Jump to content

Deep Fear Of Hell.


GettingDown
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi guys what you think about near death experiences? And when people say they went to hell and they come back a believer in christ? Or even when atheists do it? Im asking because I actually don't know what to do. I'm petrified of hell, but I don't feel like I can lie to myself and believe in christian-god just so I dont go there. I think my fear is stemming from the fact that no one returns from the grave. But how can I get punished for using my brain? and why do I get a permanent punishment based on my temporary life on earth? I feel like "becoming a christian" again just to avoid it. I can't eat, I can't focus on my work. It is all I've been thinking about and googling. I've got a counselling appointment and booked in to see a psychologist also. I want to burst into tears. Any help would be appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The teachings about hell in church are just one way of interpretation the bible (with the purpose of scaring people into their beliefs)

Do some research on how hell is really described in the bible, that might take away this fear.

http://www.ecclesia.org/truth/hell.html

 

As for those "near-death experience" probably every person that claimed to have seen heaven or hell, described it exactly like they imagine heaven and hell. Even if they were atheist they had an idea of how heaven and hell should look like,  It would be interesting if someone that has no connection or knowledge about Christianity had an experience like that. If this stuff is real, there would have been cultures that had people coming back from christian hell and spreading the message before christian missionaries got there.

I think that those "near-death experience" include light /darkness/ feelings of fear or happiness and everybody  interprets  it like the religion that they are the closed to teaches.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

To add to what Ralet says, when a person's heart stops, they aren't completely dead yet, the brain keeps functioning for a little while afterwards (I don't know how long for sure), so a person in this state could have dreams about an afterlife. With the case of Heaven and Hell, that is probably all it is. The person is already a believer or have been surrounded by believers and the teachings about Heaven and Hell are in their memory, so they end up dreaming about these places.

 

There are some people who have died and come back, but experienced nothing. ContraBardus posted something once about how he died and was revived, but he did not experience Heaven or Hell. If I remember correctly, the only thing he remembered was seeing darkness for a very short amount of time, and then he was awake and his vision was blurred and he had to wait a little while for his vision to return to normal (If I got any details wrong, ContraBardus, please correct me). There were no angels, no demons, no flames, no Yahweh. If Heaven and Hell were real, then everyone who has ever had an NDE should have experienced those places, only, but that has not happened.

 

It is also possible that when a person dreams about being in Hell just before their brain shuts down, subconsciously, maybe those people have a fear of Hell that was suppressed and the fear emerges in a dream, with a vengeance, so frightening that they convert, after waking up. When a person dreams of Heaven, it is probably because it is a place they believed existed and wanted so badly to go there, so they got to experience it in a dream.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, GettingDown, and welcome to ExC.

 

Think about this as you wrestle with this issue.  If someone had a NDE and went to hell and returned, then hell is not a place of eternal punishment.  A temporary "visit" there would completely undermine the very definition of hell.  That creates a paradox.  The paradox is that the definition of hell is a place of eternal punishment, yet those who claim to have had a NDE in which they experienced hell go there for a temporary stay and then return.  If people really have experienced hell on a temporary basis, then hell is not a place of eternal punishment as the definition requires.  Therefore, hell as defined does not exist because it's definition has been undermined by these alleged experiences.  Put another way, no one has ever had a NDE in which they experienced hell because if they had experienced it, they could not, by definition, be here to talk about it.

 

As for whether there is a hell, there is not such a place.  You have already mentioned what I see as the most compelling arguments against such a place.  You wrote:

 

But how can I get punished for using my brain? and why do I get a permanent punishment based on my temporary life on earth?

 

Your questions are excellent and you should go forward with this kind of thinking.  How, indeed, could a just god punish someone for using their brain and seeing through the lies of Christianity?  If belief in Jesus were so important in that such belief rescued a person from an eternity of punishment, then a just god would provide far better evidence for Jesus as Savior that he allegedly did.  His failure to provide such evidence is his fault, not yours or mine.  Therefore, this "just God" is the cause of people going to hell and a just God would not be the cause of people going to hell.

