Jump to content

Are you an atheist if you fear hell?


Recommended Posts

  • Moderator
8 minutes ago, freedwoman said:

I'll just come out and say it. 

 

I don't believe anyone is really an "Atheist". Sorry if that upsets some people. It is not meant too.


I just think you have a somewhat more restrictive definition of “atheist” than most of us here do.  That’s OK, there’s no Atheist Vatican to enforce conformity.  And at the end of the day any word only has the meaning a majority of people give to it.  Personally I consider an atheist to be anybody who has thought about the god claims and rejected them.  I would even say that somebody whose belief in any deity is somewhere below 50% is an atheist.  But that’s just me. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 140
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I'd say one is a product of the logical mind making a conclusion, the other is the product of the survival mind and is a product of programming.  I never realized how separate they were until thi

Wow, I missed quite a discussion here.  Couple of things to toss in:  1.  Atheist as defined by those who lack a belief in god is not mutually exclusive with agnosticism as has already been mention

No.  Getting chills over the thought of eternal conscious torment no more indicates belief in god than fear of a chainsaw indicates belief in Leatherface.  There are plenty of people who don't know ho

Posted Images

Guest freedwoman

I see. But how do Agnostics claim we know? We don't know. In fact that is exactly what we say. We DON'T know. We have no knowledge to prove or disprove.  But if atheists really do not believe in God or hell then there would be no reason to fear that God and his Hell. Further discussion on this matter only proves to me that no one is really an atheist. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest freedwoman
6 minutes ago, TABA said:


I just think you have a somewhat more restrictive definition of “atheist” than most of us here do.  That’s OK, there’s no Atheist Vatican to enforce conformity.  And at the end of the day any word only has the meaning a majority of people give to it.  Personally I consider an atheist to be anybody who has thought about the god claims and rejected them.  I would even say that somebody whose belief in any deity is somewhere below 50% is an atheist.  But that’s just me. 

Thank you for your input. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think you need to worry too much about giving offense. Certainly not to me.

 

7 minutes ago, freedwoman said:

I see. But how do Agnostics claim we know? We don't know. In fact that is exactly what we say. We DON'T know. We have no knowledge to prove or disprove.  But if atheists really do not believe in God or hell then there would be no reason to fear that God and his Hell. Further discussion on this matter only proves to me that no one is really an atheist. 

 

This is the point about agnostics. They specifially claim that we don't know. 

 

I agree that there is no reason for an atheist to fear hell, but as I said before, many people fear the unknown, even where they have beliefs.

 

For my own part, I have no fear of hell, and I'm a very hard atheist. If you don't think I really am an atheist, that's fine,  but I'm not sure exactly what you might mean by that.

 

For what it's worth, after my deconversion, I spent a very long time resisting the use of the term atheist for myself. Then, one day,  I realized that that's what people call people like me. So that's what I am.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderator

I really don’t think you’re offending anybody.   We’re not easily offended people here (unlike most of the population in 2020, it seems).  
 

Also, keep in mind that all of us here, even the most hard-core atheists, used to be Christians.  Lingering fear and guilt is a thing sometimes.  We’re not entirely rational creatures, as Mr Spock would remind us. But I think that as we see more and more people growing up without having ever believed in god, fear of Hell will become much less common. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderator
1 minute ago, disillusioned said:

For what it's worth, after my deconversion, I spent a very long time resisting the use of the term atheist for myself. Then, one day,  I realized that that's what people call people like me. So that's what I am.


Same here.  It takes a while to make the mental shift from hating atheism to accepting and even embracing it. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest freedwoman
10 minutes ago, disillusioned said:

 

I agree that there is no reason for an atheist to fear hell, 

 

For my own part, I have no fear of hell, and I'm a very hard atheist. 

Yes. You are a true atheist then. 😊✌️🤝

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderator
1 minute ago, freedwoman said:

I don't hate atheism. ✌️


But I think most of us did when we were Christians.  I did. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, TABA said:


But I think most of us did when we were Christians.  I did. 

 

So did I, but I definitely didn't understand what I hated.

 

Atheists were painted as morally horrible people. People who have denied the existence of God so that they can do whatever they want. And, as presented to me by other Christians,  what the atheists wanted was to rape, murder, steal, etcetera, etcetera.

 

Now that I'm an atheist,  it turns out that all I mainly want to do is watch TV and have a beer. The horror!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest freedwoman
9 minutes ago, TABA said:


But I think most of us did when we were Christians.  I did. 

Oh yes I did when I was a Christian. I was one of those fundie, self righteous, hateful/condemning Christian's. Gosh I hate myself for that. 😠🤮

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest freedwoman
2 minutes ago, disillusioned said:

 

So did I, but I definitely didn't understand what I hated.

 

Atheists were painted as morally horrible people. People who have denied the existence of God so that they can do whatever they want. And, as presented to me by other Christians,  what the atheists wanted was to rape, murder, steal, etcetera, etcetera.

