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T

Ta555

Warlock
Aug 31, 2021
754
I've seen a few threads with religious/afterlife themes lately about NDEs, hell, religions and etc and just wanted to add my two cents. I'll be straight up. I'm an atheist and this post is for anyone who is afraid, doubting or who has been traumatised by their religion. If anyone reading this is strongly religious this post is not meant as the start of a debate. You will not be able to convince me and I probably won't convince you. So I'm not going to debate the existence of God. I would, however, like to outline some things I've learned on my journey to atheism that may help other people who have been left scared, stressed or abused by religious upbringing. Post is long so feel free to skip around to parts relevant to you.

Firstly, there is no hell. There is no hell in the Christian sense of a place of brimstone and fire and a devil torturing you. Hell is not mentioned in the bible and as far as I'm aware the name Hell comes from the Norse Hel, it's what the Vikings believed in. What is mentioned in the bible is Gehenna. This is an actual place outside Jerusalem. It was considered an evil place because child sacrifices had taken place there and it was a garbage dump. An actual garbage dump where people burned rubbish. That's where the burning comes from. The most coherent interpretation I've come across is that when Jesus talked about being burned what he meant was that those who had been good on Earth would end up with God and those who had been evil would be burned to ashes and exist no more. They would be annihilated. Burnt out of existence, not burnt as torture for all eternity. Also, the Jewish religion does not have a hell. Or nowhere near what Christianity imagines as a hell. So how do Christians and Jews believe in the same God but a completely different after life?

Secondly, nowhere is it written in the Bible that suicide is a sin. There are a couple of suicides in the old testament and there is no mention of the person being punished for this. Suicide as a sin was established by the church several centuries into the religion because too many people were killing themselves to get to heaven. Think about this. How would the religion grow and who would be around to pay tithes if they all killed themselves? This was a pragmatic and economic move by the church.

Thirdly, if God does indeed send people to hell he is a sadistic bastard. Those of you who have children, can you imagine them committing any crime here on earth that you feel would make them worthy of eternal and I mean ETERNAL torture? I don't think anyone would say yes. I don't think anyone could bear to see their child tortured for ALL ETERNITY no matter what crime they may have committed. The bad things anyone happens to do on Earth are finite. But God supposedly hands out an infinite punishment for these finite crimes. Does this sound like someone who is just and fair and loving? Is this even rational? If God is perfect, how can he have such a sadistic and irrational rule? I could understand if there was some sort of scale like, if you steal you get this much time in hell, if you kill another person, you get this much time or whatever but INFINITE torture for a finite crime? Really? And not only that, supposedly God, who is your loving father, is ok with this. With just sitting back and watching his beloved children being tortured for all eternity. Could you, as a parent, do that? Sit back, knowing you have omnipotence and can rescue your child from this at any moment in time, and just watch and wring your hands and say 'Well, they made their choice when they committed that crime'? What kind of parent would you be? Could you not think of a more appropriate consequence? Especially if you're supposed to be all loving?

Fourthly, religion is absurd and cannot be relied upon for any evidence of anything. Frist off, the bible is no proof of anything. The most authoritative biblical scholars will tell you that the earliest writings of the new testament were written at least a few decades after the supposed resurrection of Jesus and probably more. And this is in an age with no telecommunication or video recording. The bible is as much proof that god exists as the Harry Potter series proof that Harry Potter exists. We have no idea who wrote the books of the bible, under what circumstances, where they got their information from and etc. Not only that but the book we know as the bible was put together in the 3rd​ or 4th​ century AD by a council. And there were many books and gospels that were left out because they did not fit the narrative the early church wanted. This is not conspiracy theory but well known fact amount religious scholars. Also, religion keeps changing its mind as science evolves. We went from literal interpretation to now saying much of the old testament is metaphor. I mean even the Catholic church now accepts the earth goes around the sun and that evolution is real. This was unthinkable a few centuries ago and people were burned and tortured for saying so. If the bible was so true and to be taken literally the biggest church in the world wouldn't be doing such about turns. And don't get me started on the Catholic church selling indulgences in the middle ages…being able to buy your way out of hell. Don't make me laugh.