 

You also question the issue of an eternity of punishment for a temporary life on earth.  That brings up the issue of proportionality, a bedrock of justice in the realm of crime and punishment.  That would be the equivalent of our having a system of justice in which any person who commits any crime of any nature whatsoever would receive the death penalty.  Under this system, a person who drives 60 MPH in a 55 MPH zone would be put to death along side the mass murderer.  No reasonable person would call that justice.  Yet, this Christian God has allegedly implemented that very system but on an eternal basis.  That tells us that no just god would do that.  This brings us back to a paradox.  If a just god would not impose an eternal punishment for any even a minor infraction, then the two concepts are incompatible and cannot co-exist.  In short, there is no hell.

 

What can be difficult to come to terms with, is that the very concept of hell was invented as the ultimate control mechanism.  Its purpose is a total human purpose.  It is to threaten you with the worst punishment possible so you (and countless other millions of people throughout history and today) will fall in line with how you should act and what you should think.  For me, understanding this was what set me free from this terrible lie.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Near death experiences are not evidence of any sort of afterlife. They are simply the brain’s response to hypoxia. Also, there’s a reason they’re called near death experiences and not death experiences.

 

What can I say to people who claim that hell is real based on their hallucinations (or “visions”)? Most of us learned in childhood that nightmares were just bad dreams.

 

Are you worried about ending up in the Islamic hell for not following Islam? Why does the Christian hell bother you so, while you give no thought to the Islamic hell?

 

What if you were to end up in heaven? Could you be happy there knowing that there are people on the other side being tortured for all eternity? In other words, if hell exists, could there be a heaven? If heaven exists, could there be a hell?

 

Think about “life” in heaven. Do you look forward to spending eternity kissing the ass of a deity that would send people to hell? Some Christians interpret Revelation 21:4 to mean that the god will wipe your memory of any of your loved ones who are in hell, or that the god will explain to your satisfaction why unbelievers deserve unimaginable torture for all eternity. Others, like St. Thomas Aquinas, claim that the sight of people writhing in hell will make you happier. Imagine yourself as a sadist! Would you look forward to having the god make you forget your loved ones or transform you into a sociopathic monster?

 

If hell exists, you’re screwed either way (unless you’re a sociopath). Do you really believe that this is the way things are?

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super Moderator

First, near death is not death.

 

Second, even Christians who believe the Bible have differing opinions on the doctrine of Hell.

 

http://www.truthaccordingtoscripture.com/documents/death/origin-of-hell-fire.php#.Uc37hPlwolY

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went through a similar time, for a year probably, it was overwhelming.  I don't want to sound insensitive, or intend to play devil's advocate, but do you draw or play music or other creative things?  Write?  People consume vast quantity and quality of works by people going through what you're going through.  Dante's Inferno is an example of product from obsession with hell.  You could at least make a living for yourself by it.  I don't mean to undermine your suffering, I get that part.  I want to help; I'm still not sure how to respond presently.  Keep posting.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went through a similar time, for a year probably, it was overwhelming.  I don't want to sound insensitive, or intend to play devil's advocate, but do you draw or play music or other creative things?  Write?  People consume vast quantity and quality of works by people going through what you're going through.  Dante's Inferno is an example of product from obsession with hell.  You could at least make a living for yourself by it.  I don't mean to undermine your suffering, I get that part.  I want to help; I'm still not sure how to respond presently.  Keep posting.

 

You know I actually do love music (I mean LOVE it), and I like to write. I've thought about studying philosophy just to research and write my thoughts down. I like to write music, poems, thoughts etc, and now I am interested in writing essays (hence wanting to study philosophy). But even then I'm scared, what if people listened to me, but I was wrong? Thats the reason why it took me so long to join ExC for a long time. I don't feel you are undermining me. I know the intent is good!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Near death experiences are not evidence of any sort of afterlife. They are simply the brain’s response to hypoxia. Also, there’s a reason they’re called near death experiences and not death experiences.