 

Now that I'm an atheist,  it turns out that all I mainly want to do is watch TV and have a beer. The horror!

Might I please say that it is actually the religious, fundie, evils we should be afraid of instead? I know some Christian's who said that they wish they could still stone adulteresses and homosexuals? 😲😠🤮

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, freedwoman said:

I'm sorry. But it my opinion NO. You can't be an atheist and still fear Hell. Because it shows that a part of you still believes in the Bible gods existence who created that place. You still believe he could send you there. But that's just me.

✌️

 

It probably depends if belief is a binary question. 

 

If the only choices allowed are belief or non-belief, then calling yourself an atheist yet believing in hell would be kind of wishy washy...contradictory...and illogical. 😛

 

...

 

But if you look at life as shades of gray ... which, is more realistic (imo) and more aligned with general life experiences ... then yes, you can hold contradictory ideas in your head at the same time and still call yourself an atheist.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, freedwoman said:

I see. But how do Agnostics claim we know? We don't know. In fact that is exactly what we say. We DON'T know. We have no knowledge to prove or disprove.  But if atheists really do not believe in God or hell then there would be no reason to fear that God and his Hell. Further discussion on this matter only proves to me that no one is really an atheist. 

 

I think they mean leftover Hell fear from when they were Christians. It seems to linger a while. 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, disillusioned said:

Now that I'm an atheist,  it turns out that all I mainly want to do is watch TV and have a beer. The horror!

 

You sick bastige.... (haha)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest freedwoman
4 hours ago, midniterider said:

 

It probably depends if belief is a binary question. 

 

If the only choices allowed are belief or non-belief, then calling yourself an atheist yet believing in hell would be kind of wishy washy...contradictory...and illogical. 😛

 

...

 

But if you look at life as shades of gray ... which, is more realistic (imo) and more aligned with general life experiences ... then yes, you can hold contradictory ideas in your head at the same time and still call yourself an atheist.

 

 

Contradictions would mean they are still conflicted. Unsure if the Bible God and Hell exists. Meaning they believe he possibly can. Meaning they are not true atheists. Least that's my opinion. 

✌️🤝

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Super Moderator
11 hours ago, freedwoman said:

Contradictions would mean they are still conflicted. Unsure if the Bible God and Hell exists. Meaning they believe he possibly can. Meaning they are not true atheists. Least that's my opinion. 

✌️🤝

No.  Getting chills over the thought of eternal conscious torment no more indicates belief in god than fear of a chainsaw indicates belief in Leatherface.  There are plenty of people who don't know how to use chainsaws and are scared they will hurt themselves or others.  But the majority of said chain-o-phobes probably don't sit around worrying about deranged mass murderers wielding logging equipment.   Even those of us well-versed in chainsaw use hardly give it a second thought.

 

Fear of hell, contrariwise, is something that was deeply engrained into the very psyche of many christians when they were innocent children, incapable of rationalizing that fear.  It becomes almost as instinctual as fear of heights or darkness.  Overcoming an indoctrinated fear such as hell takes more than just a conscious decision to no longer believe in bible god, or even the rational conclusion, or observation, that the christian concept of god cannot possibly exist.

 

 

 

 

massrl100__86977.1529962014.1280.1280.jpg

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

It doesn't offend me when people are wrong.  There are tons of people who insist there is a God.  They're wrong.  You insist there are no atheists.  You're equally wrong.  It seems like you want to make agnosticism some sort of "correct" position.  As if having some doubts makes you better.  That's cute.  But, I'm sorry that doesn't hold much weight with me.

 

As for fear of hell, or any other sort of divine punishment or intervention, I have absolutely no fear or worries about it.  I don't have any uncertainty or doubt about that.  I think people who do are either still working on their deconversion or have a serious disconnect with reality.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Super Moderator

a·the·ist

/ˈāTHēəst/

noun

  • 1.a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods

 

- Why do we insist on making simple definitions so hard???

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Atheism is, in the broadest sense, an absence of belief in the existence of deities.  Less broadly, atheism is a rejection of the belief that any deities exist.  In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.  Atheism is contrasted with theism, which, in its most general form, is the belief that at least one deity exists.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism


If you are interested, Atheism:  The Case Against God by George H. Smith spells out the hard-core atheist viewpoint.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest freedwoman

Oh no. Please don't think I'm trying to make others think the way I do. I'm not I promise. I just don't think a true atheist can be afraid of Hell. It makes no sense to me. Why fear going to a place you are certain doesn't exist? I'm sorry I just don't understand. But I'm in no way trying to change other people's minds. 

👍🤝

Link to post
Share on other sites

Why not, though?  And why do you get to decide what makes someone a real atheist or not?  The human animal is well known for having a capacity for fantasy and speculation.  We get scared by movies that we know are fake and we're actually very safe.  We feel anxiety riding a roller coaster, despite knowing that it's safe and we're not going to die or get harmed.  Why should flashbacks from years of conditioning invalidate our current understanding and deny someone from being an atheist?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.