Fifthly, God is not loving. Besides my point above about God and sending you to hell, God is not loving. If he is a parent he is the shittiest one you could have. Think about it. Think about the Adam and Eve story. They were punished for eating from the Tree of Knowledge. Basically God wanted them to stay ignorant children all their lives. Do you want that for your children? For them to stay naïve and ignorant and obedient to you all their lives? Because that's what God wants. He doesn't want them to develop into fully formed individuals with their own views and values. And in the new testament Jesus tells us that we should be like little children if we want to inherit the kingdom of god. It sounds cute and makes for a great soundbite but have you ever really thought about it? Do you really want to give up your intellect and autonomy? Because that is the price for going to heaven. What a great parent… and not only that, God creates you knowing exactly what you will do in your life, he is omniscient so he knows before he even creates you whether you will choose to believe in him or not, whether you will CTB or not, whether you will be gay or not and basically any other sin that will supposedly send you to hell. He knows all this. He knows exactly what you will do and think throughout your life. He knows whether you will do something worthy of hell and yet he still creates you. Think about it, there he is like 'Hmm…well I see that Johnny will never accept Jesus into his heart, be gay and he will eventually take a heroin overdose to kill himself because he can't stand to live in persecution and hate from his family anymore, which according to my rules means he'll go to hell but hey, I'm gonna create him anyway.' If you disagree with this that means you disagree with the fact that God is omniscient, all knowing. And if he's not all knowing then he's a weak God. There's a lot more I can say about this topic but I won't. I strongly recommend the YouTube channel 'Theramin Trees' who explores this calmly and in depth. But just to summarise, this loving God we've been told looks after us really doesn't. He is either not omniscient or not omnipotent.

Sixthly (is that even a word?), what makes Christianity or Judaism or Islam or whatever other religion more real than any other? There have been thousands of religions around the world throughout the years. Why do we believe our one is true? For example, I was raised Christian and I'm not afraid of the Muslim hell, yet hundreds of millions of people around the world believe I'm going there. I don't because I've been brought up to believe that only my religion is true. We're not afraid of the hell of other religions, only our own. Let's take that last step and not believe in the hell of our childhood religion either. This is also why I don't believe in reincarnation, karma etc. It's just one set of beliefs among many which has just as much scientific and credible evidence as Christianity. Which is zero.

Seven (I give up). NDEs and the like. I do not believe in this as I have stated several times on different threads. NDEs are called NEAR death experiences for a reason. They are not brain death but happen when the heart stops beating the brain is receiving limited but not zero oxygen. No one has come back from complete full brain death to tell us what it was like so I dismiss any and all NDE experiences and will not argue about them anymore here or anywhere else.

Eight, religion may not be true but is still a positive force in the world. No, it's not. For individuals it might be and that's fine. If individuals get through the day because they feel there is a God looking after them then that's good. I'm not going to harangue that person to stop believing. But as a social force they are evil. They impede progress (thanks Dark Ages where science was basically considered the devil and even now science stalls in things such as stem cell research because of religion) and they trample on human rights (abortion, assisted suicide, lgbtq etc). Just because a person's beliefs bring them individual comfort does not mean religion is a good thing. If religion is the only reason someone does good things like volunteering, or charity work then I feel bad for that person. Many atheists also engage in many altruistic and charitable activities so I don't really agree with the argument that religion is needed in society. It should be an extremely private thing.
 
charlie_z

charlie_z

Student
Apr 30, 2018
183
I've seen a few threads with religious/afterlife themes lately about NDEs, hell, religions and etc and just wanted to add my two cents. I'll be straight up. I'm an atheist and this post is for anyone who is afraid, doubting or who has been traumatised by their religion. If anyone reading this is strongly religious this post is not meant as the start of a debate. You will not be able to convince me and I probably won't convince you. So I'm not going to debate the existence of God. I would, however, like to outline some things I've learned on my journey to atheism that may help other people who have been left scared, stressed or abused by religious upbringing. Post is long so feel free to skip around to parts relevant to you.

Firstly, there is no hell. There is no hell in the Christian sense of a place of brimstone and fire and a devil torturing you. Hell is not mentioned in the bible and as far as I'm aware the name Hell comes from the Norse Hel, it's what the Vikings believed in. What is mentioned in the bible is Gehenna. This is an actual place outside Jerusalem. It was considered an evil place because child sacrifices had taken place there and it was a garbage dump. An actual garbage dump where people burned rubbish. That's where the burning comes from. The most coherent interpretation I've come across is that when Jesus talked about being burned what he meant was that those who had been good on Earth would end up with God and those who had been evil would be burned to ashes and exist no more. They would be annihilated. Burnt out of existence, not burnt as torture for all eternity. Also, the Jewish religion does not have a hell. Or nowhere near what Christianity imagines as a hell. So how do Christians and Jews believe in the same God but a completely different after life?

Secondly, nowhere is it written in the Bible that suicide is a sin. There are a couple of suicides in the old testament and there is no mention of the person being punished for this. Suicide as a sin was established by the church several centuries into the religion because too many people were killing themselves to get to heaven. Think about this. How would the religion grow and who would be around to pay tithes if they all killed themselves? This was a pragmatic and economic move by the church.

