychology degree that warrants it, I'll prove it.

 

Ya got that right! Ya sho' got that right!

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I am compelled to wonder what strength xtian doctrine could possibly have if there were no hell doctrine.

 

Any thoughts out there?

 

Mongo

 

The main reason I became a Christian in the first place was because my friends and I were sitting around smoking pot and reading the book of revelations. Being stoned we instantly believed every literal word and began to fear for our life's.. and souls!

 

We were all willing pawns after that.. and now 6-8 years later I am the only one out of that group that has rejected the idea of a hell or a vengeful God. I'm into some pretty fantastic stuff these days but nothing will ever get me to believe in a "hell" ever again!

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I am a Platonist, and we, like Christians, believe in divine vengeance. Apollo, Nemesis, or whatever you wish to call the ONE operates retribution upon humans for the wrong they have done. :woohoo:

 

The difference between Platonism and Christianity is that Platonism presupposes that divine vengeance, thought it may hurt like hell, is creative rather than destructive. See the Gorgias. Thus, true joy and truth come through the experience of being corrected by God. Hence a Platonist can pray the words of Plato in his Critias dialogue: "I pray that he will impose upon me a just retribution, and the just retribution of him who errs is that he should be set right." :thanks:

 

Cogitating through the Christian theory of "penal substitutionary atonement" in an effort to be "justified by faith" is wasted mental effort based on an irrational and incorrect understanding of the moral structure of the universe. Christian theology is a mind virus, the shrouder of light. :twitch:

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If we taught our children that rejecting the existence of Tinkerbell would warrant them having their eyes gouged out with lightsabers the majority of the country would want kids in that kind of environment removed from their homes...

 

However, it is perfectly acceptable to teach them that as long as it is about Jesus...

 

It is so sick...

 

I used to live in perpetual terror of the rapture and hell. And what for? I was a good person...however, since I hadn't followed any dogmatic rituals I would be damned...

 

Thinking about the fear I used to live under angers me. People have had their lives ruined behind it.

 

Sick.

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As I read people's stories and the vital issues they confront I am pissed at just how many people make life changing decisions based on the threat of going to hell and how many people have to deal with family/friends who are afraid the "ex-christian" will be going to hell.

 

My family doesn't know that I'm an X-xtian yet, but they have told me they were sorry that they weren't going to see me in the afterlife. :Hmm:

 

I've given this a lot of thought, Mongo. Even with non-Christians, the ultimate fallback position always seems to be something along the lines of "Some people need religion". It has been in researching the truth of this position that I've found testimonies only prove otherwise. It is in Christian testimony itself, where people confess feeling horrible about themselves for perfectly natural feelings, they are fearful, and stressful for no other reason than because their church wants them to. I haven't yet found a person that 'needs' religion, but I consistently find more and more that would be mentally healthier without it. And one day, when I hold a social-psychology degree that warrants it, I'll prove it.

 

I'm hoping that I can be a living testimonial to this. I think in this transition that I do want to believe that their 'need' is of some value, however, my experience is that with such a majority it can and will ruin society.

Christianity builds on the negative emotions...fear, guilt, shame. Guilt over a life of sin, even if one didn't do anything seriously wrong, anysin of thought, word, or deed is enough for condemnation to hell. Leads to shame. Now the hook. God forgives all sins, through JC of course, and even death, the ultimate unknown is defeated. Life without end. What a hook. Funny...Christians conjure up all kinds of terror visions about what life in hell must be like, but they don't seem to have much of a clue about what they'll find to do with themselves for eternity in heaven. Seems like after, say, 20-30 thousand years, wouldn't it get a little boring, I mean with no challenges to living or anything?

 

I've had a lot of guilt and shame. Mostly to my family.

 

I've never really believed in hell, but the idea of heaven was not at all about living forever where everybody's happy singing kumbaya. It was more of a spiritual thing for me, kind of like a life's energy. Again when I say this it just sounds so dumb, but that really is what I thought.

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I've always thought it ironic that in order to be a good fundy one must have faith in the devil.

If you don't believe in the devil you will go to hell.

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I am compelled to wonder what strength xtian doctrine could possibly have if there were no hell doctrine.

 

Any thoughts out there?

 

Mongo

I'm gonna turn it around and say that I think it would have a much greater strength if there were no hell doctrine. It would have a much more postive influence on the mental health of people if they were to understand that God (their father) would no more punish them for all eternity in hell than their human father would (most). I think the fear factor only forces people to doubt the entire bible and then later reject it all, including the parts that are good. I mean...look at us. How much better off would we be if we had never had believed it in the first place? Of course that can't really be known only surmised, but I think many people would still place value on the book instead of tossing it out completely, IMO.

 

I don't think people need that negative threat any longer. There are still people today that think that negative discipline is a good way to promote good behavior, but I think the tides are changing to show that positive reinforcement has a greater impact on behavior. Heck, even dogs are trained this way now! :grin:

 

But, there are consequences that occur through cause and effect (like karma) that will naturally set a person straight, but this also works the other way. Any good one does will usually have a good outcome.

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Without the threat of hell, Christianity would only have been able to survive by virtue of its teachings on compassion and helping people who need it.