 

What can I say to people who claim that hell is real based on their hallucinations (or “visions”)? Most of us learned in childhood that nightmares were just bad dreams.

 

Are you worried about ending up in the Islamic hell for not following Islam? Why does the Christian hell bother you so, while you give no thought to the Islamic hell?

 

What if you were to end up in heaven? Could you be happy there knowing that there are people on the other side being tortured for all eternity? In other words, if hell exists, could there be a heaven? If heaven exists, could there be a hell?

 

Think about “life” in heaven. Do you look forward to spending eternity kissing the ass of a deity that would send people to hell? Some Christians interpret Revelation 21:4 to mean that the god will wipe your memory of any of your loved ones who are in hell, or that the god will explain to your satisfaction why unbelievers deserve unimaginable torture for all eternity. Others, like St. Thomas Aquinas, claim that the sight of people writhing in hell will make you happier. Imagine yourself as a sadist! Would you look forward to having the god make you forget your loved ones or transform you into a sociopathic monster?

 

If hell exists, you’re screwed either way (unless you’re a sociopath). Do you really believe that this is the way things are?

You've actually asked things I have thought of, I guess all ExC's have these questions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wrong? If you creatively express your feelings there is no wrong.

You can put ideas you want to express into fictional characters or dialogue, express your points of view as their points of view, add some other points of view for contrast and no one will say you're wrong. Your characters will be the ones who are thought of as wrong.

Ayn Rand managed to rile a movement of people who believed she was wrong. Her characters lacked subtlety.

 

Do you hear hell? Sounds? Can you make music out of it? When I was in hell I put it into some heavy metal. I was 20 at the time.

It would be good to hear, you should record something.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For some reason getting over the fear of hell was one of my easier challenges. The concept of hell never made any sense to me even when I was a Christian, which helped me to ultimately be free of the Christian god.

 

Hell is not real, and god is not real, for one simple reason. If hell were a real place it would mean that god is far more sadistical than we can imagine. Take all the serial killers, dictators, the Hitlers and the Bin Ladens of history, multiply them by a hundred fold, and together they would still not measure up to possessing such a violent character.

 

When we think about god (and the moral conduct this god would have to measure up to even warrant our belief), we find that ultimately this god could not even measure up to any baseline standards of compassion and forgiveness. This is a god filled with rage and revenge, who in one final act is wiling to carry out THE most horrific act in human history.

 

Not only do I not want to believe in this god, but I couldn't believe in this god if threaten to believe in him.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

GettingDown: Gawd I hate what the Xtians have done to people in teaching the false concept of hell. It really pisses me off. As you know, I'm sure, hell is a concept to keep those indoctrinated intimidated. Since indoctrination starts (typically) when the victims are so young, and it goes on for so long, the fear is imbedded in the brain and hard to overcome. That's why it is used so frequently by pastors. But not all churches use hell as a threat now. In the 18th Century I have read that it was used more than it is today. There was an evangelist named Jonathan  Edwards who was particularly skilled at scaring his parishioners to distraction with the threat of hell. When a suicide or two occurred by church members, Edwards either quit or was fired and went back to teaching (I think). My memory of the details is a little vague. Google his name and you can get the details. The point is the clergy backed away from emphasizing hell to some extent. It doesn't sell as well now as it did once. But it is still used by way too many of the clergy. 

 

Read up on the history of the concept of hell. And remember to ask yourself this question every time you have this fear: What kind of god would create humans, knowing that the vast majority he would sent to burn in an eternal fire? What kind of a monster would do that to his on creatures knowing before creating them that hell would be their destiny? Does that sound like a god made idea or man's? The question answers itself.   Don't let the bastards grind you down.  bill

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the words guys. I am trying to read and watch videos etc, but my fear still comes back. E.g. I know about sheol and gehenna. But I've been taught that you die and your in a state of wait until the day of judgement. So yes the body is in the grave, and will never return, but then judgement will happen when god raises everyone up. So to me that doesn't mean there is no hell. It's like I am scared petrified of god and being in hell, but I cannot seem to believe. So I guess I feel like I am being disobedient. My mind is just so fucked up right now. Sad is an understatement. There is no happiness for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^I second what Bill said. Hell is nothing but an empty threat based on an amalgamation of concepts from antiquity. It's a scare tactic to keep you in their clutches. This article goes into it a little bit. I'm particularly fond of the part about how hell wasn't even included in the xtian doctrine until the fifth century CE. In any case, it's gonna take time to undo what you've been indoctrinated into believing, but it's doable.