Thirdly, if God does indeed send people to hell he is a sadistic bastard. Those of you who have children, can you imagine them committing any crime here on earth that you feel would make them worthy of eternal and I mean ETERNAL torture? I don't think anyone would say yes. I don't think anyone could bear to see their child tortured for ALL ETERNITY no matter what crime they may have committed. The bad things anyone happens to do on Earth are finite. But God supposedly hands out an infinite punishment for these finite crimes. Does this sound like someone who is just and fair and loving? Is this even rational? If God is perfect, how can he have such a sadistic and irrational rule? I could understand if there was some sort of scale like, if you steal you get this much time in hell, if you kill another person, you get this much time or whatever but INFINITE torture for a finite crime? Really? And not only that, supposedly God, who is your loving father, is ok with this. With just sitting back and watching his beloved children being tortured for all eternity. Could you, as a parent, do that? Sit back, knowing you have omnipotence and can rescue your child from this at any moment in time, and just watch and wring your hands and say 'Well, they made their choice when they committed that crime'? What kind of parent would you be? Could you not think of a more appropriate consequence? Especially if you're supposed to be all loving?

Fourthly, religion is absurd and cannot be relied upon for any evidence of anything. Frist off, the bible is no proof of anything. The most authoritative biblical scholars will tell you that the earliest writings of the new testament were written at least a few decades after the supposed resurrection of Jesus and probably more. And this is in an age with no telecommunication or video recording. The bible is as much proof that god exists as the Harry Potter series proof that Harry Potter exists. We have no idea who wrote the books of the bible, under what circumstances, where they got their information from and etc. Not only that but the book we know as the bible was put together in the 3rd​ or 4th​ century AD by a council. And there were many books and gospels that were left out because they did not fit the narrative the early church wanted. This is not conspiracy theory but well known fact amount religious scholars. Also, religion keeps changing its mind as science evolves. We went from literal interpretation to now saying much of the old testament is metaphor. I mean even the Catholic church now accepts the earth goes around the sun and that evolution is real. This was unthinkable a few centuries ago and people were burned and tortured for saying so. If the bible was so true and to be taken literally the biggest church in the world wouldn't be doing such about turns. And don't get me started on the Catholic church selling indulgences in the middle ages…being able to buy your way out of hell. Don't make me laugh.

Fifthly, God is not loving. Besides my point above about God and sending you to hell, God is not loving. If he is a parent he is the shittiest one you could have. Think about it. Think about the Adam and Eve story. They were punished for eating from the Tree of Knowledge. Basically God wanted them to stay ignorant children all their lives. Do you want that for your children? For them to stay naïve and ignorant and obedient to you all their lives? Because that's what God wants. He doesn't want them to develop into fully formed individuals with their own views and values. And in the new testament Jesus tells us that we should be like little children if we want to inherit the kingdom of god. It sounds cute and makes for a great soundbite but have you ever really thought about it? Do you really want to give up your intellect and autonomy? Because that is the price for going to heaven. What a great parent… and not only that, God creates you knowing exactly what you will do in your life, he is omniscient so he knows before he even creates you whether you will choose to believe in him or not, whether you will CTB or not, whether you will be gay or not and basically any other sin that will supposedly send you to hell. He knows all this. He knows exactly what you will do and think throughout your life. He knows whether you will do something worthy of hell and yet he still creates you. Think about it, there he is like 'Hmm…well I see that Johnny will never accept Jesus into his heart, be gay and he will eventually take a heroin overdose to kill himself because he can't stand to live in persecution and hate from his family anymore, which according to my rules means he'll go to hell but hey, I'm gonna create him anyway.' If you disagree with this that means you disagree with the fact that God is omniscient, all knowing. And if he's not all knowing then he's a weak God. There's a lot more I can say about this topic but I won't. I strongly recommend the YouTube channel 'Theramin Trees' who explores this calmly and in depth. But just to summarise, this loving God we've been told looks after us really doesn't. He is either not omniscient or not omnipotent.

Sixthly (is that even a word?), what makes Christianity or Judaism or Islam or whatever other religion more real than any other? There have been thousands of religions around the world throughout the years. Why do we believe our one is true? For example, I was raised Christian and I'm not afraid of the Muslim hell, yet hundreds of millions of people around the world believe I'm going there. I don't because I've been brought up to believe that only my religion is true. We're not afraid of the hell of other religions, only our own. Let's take that last step and not believe in the hell of our childhood religion either. This is also why I don't believe in reincarnation, karma etc. It's just one set of beliefs among many which has just as much scientific and credible evidence as Christianity. Which is zero.

Seven (I give up). NDEs and the like. I do not believe in this as I have stated several times on different threads. NDEs are called NEAR death experiences for a reason. They are not brain death but happen when the heart stops beating the brain is receiving limited but not zero oxygen. No one has come back from complete full brain death to tell us what it was like so I dismiss any and all NDE experiences and will not argue about them anymore here or anywhere else.

Eight, religion may not be true but is still a positive force in the world. No, it's not. For individuals it might be and that's fine. If individuals get through the day because they feel there is a God looking after them then that's good. I'm not going to harangue that person to stop believing. But as a social force they are evil. They impede progress (thanks Dark Ages where science was basically considered the devil and even now science stalls in things such as stem cell research because of religion) and they trample on human rights (abortion, assisted suicide, lgbtq etc). Just because a person's beliefs bring them individual comfort does not mean religion is a good thing. If religion is the only reason someone does good things like volunteering, or charity work then I feel bad for that person. Many atheists also engage in many altruistic and charitable activities so I don't really agree with the argument that religion is needed in society. It should be an extremely private thing.
You've given this topic a great deal of thought. I like many of your points and would like to pick your brain further on a number of your ideas. Thank you for sharing.
 
