Atheists who fear hell
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25-01-2015, 09:59 AM
RE: Atheists who fear hell
(25-01-2015 12:41 AM)KUSA Wrote:  
(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?

They are out there. Jus a few days ago I was listening to The Atheist Experience (I don't know why as most of those fuckers on that show annoy me to no end) and there was a person with this problem. I think there might have been someone on this forum dealing with this. I'm pretty sure there was something on The Thinking Atheist podcast about it. It seems there are plenty of atheist that have a residual fear of hell.
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25-01-2015, 11:11 AM
RE: Atheists who fear hell
I can't think of any justification for teaching children about hell.

I was brought up to believe that hell was basically just oblivion, and so I didn't get that full on terror.

But if some atheists are still afraid of it, despite knowing it is irrational, then that just goes to show that it is nothing less than child abuse. And like all forms of child abuse, the psychological effects are long term. Its damaging, and its designed from the outset to suppress rational thought, and curiosity.

Its a disgusting idea.

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25-01-2015, 11:30 AM
RE: Atheists who fear hell
(25-01-2015 01:18 AM)Jack_Ripper Wrote:  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.
I think I would have needed a change of pants.

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The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
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25-01-2015, 11:39 AM
RE: Atheists who fear hell
Whether I believe or not, if there's a hell I'm going to it right alongside most self proclaimed Christians.

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25-01-2015, 11:39 AM
RE: Atheists who fear hell
(25-01-2015 01:18 AM)Jack_Ripper Wrote:  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.

I was doing a silent stalk out to my hunting blind before light one morning - and a coyote howled less than 100 yards away from me......

I'm an adult, I KNOW what it is, I KNOW it'd piss all over itself if I knew it was there and it STILL raised the hairs on the back of my neck.......

Hard to overcome instinct. They're there for a good reason.

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27-01-2015, 12:35 PM
RE: 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. How can one fear something he does not believe exists? Why would a non existent entity punish anyone?

It's because believing and knowing are two different things and also because indoctrination is very powerful, especially when it starts very early in life. For years after I became an atheist, I occasionally would have nagging doubts of "what if I'm wrong" and then the fear of hell would creep back in. It usually only lasted a moment or two before I would realize how ridiculous the fear was. But it was the doubts that brought it on - doubts because my atheism was based more on logic than anything. It wasn't until I learned a lot of facts that supported my atheism that I developed enough confidence to stop having the doubts and therefore stop the fears too. I had to go from believing that all the religions with hell in them are wrong to knowing that they are wrong before I could be completely free from the doubts.

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27-01-2015, 03:40 PM (This post was last modified: 27-01-2015 03:45 PM by Lienda Bella.)
RE: Atheists who fear hell
It might be in the training they have had. I didn't get very strict guide lines in my family with religion, so I don't have the same baggage as some people here probably do. I'm going to try to think about it right now.

I'm thinking of some kid with parents who are very specific. They were taught to follow a certain goal themselves, so they feel it's perfectly acceptable to train the child for it. He gets reminded of the goal whether he's good or not with an "or else" concept attached to it. The "or else" is so important that the parents secretly giggle at or say bad things about people who don't desire that same goal as his family does.

The child learns this example and stands a good chance of repeating discriminate behavior himself, thinking that those people are the inferior party. The end goal is more important now, because it makes him special. If putting his elbows on the table is considered a minor violation(sin) of the holy goal, he gets a whack on the back of his head. At first he can't help doing it, but gets whacked enough times to start checking himself regularly. He doesn't like being slapped, and eventually he learns to be nervous about putting his elbows there.

Despite doing what he is supposed to, he gets a near constant reminder that he will be slapped very harshly for not towing the line. His mind gets trained in this and becomes a habit like the elbows to the table. He knows that it's the way a boy is supposed to behave after being told countless times and disciplined for stepping out of line.

At age 28, he finally realizes that it's ok to rest your arms on the table and enjoy a mug of blackberry tea. However, he often finds himself avoiding it, and that becomes very frustrating. He can't help being uncomfortable about how sloppy or rude he looks if he were to place his left elbow onto something. He does it anyway sometimes, because he wants to feel free of this irrational burden. For a few years, he suspects deep inside that he would look like an idiot or a jerk for doing so, but now has to fight the idea every time he visits the tea house. He told himself "Let's just consider this a mild disorder and keep training ourselves out of this. I has to go away someday."

Of course, I am assuming this pattern.
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27-01-2015, 03:48 PM
RE: Atheists who fear hell
So yeah. Those of you who thought and worked your way out of it, pat yourself on the back or something. Not everyone has that skill set.
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14-02-2015, 01:16 AM
RE: Atheists who fear hell
I began to doubt the concept of hell in Middle School, but around the seventh grade I became friends with a kid from a devout Presbyterian family. I was invited to observe Bible Study several times at his house and watched Kirk Cameron's opus, "Left Behind" with his family that Easter. Though I was still not fully convinced that I still accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I really did buy into the film's message that sometime soon Christ would come again to raise all believers into heaven to meet their creator, and the rest of us would be left behind for a period of extended tribulation as punishment.

For the next few months I would often wake in the middle of the night and anxiously look to see that my brother and parents had not been reaped in their sleep.

"Men willingly believe what they wish." -Julius Caesar
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14-02-2015, 07:24 AM
RE: Atheists who fear hell
Of course, no True Atheist™ fears hell. Big Grin

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