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Thread: Do you fear hell?

  1. #11
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
    The notion of hellfire and damnation is a much later Christian construct. The word hell does not occur in the New Testament.
    So what about that one from the KJV: "And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out,
    and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for
    thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell" (Matthew 5:29)?

  2. #12
    tWebber T-Shirt Ninja's Avatar
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    Note: I have permission to post here from the mods and seeker.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seeker View Post
    Do you accept the Christian argument that if we die not believing in Jesus as our Savior, we will be eternally damned?
    No, I don't. A god like the Christians purport to have--all-benevolent and all powerful--would never create a place of eternal suffering for his creations. If their god exists, he is probably delusional and drunk with power.

    What would be the proper response? Isn't this ''appeal to fear''?
    The proper response would be the rejection of this god. We have no vantage point to really know with 100% certainty that he's all powerful and all good as he claims. We can easily see that humans who make such demands of others are narcissistic and abusive. The claim, "Dedicate your entire life to me or suffer forever in hell" is probably the most extreme abusive demand that a cosmic being could make upon humans. The best thing that we humans can do is say no. Clearly this god isn't good and either doesn't care about the suffering of his creations or cares more about loyalty to himself than suffering. Neither option is good. Indeed, why would such a being even want such loyalty if they rule over the entire universe? I'm reminded of an anonymous quote (often wrongly attributed to Marcus Aurelius, but that's a different topic):

    "Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones."


    The Christian god falls into the unjust category. I'd rather live my life as good as possible without him than to waste my time dedicating myself to him just to get away from hell. Hell is absolutely about fear and giving the recipient a Hobson's choice. Just like I cannot have a "loving" relationship with a human narcissist who demands all of my loyalty, I realized when I was deconstructing my former faith that I cannot have a loving relationship with a god who acts the same way.
    "Concentrate on what you have to do. Fix your eyes on it. Remind yourself that your task is to be a good human being; remind yourself what nature demands of people. Then do it, without hesitation, and speak the truth as you see it. But with kindness. With humility. Without hypocrisy."
    -Marcus Aurelius

  3. Amen Seeker amen'd this post.
  4. #13
    tWebber Hypatia_Alexandria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seeker View Post
    So what about that one from the KJV: "And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out,
    and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for
    thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell" (Matthew 5:29)?
    That is a translation into English. The original Greek in that verse is γέεενναν which is translated as Gehenna. This is thought to have been an actual physical location near Jerusalem. The site is supposed to have had connections with Israelite early practises of child sacrifice - hence the "Moloch" deity found in the Hebrew bible. It was later deemed to be an accursed place.
    "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

  5. #14
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
    That is a translation into English. The original Greek in that verse is γέεενναν which is translated as Gehenna. This is thought to have been an actual physical location near Jerusalem. The site is supposed to have had connections with Israelite early practises of child sacrifice - hence the "Moloch" deity found in the Hebrew bible. It was later deemed to be an accursed place.
    Thank you for the information. Even without sources, at a cursory glance, most of what you wrote seems to be true.

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