T

Ta555

Warlock
Aug 31, 2021
754
You've given this topic a great deal of thought. I like many of your points and would like to pick your brain further on a number of your ideas. Thank you for sharing.
NP! Feel free any time.
 
Sherri

Sherri

Archangel
Sep 28, 2020
8,335
You're very lucky. Those of us who grew up around religion...they tend to stick around to some degree and are hard to peel off.
I was raised in a very strict religious environment, my dad is an elder for the seventh day Adventist, so I’m the lost child who will go to hell. Accoding to him. I’m not supposed to wear jewellery when I was young, make up, smoke or drink,sex and skirts bellow the knees. Needless to say I did the opposite of that when I became loose from all that.
 
T

Ta555

Warlock
Aug 31, 2021
754
I was raised in a very strict religious environment, my dad is an elder for the seventh day Adventist, so I’m the lost child who will go to hell. Accoding to him. I’m not supposed to wear jewellery when I was young, make up, smoke or drink,sex and skirts bellow the knees. Needless to say I did the opposite of that when I became loose from all that.
That's amazing. Mine wasn't strict or anything but the ideas echo around in my mind. But they're a lot less strong and believable now
 
Justsogone

Justsogone

An unlived life
Dec 14, 2021
77
I was raised in a very strict religious environment, my dad is an elder for the seventh day Adventist, so I’m the lost child who will go to hell. Accoding to him. I’m not supposed to wear jewellery when I was young, make up, smoke or drink,sex and skirts bellow the knees. Needless to say I did the opposite of that when I became loose from all that
It's always the same bullshit.
Living under a rock 4ever
We don't deserve to waste saliva arguing with them.
 
Sherri

Sherri

Archangel
Sep 28, 2020
8,335
That's amazing. Mine wasn't strict or anything but the ideas echo around in my mind. But they're a lot less strong and believable now
I was 15 and I didn’t wanna go to church anymore, he used to drag Me out of bed to go. pierced years wss not allowed either. When he found out I had done it,he nearly ripped my years trying to get the earrings off. Yeah that’s a cult, they have been waiting for the dooms day since I can remember.
It's always the same bullshit.
Living under a rock 4ever
We don't deserve to waste saliva arguing with them.
My dad takes bible so serious that if someone punched him he would turn the other cheek like Jesus apparently did.
So when i moved out I started wearing jewlery, piercings on my eyebrow fashion at that time, tattoos, clubbing, drugs, you name it. Smoking, not weed though don’t like it.
 
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Justsogone

Justsogone

An unlived life
Dec 14, 2021
77
I was 15 and I didn’t wanna go to church anymore, he used to drag Me out of bed to go. pierced years wss not allowed either. When he found out I had done it,he nearly ripped my years trying to get the earrings off. Yeah that’s a cult, they have been waiting for the dooms day since I can remember.

My dad takes bible so serious that if someone punched him he would turn the other cheek like Jesus apparently did.
So when i moved out I started wearing jewlery, piercings on my eyebrow fashion at that time, tattoos, clubbing, drugs, you name it. Smoking, not weed though don’t like it.

I was 15 and I didn’t wanna go to church anymore, he used to drag Me out of bed to go. pierced years wss not allowed either. When he found out I had done it,he nearly ripped my years trying to get the earrings off. Yeah that’s a cult, they have been waiting for the dooms day since I can remember.

My dad takes bible so serious that if someone punched him he would turn the other cheek like Jesus apparently did.
So when i moved out I started wearing jewlery, piercings on my eyebrow fashion at that time, tattoos, clubbing, drugs, you name it. Smoking, not weed though don’t like it.
I can't put up that fucking behavior.
You did it right !
 
B

Bleak

Student
Nov 10, 2021
180
I wish I could feel as certain as you about the afterlife. I agree that the Judeo-Christian religions are absurd though and not worth taking seriously. Unfortunately they wield a lot of power in this world though.
 
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S

SofterSoftest

Member
Dec 30, 2021
5
I really like your post and it does have a calming effect.

My fear is that there are, in fact, many accounts of NDEs, and I worry that my perception of time at the moments immediately before my death would feel like an eternity. I have experienced altered states of consciousness, and I know firsthand that even if heaven and hell are empirically unsubstantiated nonsense stories (and I mostly agree with this position), our consciousness can certainly create very vivid states. Bearing that in mind, we also don't really have any evidence that the subjective experiencing of heaven and hell as states of consciousness is not possible. If I am in agonizing distress before I end my life, how can I ensure that that feeling of distress doesn't last an eternity when I stop perceiving time the way I normally do in my conscious waking state?