 

If that had happened, I'm guessing it would look a lot like Mahayana Buddhism with a strong humanist/activist element.

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Yeah, I was messed u[p about the doctrine of hell. Sometimes I still have bouts of insomnia over it. Someone posted in another forum that we ex-Christians have a lot of programming to overcome. Boy, is that the truth! :ugh:

 

Personally, I have tried to tell myself that *even if* "they're right", I wouldn't want to spend an eternity with a being who would do that.

 

Interesting side note: there was a book in my old hometown library that had a different take on the last judgement. Satan won! The pope couldn't believe it and said that the bible fortold that he would loose. Satan replied along the lines that both sides in a war issue propaganda, but that doesn't decide the outcome. At the end all the "True Believers" were punished and the "sinners" had a great time.

 

I keep telling myself that a religion that would torture, (word chosen deliberately), their adherents with a: "If you think I'm punishing you, wait till you're father gets home!" attitude is not worth bothering with.

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If all this pisses you off, you are going to go balistic after this: http://www.dailymotion.com/visited/search/...l-made-me-do-it

 

These people are nukin' futz.

 

I saw a story on these on Fox right around Halloween, they were interviewing one guys that organized them. Rameus and I tried to find a Hell House nearby to go and check out, but there just weren't any close enough. Interesting documentary though.

 

Ugh...the heaven scene...if you listen carefully you'll hear "This was SO worth dieing for."

 

Above all the other Christian testimonies the most disturbing are those that suggest the person isn't living this life at all because they're waiting for the next.

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Without the threat of hell, Christianity would only have been able to survive by virtue of its teachings on compassion and helping people who need it.

 

If that had happened, I'm guessing it would look a lot like Mahayana Buddhism with a strong humanist/activist element.

 

If that happened I might actually reconvert, except for the whole belief in God part.

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I am told by my Christian prof who does not believe in hell that the concept of hell as a lake of fire was not fully developed until Danté. Hell, as understood by the Greco-Roman world which included Jesus and the early Christians, thought of hell as a dark place in the underworld. They understood the universe as a three-tiered situation. There was the upside-down bowl called the firmament or sky to keep out the waters above the earth (see references in the Bible to storehouses of rain, hail, snow). There was the face of the earth to keep out the waters under the earth. Somewhere under the earth was also the cellar-like place of the dead, where dead people went when they died. Read Lucian of Somasota. There was definitely no fire. I suspect Jesus used the term hell as a metaphor for a miserable life....

 

Somehow, this is not hanging together; can't get all my facts straight. I just know that hell fire and brimstone as a literal and eternal reality can be explained right out of the bible without damaging Christian theology or the message of the Bible. I also know that Christianity existed a long time without the kind of hell doctrine all of us were raised on. I also know that many of you were raised with a much more literal translation of the hellfire and brimstone doctrine than I was. As I write, it occurs to me that the hellfire doctrine was relatively mild in my background, but the social control thing was right up there in the top category of day to day life. Shunning and excommunication for infractions such as going to a theator or having the wrong kind of glasses (the kind you wear on your face; not the ones you drink out of) kept people constantly toeing the line.

 

There was one case, for example, that I thought was really sad. The church tried to control the young people by forbidding them to play baseball on public property such as parks or school playgrounds on Sundays. They had to play in the church's school playgrounds or an empty hayfield. This was not practical for all people and all times. One young fellow had an accident while playing baseball on a Sunday afternoon on public property. It was a terribly complicated break and he was laid up for months. As though this were not enough, he (along with some of the others) was also disciplined by the church for his disobedience.

 

People submit to church discipline because they are taught to believe that not doing so would mean going to hell. It occurs to me as I write that this may be why my people were so seriously offended in me. I did not submit to the discipline. I had resolved that if people are offended with my pursuit of higher education I would withdraw from the church. In my meeting with the deacon and his wife I told them about my decision. I know the wife was extremely upset with me. She never said much but I had to pass her on my way out of the house to go home. She muttered something nasty to me under her breath as I passed; I forget what it was. Her husband did not hear it. Maybe that is what upset her--my premeditated crime of pursuing higher education. All I was doing was solving my own problems. They refused to let me do any fulfilling work so I found my own solutions. And then they kicked me out for it.

 

And yeah, all of this for fear of hell.

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Above all the other Christian testimonies the most disturbing are those that suggest the person isn't living this life at all because they're waiting for the next.

 

Glad to hear someone say that. My dad likes to say the only reason we're here--the sole reason and purpose of our life on this earth is to prepare for the next. The way our church lived sure made one believe that.

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The problem with the hell doctrine as viewed or understood by most fundies is that they have no problem with it! They want it to exist to take care of all the bad people. They want sinners to burn. It seems their only justification for leading so-called pious lives.

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Yeah - pretty much Gobbler. There was a history channel program about hell where a interviewee said he "could not sllep at night if there were no hell".

 

How very kind, how very loving, how very Christian. Like Mother Theresa not spending a dime of the millions she got to actually feed the poor in Calcutta - just telling them that their suffering was "noble" and to hope in god for a better life in the hearafter...

 

(I can hear the maitre d' calling now "Bitter party of one ! Bitter party of one! :vent: )

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