I believe an introduction is in order.
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13-08-2017, 09:22 AM (This post was last modified: 13-08-2017 11:59 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: I believe introductions are in order.
(13-08-2017 08:10 AM)Anonymous Skeptic Wrote:  I know it's probably stupid to be afraid of hell (not that I can help it) since it probably isn't real but it's difficult not to be since I haven't made up my mind on whether or not I believe in God. I do lean towards atheism but I'm not sure yet. Hoping that spending some time here will help me out a bit because my head's a mess and it's lonely going through the deconversion process.

Welcome.
Deconversion is complicated :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12rP8ybp13s&t=1s
I like how this demonstrates all the multiple elements involved.

As far as hell goes, no doubt you've never been taught about this, but "hell" is actually not a "Biblical" idea. At all. The Hebrews who assembled the Bible texts did not believe in it. They thought ALL the dead went to Sheol, which was neither heaven, where all the many divine beings lived, including Yahweh, nor hell, (which was not *attached* to Christianity until it came into contact with the idea of Hades from Greek culture), and further developed later with fire and devils etc. (There are many interesting things that flow from this, including the fact that the "shade" of Jesus (the Hebrew concept) apparently was what the NT says was seen after Easter, (a shade was a dead person ... somewhat similar to, but not really, like a "ghost", which was not "recognizable", and in the NT they at first never could "recognize" Jesus).
The "fires of Gehenna" (in the valley of the Hinnom) outside the walls of Jerusalem, http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Gehenna
was where the ancient trash dump in Jerusalem was located, and burned constantly, (24/7). It ("hell") was entirely made up / attached much later to the notion that has developed today. Knowing how humans cooked it up, and *attached* the notion to a culture that never actually thought that way, is interesting and makes it easier to dump. Tongue

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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13-08-2017, 10:31 AM
RE: I believe an introduction is in order.
(13-08-2017 09:18 AM)Paleophyte Wrote:  It can be hard to see ourselves from the inside but what you have written gives some clues. These are not the thoughts of a believer.

That might be true. I mean, I can't say "I believe in God" and really mean it. Can't really say "I don't believe in God" and know for sure that's actually the case though. Maybe that's because of fear or maybe I'm just having a hard time letting go of God. I don't know.

(13-08-2017 09:22 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Deconversion is complicated :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12rP8ybp13s&t=1s
I like how this demonstrates all the multiple elements involved.

Thank you. I added that to my to-watch list a while ago and should get around to it someday soon.

Regarding hell, what about the verse in Matthew 25 that says "Then He will also say to those on his left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels'"? I remember people telling me about those verses and saying that hell will be torturous like everlasting fire.
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13-08-2017, 10:32 AM
RE: I believe an introduction is in order.
Hello! Big Grin

Hug
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13-08-2017, 10:36 AM
RE: I believe an introduction is in order.
welcome, make yourself at home.
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13-08-2017, 10:38 AM
RE: I believe an introduction is in order.
(13-08-2017 10:31 AM)Anonymous Skeptic Wrote:  That might be true. I mean, I can't say "I believe in God" and really mean it. Can't really say "I don't believe in God" and know for sure that's actually the case though.

There is a difference between "I don't believe in god" and "I believe there is no god". The first is just the recognition that the claim "god exists" hasn't met a reasonable burden of proof.

Don't worry too much about deciding immediately what you believe. Read the arguments for a god and listen to the responses explaining why the arguments are usually full of fallacies. Give yourself time to mull it over.

Quote:Maybe that's because of fear or maybe I'm just having a hard time letting go of God. I don't know.

If you haven't listened to "Letting go of god", do so.




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13-08-2017, 11:04 AM
RE: I believe an introduction is in order.
hi there!

"If you don't have a seat at the table, you're probably on the menu."