Anyway, this isn't at all an argument -- just some thoughts. I actually really appreciated your post for giving me more perspective on the idea of life after death. I hope nothingness is actually what happens after death.
 
T

Ta555

Warlock
Aug 31, 2021
754
I really like your post and it does have a calming effect.

My fear is that there are, in fact, many accounts of NDEs, and I worry that my perception of time at the moments immediately before my death would feel like an eternity. I have experienced altered states of consciousness, and I know firsthand that even if heaven and hell are empirically unsubstantiated nonsense stories (and I mostly agree with this position), our consciousness can certainly create very vivid states. Bearing that in mind, we also don't really have any evidence that the subjective experiencing of heaven and hell as states of consciousness is not possible. If I am in agonizing distress before I end my life, how can I ensure that that feeling of distress doesn't last an eternity when I stop perceiving time the way I normally do in my conscious waking state?

Anyway, this isn't at all an argument -- just some thoughts. I actually really appreciated your post for giving me more perspective on the idea of life after death. I hope nothingness is actually what happens after death.
Don't worry I didn't take your post as argumentative at all! Thank you for sharing your opinion. I understand where you are coming from. Maybe it does seem like an eternity who knows but one thing we know for sure is that the brain WILL eventually shut down. So it won't be an eternity. And honestly, it won't matter if the cause of death is ctb or not in that case coz everyone will experience it so don't worry. But yeah I know it's hard to get out of your system once the ideas have been planted. I'm still on the journey myself.
 
gr1lledcheese

gr1lledcheese

Member
Dec 18, 2021
74
I've seen a few threads with religious/afterlife themes lately about NDEs, hell, religions and etc and just wanted to add my two cents. I'll be straight up. I'm an atheist and this post is for anyone who is afraid, doubting or who has been traumatised by their religion. If anyone reading this is strongly religious this post is not meant as the start of a debate. You will not be able to convince me and I probably won't convince you. So I'm not going to debate the existence of God. I would, however, like to outline some things I've learned on my journey to atheism that may help other people who have been left scared, stressed or abused by religious upbringing. Post is long so feel free to skip around to parts relevant to you.

Firstly, there is no hell. There is no hell in the Christian sense of a place of brimstone and fire and a devil torturing you. Hell is not mentioned in the bible and as far as I'm aware the name Hell comes from the Norse Hel, it's what the Vikings believed in. What is mentioned in the bible is Gehenna. This is an actual place outside Jerusalem. It was considered an evil place because child sacrifices had taken place there and it was a garbage dump. An actual garbage dump where people burned rubbish. That's where the burning comes from. The most coherent interpretation I've come across is that when Jesus talked about being burned what he meant was that those who had been good on Earth would end up with God and those who had been evil would be burned to ashes and exist no more. They would be annihilated. Burnt out of existence, not burnt as torture for all eternity. Also, the Jewish religion does not have a hell. Or nowhere near what Christianity imagines as a hell. So how do Christians and Jews believe in the same God but a completely different after life?

Secondly, nowhere is it written in the Bible that suicide is a sin. There are a couple of suicides in the old testament and there is no mention of the person being punished for this. Suicide as a sin was established by the church several centuries into the religion because too many people were killing themselves to get to heaven. Think about this. How would the religion grow and who would be around to pay tithes if they all killed themselves? This was a pragmatic and economic move by the church.

Thirdly, if God does indeed send people to hell he is a sadistic bastard. Those of you who have children, can you imagine them committing any crime here on earth that you feel would make them worthy of eternal and I mean ETERNAL torture? I don't think anyone would say yes. I don't think anyone could bear to see their child tortured for ALL ETERNITY no matter what crime they may have committed. The bad things anyone happens to do on Earth are finite. But God supposedly hands out an infinite punishment for these finite crimes. Does this sound like someone who is just and fair and loving? Is this even rational? If God is perfect, how can he have such a sadistic and irrational rule? I could understand if there was some sort of scale like, if you steal you get this much time in hell, if you kill another person, you get this much time or whatever but INFINITE torture for a finite crime? Really? And not only that, supposedly God, who is your loving father, is ok with this. With just sitting back and watching his beloved children being tortured for all eternity. Could you, as a parent, do that? Sit back, knowing you have omnipotence and can rescue your child from this at any moment in time, and just watch and wring your hands and say 'Well, they made their choice when they committed that crime'? What kind of parent would you be? Could you not think of a more appropriate consequence? Especially if you're supposed to be all loving?