 

Might i suggest you also have a look at "Leaving the Fold"? It's well worth the read, and hopefully it will get you started on the road away from superstition and dogma.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the words guys. I am trying to read and watch videos etc, but my fear still comes back. E.g. I know about sheol and gehenna. But I've been taught that you die and your in a state of wait until the day of judgement. So yes the body is in the grave, and will never return, but then judgement will happen when god raises everyone up. So to me that doesn't mean there is no hell. It's like I am scared petrified of god and being in hell, but I cannot seem to believe. So I guess I feel like I am being disobedient. My mind is just so fucked up right now. Sad is an understatement. There is no happiness for me.

I used to be believe the same. In this scenario near-death-experience make no sense.Those people shouldn't have seen anything because god didn't judge them yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

GD, I understand your fear. I belonged to the Pentecostal church for a long time so I got plenty of indoctrination about hell. The things I have learned on EX-c has helped so much in taking away the majority of my fear.

 

One of the things that really helped me a lot was to start at the very beginning of the bible and read how the events of mankind started according to this so called word of god. Genesis alone makes the Christian god look so stupid in the way he even began his whole creation. He was a dumb god hon. He even had to resort to sacrificing his own son. How fucking stupid is that? Even you could have made a better plan for mankind. I mean, read Genesis...he even wants Adam to pick from the animals which one will be his 'helpmate'.

Then he decides to make 'wo-man???Wendybanghead.gif

 

Study Genesis alone and you will soon see that this ancient tribal god did not really know what he was doing. Adam, Eve, talking snake, floods to wipe out mankind,  claiming that he regretted  making us?? (Genesis 6: 7 ''So the LORD said, "I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created--and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground--for I regret that I have made them." Wendyshrug.gif )  He used genocide to prove his points all through the holy book to the point of sacrificing his son??? None of it makes sense to me anymore. It never really did. Even when I was a faithful 'servant' of the lord, I questioned all these things.

 

Remember, this is the god who is supposed to be the smartest 'spirit' in the universe???

 

Keep reading and studying hon. It does get better. *Hug*

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It could be you're depressed, clinically.  Perhaps you would benefit from seeing someone.  If money is an issue, there are programs that can get you in.  A short span of mild anti-depressant could stabilize you until you can sort the cognitive, religious stuff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It could be you're depressed, clinically.  Perhaps you would benefit from seeing someone.  If money is an issue, there are programs that can get you in.  A short span of mild anti-depressant could stabilize you until you can sort the cognitive, religious stuff.

I was on antidepressants for a while, then I stopped taking them. I thought everything was ok. (My reason for starting them wasn't due to religion, but something else). I'm seeing a counsellor at a subsidised cost through a charity, and I'm looking for a psychologist. I'm in a horrible state. I miss my happiness.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cousin Ricky said:

Are you worried about ending up in the Islamic hell for not following Islam? Why does the Christian hell bother you so, while you give no thought to the Islamic hell?

 

(Can't do quotes on my phone! )

 

This was eye opening for me, thank you :-)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

pops, I just realized that you converted to Christianity as an adult, so it seems strange that hell worries you so much - especially if your husband no longer believes in Christianity.  Just wondering if that seems strange to anybody else?  Maybe something else is going on?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not so luch worried about hell. But I've had this irrational fear that the last moment of your life will feel like eternity to your brain. I'm scared i will meet some horrible end and the moment will seem like forever.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.