Atheists who fear hell
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24-01-2015, 11:28 AM
Atheists who fear hell
Those of us who are atheists can agree that atheism is simply a rejection of the assertion that god exists. But I think it's reasonable to assume that most of us reject the supernatural in general. Of course that's not the definition of atheism but I think they often go hand in hand.
When I first came to reject god all the little beliefs that surrounded the idea came crashing down.
There was a time when I was afraid of the bogie man (sp?) but once I realized it was a fantasy the fear disappeared. There was no "what if I'm wrong?"
This is why I can't wrap my head around the idea that a non believer would still have a fear of hell. How can one fear something he does not believe exists? Why would a non existent entity punish anyone?
Some insight on this would be very helpful..
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24-01-2015, 11:55 AM
RE: Atheists who fear hell
(24-01-2015 11:28 AM)Drunkin Druid Wrote:  Those of us who are atheists can agree that atheism is simply a rejection of the assertion that god exists. But I think it's reasonable to assume that most of us reject the supernatural in general. Of course that's not the definition of atheism but I think they often go hand in hand.
When I first came to reject god all the little beliefs that surrounded the idea came crashing down.
There was a time when I was afraid of the bogie man (sp?) but once I realized it was a fantasy the fear disappeared. There was no "what if I'm wrong?"
This is why I can't wrap my head around the idea that a non believer would still have a fear of hell. How can one fear something he does not believe exists? Why would a non existent entity punish anyone?
Some insight on this would be very helpful..

Life long non-believer,here. Never exposed to religion. Didn't even know someone named Jesus existed until about 9 years old.

Hell? Hell is just a colorful word to use in a sentence. "A snow ball's chance in hell", "hells' bells", "that's a hellofa nice car ya' got there, Mac."

"Or, who the hell do you think you are?" Or, "who the hell's this Jesus guy, anyway?"

That's what hell is to a non believer.

Sorry, but when you die you RIP.....Rot In Peace. But, hell there's nothing so bad about that. Look on the bright side, you'll turn into a tree or flowers, maybe a tomato. Thumbsup

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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24-01-2015, 11:58 AM
RE: Atheists who fear hell
(24-01-2015 11:28 AM)Drunkin Druid Wrote:  Those of us who are atheists can agree that atheism is simply a rejection of the assertion that god exists. But I think it's reasonable to assume that most of us reject the supernatural in general. Of course that's not the definition of atheism but I think they often go hand in hand.
When I first came to reject god all the little beliefs that surrounded the idea came crashing down.
There was a time when I was afraid of the bogie man (sp?) but once I realized it was a fantasy the fear disappeared. There was no "what if I'm wrong?"
This is why I can't wrap my head around the idea that a non believer would still have a fear of hell. How can one fear something he does not believe exists? Why would a non existent entity punish anyone?
Some insight on this would be very helpful..

Well, while it is reasonable to expect an atheist to reject the supernatural, I would not necessarily assert that completely. Here's why.

Theism usually presents itself as a system to explain the world, the universe and everything. Whilst it appeals to deep seated needs, I suggest that it acts primarily in the conscious mind, which is why it is usually enforced through indoctrination. This is why I hold that "successful" religions are in essence political organisations, as those that persist are usually closely associated with the state.

However, there are several areas of human thinking and emotion that we should also consider. For example, superstition (and I'm on shaky ground here not having studied it formally), which I understand is the origination of beliefs based on a propensity to assign significance to events (especially coincidences). Useful as a survival tool, it creates fertile ground for irrational belief. Dreams are another example of a natural process that might reinforce superstition.

Finally, I suggest that whilst we can easily let go of the concept of a benevolent deity, I suspect the fear of a malign one, however irrational, might be a little more difficult to let go of, if only because such a idea acts at the same level as our fear of sharks, for example. Who remembers being afraid to go into the water after seeing the first Jaws movie?

I could be wrong though....I'd be interested to hear what else people bring to this.

"I don't mind being wrong...it's a time I get to learn something new..."
Me.
N.B: I routinely make edits to posts to correct grammar or spelling, or to restate a point more clearly. I only notify edits if they materially change meaning.
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24-01-2015, 01:01 PM
RE: Atheists who fear hell
No criticism meant - but isn't an atheist who fears hell, sorta like a bald guy who parts his hair on the left????


Just wondering...

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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24-01-2015, 01:17 PM (This post was last modified: 24-01-2015 01:53 PM by CleverUsername.)
RE: Atheists who fear hell
(24-01-2015 11:28 AM)Drunkin Druid Wrote:  There was a time when I was afraid of the bogie man (sp?) but once I realized it was a fantasy the fear disappeared. There was no "what if I'm wrong?"

In my experience, belief (I use the word loosely, more like brief irrational thoughts) in the boogieman can come back under the right conditions. It might be when you're alone at night and hear a creaking sound nearby, or something like that. I imagine the same applies for hell. Like, maybe you've recently been affected by a death and it's screwing with your mind, or something.


As for actually worrying about it without any special circumstances, that I don't get either.

Popcorn I put more thought into fiction than theists put into reality.
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24-01-2015, 01:47 PM
RE: Atheists who fear hell
Because it's child abuse.

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24-01-2015, 01:56 PM
RE: Atheists who fear hell
(24-01-2015 01:47 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Because it's child abuse.



#sigh
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24-01-2015, 09:03 PM
RE: Atheists who fear hell
You just have to remember that Hell as an actual place filled with fire and pain was something that was invented deliberately to frighten children.

If we are scarred psychologically as children, then the wounds take a very long time to heal. Perhaps they will never heal.

Just remember... Your logic, is your shield.

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25-01-2015, 12:41 AM
Atheists who fear hell
(24-01-2015 11:28 AM)Drunkin Druid Wrote:  This is why I can't wrap my head around the idea that a non believer would still have a fear of hell.

I was unaware that any atheists had a fear of hell. Do you have examples of any?
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25-01-2015, 01:18 AM
RE: Atheists who fear hell
When me and my brother were children my grandfather used to put us in the woods two hours before sunrise to hunt. One of those times it was as dark as a coal mine. I shit you not a mountain lion let out the most blood curdling scream I have ever heard not fifty yards from me. It was the closest I've ever come to fearing the supernatural. My brother and I sat back to back with our rifles cocked till daylight. Even with a child's imagination I realized there was a logical explanation, but I was still scared shitless. There is no hell just mountain lions.
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