Fourthly, religion is absurd and cannot be relied upon for any evidence of anything. Frist off, the bible is no proof of anything. The most authoritative biblical scholars will tell you that the earliest writings of the new testament were written at least a few decades after the supposed resurrection of Jesus and probably more. And this is in an age with no telecommunication or video recording. The bible is as much proof that god exists as the Harry Potter series proof that Harry Potter exists. We have no idea who wrote the books of the bible, under what circumstances, where they got their information from and etc. Not only that but the book we know as the bible was put together in the 3rd​ or 4th​ century AD by a council. And there were many books and gospels that were left out because they did not fit the narrative the early church wanted. This is not conspiracy theory but well known fact amount religious scholars. Also, religion keeps changing its mind as science evolves. We went from literal interpretation to now saying much of the old testament is metaphor. I mean even the Catholic church now accepts the earth goes around the sun and that evolution is real. This was unthinkable a few centuries ago and people were burned and tortured for saying so. If the bible was so true and to be taken literally the biggest church in the world wouldn't be doing such about turns. And don't get me started on the Catholic church selling indulgences in the middle ages…being able to buy your way out of hell. Don't make me laugh.

Fifthly, God is not loving. Besides my point above about God and sending you to hell, God is not loving. If he is a parent he is the shittiest one you could have. Think about it. Think about the Adam and Eve story. They were punished for eating from the Tree of Knowledge. Basically God wanted them to stay ignorant children all their lives. Do you want that for your children? For them to stay naïve and ignorant and obedient to you all their lives? Because that's what God wants. He doesn't want them to develop into fully formed individuals with their own views and values. And in the new testament Jesus tells us that we should be like little children if we want to inherit the kingdom of god. It sounds cute and makes for a great soundbite but have you ever really thought about it? Do you really want to give up your intellect and autonomy? Because that is the price for going to heaven. What a great parent… and not only that, God creates you knowing exactly what you will do in your life, he is omniscient so he knows before he even creates you whether you will choose to believe in him or not, whether you will CTB or not, whether you will be gay or not and basically any other sin that will supposedly send you to hell. He knows all this. He knows exactly what you will do and think throughout your life. He knows whether you will do something worthy of hell and yet he still creates you. Think about it, there he is like 'Hmm…well I see that Johnny will never accept Jesus into his heart, be gay and he will eventually take a heroin overdose to kill himself because he can't stand to live in persecution and hate from his family anymore, which according to my rules means he'll go to hell but hey, I'm gonna create him anyway.' If you disagree with this that means you disagree with the fact that God is omniscient, all knowing. And if he's not all knowing then he's a weak God. There's a lot more I can say about this topic but I won't. I strongly recommend the YouTube channel 'Theramin Trees' who explores this calmly and in depth. But just to summarise, this loving God we've been told looks after us really doesn't. He is either not omniscient or not omnipotent.

Sixthly (is that even a word?), what makes Christianity or Judaism or Islam or whatever other religion more real than any other? There have been thousands of religions around the world throughout the years. Why do we believe our one is true? For example, I was raised Christian and I'm not afraid of the Muslim hell, yet hundreds of millions of people around the world believe I'm going there. I don't because I've been brought up to believe that only my religion is true. We're not afraid of the hell of other religions, only our own. Let's take that last step and not believe in the hell of our childhood religion either. This is also why I don't believe in reincarnation, karma etc. It's just one set of beliefs among many which has just as much scientific and credible evidence as Christianity. Which is zero.

Seven (I give up). NDEs and the like. I do not believe in this as I have stated several times on different threads. NDEs are called NEAR death experiences for a reason. They are not brain death but happen when the heart stops beating the brain is receiving limited but not zero oxygen. No one has come back from complete full brain death to tell us what it was like so I dismiss any and all NDE experiences and will not argue about them anymore here or anywhere else.

Eight, religion may not be true but is still a positive force in the world. No, it's not. For individuals it might be and that's fine. If individuals get through the day because they feel there is a God looking after them then that's good. I'm not going to harangue that person to stop believing. But as a social force they are evil. They impede progress (thanks Dark Ages where science was basically considered the devil and even now science stalls in things such as stem cell research because of religion) and they trample on human rights (abortion, assisted suicide, lgbtq etc). Just because a person's beliefs bring them individual comfort does not mean religion is a good thing. If religion is the only reason someone does good things like volunteering, or charity work then I feel bad for that person. Many atheists also engage in many altruistic and charitable activities so I don't really agree with the argument that religion is needed in society. It should be an extremely private thing.
Bit of a tangent here, but I was recently in a Torah study where we talked about the Adam and Eve story as a metaphor for growing up. The garden of Eden is kind of like childhood, where you’re taken care of by your parents and have few responsibilities. The whole confrontation between G-d, and Adam and Eve, and the serpent plays out like a parent and child confrontation where the kids misbehaved. They even pass the Buck as to who’s at fault.😊 At the end of the story they’re pushed out into the world as we all are, and they have to fend for themselves.
Something to think about.
 
D

DobryDen

Member
Jul 12, 2021
17
Wow thank you for that! That took some work to put together and its well-written. And, thanks for the thoughts, the perspective, the reasoning, all delivered in a friendly, open, supportive tone.
 