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13-08-2017, 12:24 PM
RE: I believe an introduction is in order.
(13-08-2017 10:31 AM)Anonymous Skeptic Wrote:  
(13-08-2017 09:18 AM)Paleophyte Wrote:  It can be hard to see ourselves from the inside but what you have written gives some clues. These are not the thoughts of a believer.

That might be true. I mean, I can't say "I believe in God" and really mean it. Can't really say "I don't believe in God" and know for sure that's actually the case though. Maybe that's because of fear or maybe I'm just having a hard time letting go of God. I don't know.

(13-08-2017 09:22 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Deconversion is complicated :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12rP8ybp13s&t=1s
I like how this demonstrates all the multiple elements involved.

Thank you. I added that to my to-watch list a while ago and should get around to it someday soon.

Regarding hell, what about the verse in Matthew 25 that says "Then He will also say to those on his left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels'"? I remember people telling me about those verses and saying that hell will be torturous like everlasting fire.

So, (not an expert at all in the NT), it is accepted that Matthew's audience (and this phrase appears nowhere else in the gospels), were Jews. In the tradition that certainly knew of the Teacher of Righteousness (Essenes) and Jewish Apocalypticism, Jesus was presented in Matthew by it's creators, as the Apocalyptic Prophet (the Teacher of Righeousness), whose job it was to judge. Even Jesus expected the end-times in his generation, as did Paul.
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/teac...hteousness
The subject of Jewish afterlife, who did and did not believe what, is very complicated. http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/features/....m-1.638100
All the gospels were written probably a lot later than is generally taught, so I don't have a specific answer, but by the time they were written, the Hellenization (haha, ie Greek ideas, and the influence of other cultures) was well underway. (I also don't buy that a Jesus ever said that, but that's another topic).

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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13-08-2017, 01:53 PM
RE: I believe an introduction is in order.
Welcome! I hope you find your stay to be informative. Lotsa people here who are well-versed with the Bible and Christianity in general.

Former Christian myself Smile

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13-08-2017, 02:16 PM
RE: I believe an introduction is in order.
(13-08-2017 08:10 AM)Anonymous Skeptic Wrote:  Thank you, all!

I know it's probably stupid to be afraid of hell (not that I can help it) since it probably isn't real but it's difficult not to be since I haven't made up my mind on whether or not I believe in God. I do lean towards atheism but I'm not sure yet. Hoping that spending some time here will help me out a bit because my head's a mess and it's lonely going through the deconversion process.

(13-08-2017 03:54 AM)morondog Wrote:  Consider this: if God really loves us and wants what's best for us, why does he make "salvation" dependent on whether we believe that He, invisible, undetectable God, exists and has forgiven us for our "sins"? Why doesn't he make salvation dependent on whether or not we are good people who don't rape others, enslave them, kill them etc? Wouldn't a real God care less about belief and more about actions?

It doesn't make sense at all. Christianity doesn't make sense. At least not if God is omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omniscient etc.

(13-08-2017 05:02 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Regarding hell, think for a moment how much time you've spent worrying about Muslim hell. Or any of the hundreds of other hells from hundreds of other religions. Are they scary? Are they real? I imagine you can dismiss them without a second's though. Christian hell is just the same. It's another fiction created to scare people into obediance.

You're right and I'm completely aware I'm only afraid of the Christian hell since that's the religion I've been indoctrinated into. I bet I would've thought the same about the Muslim hell if I had grown up in a Muslim family. That's one of the reasons I'm suspecting Christianity (and other religions) is man-made, but I'm scared and I keep thinking "what if you're wrong?" over and over.

It's not stupid at all to be scared. Indoctrination is extremely powerful, and it's worked for centuries to keep religions going. They got it into your brain while you were vulnerable, so you will be used to believing it's real out of habit.

On a positive note, in the vast majority of cases I've ever heard about, the fear of hell (and similar religious stuff) does fade over time once people see through the religion.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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13-08-2017, 07:34 PM
RE: I believe an introduction is in order.
Howdy Anonymous Skeptic. Thanks for opening up and sharing your thoughts.
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