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Feeding Pigeons

Feeding Pigeons

Arcanist
Aug 5, 2021
428
Also, the Jewish religion does not have a hell.
Don't they have something like it called Sheol?

I only know that cause of the video game Binding of Isaac lol
 
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Ta555

Warlock
Aug 31, 2021
754
Bit of a tangent here, but I was recently in a Torah study where we talked about the Adam and Eve story as a metaphor for growing up. The garden of Eden is kind of like childhood, where you’re taken care of by your parents and have few responsibilities. The whole confrontation between G-d, and Adam and Eve, and the serpent plays out like a parent and child confrontation where the kids misbehaved. They even pass the Buck as to who’s at fault.😊 At the end of the story they’re pushed out into the world as we all are, and they have to fend for themselves.
Something to think about.
That's an interesting take on it! But isn't them being pushed out of Eden is presented as a punishment. It's pretty clear. Like...God is all 'You didn't obey so now suffer'...
About NDE’s I personally think they’re based on the individuals own beliefs. Not necessarily what the afterlife is actually like.
Yes, everyone sees their own version of heaven lol. No Christian talks of meeting Allah and vice versa.
Don't they have something like it called Sheol?

I only know that cause of the video game Binding of Isaac lol
Yeah Sheol which actually means grave I believe? But you're not tortured there. You're just kinda one and without God from what I know. Any Jewish person please correct me if I'm wrong.
Wow thank you for that! That took some work to put together and its well-written. And, thanks for the thoughts, the perspective, the reasoning, all delivered in a friendly, open, supportive tone.
Np! Glad you found it helpful.
 
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gr1lledcheese

gr1lledcheese

Member
Dec 18, 2021
74
That's an interesting take on it! But isn't them being pushed out of Eden is presented as a punishment. It's pretty clear. Like...God is all 'You didn't obey so now suffer'...

Yes, everyone sees their own version of heaven lol. No Christian talks of meeting Allah and vice versa.

Yeah Sheol which actually means grave I believe? But you're not tortured there. You're just kinda one and without God from what I know. Any Jewish person please correct me if I'm wrong.

Np! Glad you found it helpful.
Re: Adam and Eve, there are those parents who kick out their adult kids, for not abiding by their rules.
 
Onthe29th

Onthe29th

Student
Dec 28, 2021
170
I want to believe in reincarnation (past and future lives) but I think death will be more like being asleep without dreams. Either way, it’s an escape
 
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The_Dreamer

Member
Nov 16, 2021
17
I've seen a few threads with religious/afterlife themes lately about NDEs, hell, religions and etc and just wanted to add my two cents. I'll be straight up. I'm an atheist and this post is for anyone who is afraid, doubting or who has been traumatised by their religion. If anyone reading this is strongly religious this post is not meant as the start of a debate. You will not be able to convince me and I probably won't convince you. So I'm not going to debate the existence of God. I would, however, like to outline some things I've learned on my journey to atheism that may help other people who have been left scared, stressed or abused by religious upbringing. Post is long so feel free to skip around to parts relevant to you.

Firstly, there is no hell. There is no hell in the Christian sense of a place of brimstone and fire and a devil torturing you. Hell is not mentioned in the bible and as far as I'm aware the name Hell comes from the Norse Hel, it's what the Vikings believed in. What is mentioned in the bible is Gehenna. This is an actual place outside Jerusalem. It was considered an evil place because child sacrifices had taken place there and it was a garbage dump. An actual garbage dump where people burned rubbish. That's where the burning comes from. The most coherent interpretation I've come across is that when Jesus talked about being burned what he meant was that those who had been good on Earth would end up with God and those who had been evil would be burned to ashes and exist no more. They would be annihilated. Burnt out of existence, not burnt as torture for all eternity. Also, the Jewish religion does not have a hell. Or nowhere near what Christianity imagines as a hell. So how do Christians and Jews believe in the same God but a completely different after life?

Secondly, nowhere is it written in the Bible that suicide is a sin. There are a couple of suicides in the old testament and there is no mention of the person being punished for this. Suicide as a sin was established by the church several centuries into the religion because too many people were killing themselves to get to heaven. Think about this. How would the religion grow and who would be around to pay tithes if they all killed themselves? This was a pragmatic and economic move by the church.

Thirdly, if God does indeed send people to hell he is a sadistic bastard. Those of you who have children, can you imagine them committing any crime here on earth that you feel would make them worthy of eternal and I mean ETERNAL torture? I don't think anyone would say yes. I don't think anyone could bear to see their child tortured for ALL ETERNITY no matter what crime they may have committed. The bad things anyone happens to do on Earth are finite. But God supposedly hands out an infinite punishment for these finite crimes. Does this sound like someone who is just and fair and loving? Is this even rational? If God is perfect, how can he have such a sadistic and irrational rule? I could understand if there was some sort of scale like, if you steal you get this much time in hell, if you kill another person, you get this much time or whatever but INFINITE torture for a finite crime? Really? And not only that, supposedly God, who is your loving father, is ok with this. With just sitting back and watching his beloved children being tortured for all eternity. Could you, as a parent, do that? Sit back, knowing you have omnipotence and can rescue your child from this at any moment in time, and just watch and wring your hands and say 'Well, they made their choice when they committed that crime'? What kind of parent would you be? Could you not think of a more appropriate consequence? Especially if you're supposed to be all loving?

Fourthly, religion is absurd and cannot be relied upon for any evidence of anything. Frist off, the bible is no proof of anything. The most authoritative biblical scholars will tell you that the earliest writings of the new testament were written at least a few decades after the supposed resurrection of Jesus and probably more. And this is in an age with no telecommunication or video recording. The bible is as much proof that god exists as the Harry Potter series proof that Harry Potter exists. We have no idea who wrote the books of the bible, under what circumstances, where they got their information from and etc. Not only that but the book we know as the bible was put together in the 3rd​ or 4th​ century AD by a council. And there were many books and gospels that were left out because they did not fit the narrative the early church wanted. This is not conspiracy theory but well known fact amount religious scholars. Also, religion keeps changing its mind as science evolves. We went from literal interpretation to now saying much of the old testament is metaphor. I mean even the Catholic church now accepts the earth goes around the sun and that evolution is real. This was unthinkable a few centuries ago and people were burned and tortured for saying so. If the bible was so true and to be taken literally the biggest church in the world wouldn't be doing such about turns. And don't get me started on the Catholic church selling indulgences in the middle ages…being able to buy your way out of hell. Don't make me laugh.

Fifthly, God is not loving. Besides my point above about God and sending you to hell, God is not loving. If he is a parent he is the shittiest one you could have. Think about it. Think about the Adam and Eve story. They were punished for eating from the Tree of Knowledge. Basically God wanted them to stay ignorant children all their lives. Do you want that for your children? For them to stay naïve and ignorant and obedient to you all their lives? Because that's what God wants. He doesn't want them to develop into fully formed individuals with their own views and values. And in the new testament Jesus tells us that we should be like little children if we want to inherit the kingdom of god. It sounds cute and makes for a great soundbite but have you ever really thought about it? Do you really want to give up your intellect and autonomy? Because that is the price for going to heaven. What a great parent… and not only that, God creates you knowing exactly what you will do in your life, he is omniscient so he knows before he even creates you whether you will choose to believe in him or not, whether you will CTB or not, whether you will be gay or not and basically any other sin that will supposedly send you to hell. He knows all this. He knows exactly what you will do and think throughout your life. He knows whether you will do something worthy of hell and yet he still creates you. Think about it, there he is like 'Hmm…well I see that Johnny will never accept Jesus into his heart, be gay and he will eventually take a heroin overdose to kill himself because he can't stand to live in persecution and hate from his family anymore, which according to my rules means he'll go to hell but hey, I'm gonna create him anyway.' If you disagree with this that means you disagree with the fact that God is omniscient, all knowing. And if he's not all knowing then he's a weak God. There's a lot more I can say about this topic but I won't. I strongly recommend the YouTube channel 'Theramin Trees' who explores this calmly and in depth. But just to summarise, this loving God we've been told looks after us really doesn't. He is either not omniscient or not omnipotent.

Sixthly (is that even a word?), what makes Christianity or Judaism or Islam or whatever other religion more real than any other? There have been thousands of religions around the world throughout the years. Why do we believe our one is true? For example, I was raised Christian and I'm not afraid of the Muslim hell, yet hundreds of millions of people around the world believe I'm going there. I don't because I've been brought up to believe that only my religion is true. We're not afraid of the hell of other religions, only our own. Let's take that last step and not believe in the hell of our childhood religion either. This is also why I don't believe in reincarnation, karma etc. It's just one set of beliefs among many which has just as much scientific and credible evidence as Christianity. Which is zero.

Seven (I give up). NDEs and the like. I do not believe in this as I have stated several times on different threads. NDEs are called NEAR death experiences for a reason. They are not brain death but happen when the heart stops beating the brain is receiving limited but not zero oxygen. No one has come back from complete full brain death to tell us what it was like so I dismiss any and all NDE experiences and will not argue about them anymore here or anywhere else.

Eight, religion may not be true but is still a positive force in the world. No, it's not. For individuals it might be and that's fine. If individuals get through the day because they feel there is a God looking after them then that's good. I'm not going to harangue that person to stop believing. But as a social force they are evil. They impede progress (thanks Dark Ages where science was basically considered the devil and even now science stalls in things such as stem cell research because of religion) and they trample on human rights (abortion, assisted suicide, lgbtq etc). Just because a person's beliefs bring them individual comfort does not mean religion is a good thing. If religion is the only reason someone does good things like volunteering, or charity work then I feel bad for that person. Many atheists also engage in many altruistic and charitable activities so I don't really agree with the argument that religion is needed in society. It should be an extremely private thing.
Well said!
 
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