Why I Believe
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05-04-2017, 07:03 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(05-04-2017 05:57 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  
(05-04-2017 05:40 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  1. To be convinced there is no hell (not possible – as we cannot say either way for sure)

So what evidence is there for hell? Zero, nada, zilch.

What evidence is there for a story, made up by people to scare you into believing?

Quite a bit:

Hell -
This Wikipedia entry is just a start, there are numerous resources that will break down how hell was created and how it evolved over time. The Old Testament version is much different than the New Testament version.

This also applies to the bible as a whole, who wrote it and why? The answers are quite interesting, but can you really accept it? The answer can ultimately free you from the fear of hell.



I'd heard of the different authors of the Pentateuch but I never really gave it much thought because it never dawned on me the Bible says it was written by Moses (if it does say that). I remember chatting online to some Christians and they were even studying the fact that the Pentateuch was not solely written by Moses. Not really sure what to make of this. Does anyone know if there is a verse saying the Pentateuch was written by Moses? It's been a while since I looked.

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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05-04-2017, 07:04 AM
RE: Why I Believe
G'day mate, and welcome. Smile

(05-04-2017 05:40 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I have major issues with Christianity, from slavery, brutality, misogynistic practices, the need for a human sacrifice, the threat of an eternal agonising afterlife for some, the need for any of this. But I am scared of being wrong. I have a real phobia about going to hell. I feel trapped and as I see it, there are only two ways out for me.

I guess the first thing to do is to correlate your obvious negative (and well-founded) thoughts about Christianity—as you've listed—with the potential for the real-world existence of a place called "hell". The notion of a mythical hell is just as unsupported as human sacrifices for example.

Quote:1. To be convinced there is no hell (not possible – as we cannot say either way for sure)

2. To, not believe. All I will say is that I have major doubts. I'm having a real crisis of faith.

We can say with certainty that a place called "hell" does not exist. Over the course of thousands of years, there has never been one single bit of evidence from the billions of people who've died during that period which would confirm it. More convincingly, there is zero scientific evidence which would support the notion—which was first conceived of by ill-educated desert nomads who believed in myths and fantasy.

Quote:I ask myself, if my thought processes were not inhibited by fear and anxiety, would I still believe? Well, having a Heavenly Father sounds great to me. Someone to love and care for you, and having the biggest and strongest Dad in the world is what every child inside us wants.

I don't know how old you are, but having the "biggest and strongest" dad doesn't really equate with any adult outlook. By adulthood, one is expected to have adult perceptions and logic, and to have developed adult protective mechanisms.

Quote:Truth is, I’m too anxious to even ask myself that, which in itself speaks volumes. I can relate to Pascal’s Wager.

You can safely ignore the 400-year-old Pascal's Wager—it's only a piece of nonsense wheeled out by theists to both defend their religiosity, and as a weapon of supposed logic to wield against atheists. Consider if you will the Atheist Agnostic Wager: Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe, when there is a significant lack of evidence of any one god's existence.
This is simply a post facto justification of non-belief, rather than an argument for atheism.

Quote:... If my questions stand up to scrutiny, if I cannot have my faith torn down, then I will remain a Christian.

As an atheist, I have no intention of "tearing down" anybody's religious faith. I'll suggest alternatives to your beliefs, and explain exactly why I consider most of them ill-advised, but I won't approach this with any sort of aggressive component. At the end of the day, we're all of us entitled to the common courtesy of respect for our personal beliefs, regardless of whether our opponents see them as erroneous or illogical.

Quote:I should probably add that I am in therapy and have been since 2010 due to my fears of eternal punishment. I have been diagnosed with Complex PTSD (due to an emotionally abusive childhood), Borderline Personality Disorder, Severe Anxiety...

I'm truly sorry to hear of this, especially resulting from childhood abuse. I suffer from clinical depression, general anxiety disorder, and an N-24 (rolling) sleep disorder, so I can—to a degree—empathise with you (but for different causal factors).

Smile

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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05-04-2017, 07:06 AM
RE: Why I Believe
And I hope I'm not spoiling this, but Star Wars wasn't written by Luke Skywalker.

The Pentateuch wasn't written by Moses.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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05-04-2017, 07:10 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(05-04-2017 07:03 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  authors of the Pentateuch but I never really gave it much thought because it never dawned on me the Bible says it was written by Moses (if it does say that). I remember chatting online to some Christians and they were even studying the fact that the Pentateuch was not solely written by Moses. Not really sure what to make of this. Does anyone know if there is a verse saying the Pentateuch was written by Moses? It's been a while since I looked.

There is no archeological evidence that moses even existed, let alone wrote any books.

Here is a good resource for quotes and such:

Skeptics Annotated Bible

More interestingly for you:
Does Hell Exist?

The bible is not consistent on the concept of hell. Different variations of Christianity have different interpretations of who goes to hell and why.

Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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05-04-2017, 07:14 AM (This post was last modified: 05-04-2017 09:46 PM by M. Linoge.)
RE: Why I Believe
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"Old men make old words holy. - A fool may scrawl on a slate and if no one has the wit to wipe it clean for a thousand years the scrawl becomes the wisdom of ages."

Honorous J. Ancrath
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05-04-2017, 07:16 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(05-04-2017 06:51 AM)julep Wrote:  How certain do you feel that you've chosen the right god? There are other gods, other damnations.
A good question. I'm sure the other gods are fictitious

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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05-04-2017, 07:17 AM
RE: Why I Believe
Why not throw yourself upon the mercy of the court?

Look at it this way, if god is all knowing it knows the honest internal struggles you are facing and knows if you are faking belief. It knew this long before you ever came into being, in fact it wanted it that way.

If god is all merciful it will surely understand the limitations and failings of the very creatures it created, that is unless it is an incompetent creator.

If god is all powerful it could have easily removed any doubts you may have regarding its existence but has instead chosen to let you stew in your own juices for its own reasons or pleasure. The parent letting its children learn via their own mistakes as it were. It wants you to suffer. Maybe it gets its jollies that way, who knows right?

Maybe the whole thing is a test as to whether you believe god would contemplate punishing his creations at all. If you think it might you fail, if you think it could never do that you pass.

Interesting conundrum huh?

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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05-04-2017, 07:27 AM
RE: Why I Believe
Hah. That's some God you've got there. Only thing he can do is scare you into submission. Pfft. Not worth following a loser God like him. Do you have *any* evidence at all that he can do anything at all to you? If not, why are you worried? He's clearly a made-up bogeyman.

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If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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05-04-2017, 07:27 AM
RE: Why I Believe
I've always been an atheist, but the thought of potential damnation if it turns out to be true is something that has entered my mind at some point.

My thought process is this: If a god or god(s) are real, and the basis of getting into heaven is that you are a good person, I'd like to think I pass that test. If you'r required to have a Jesus club card to gain entry, then I'm stuffed. I know there's more to it than that, but my understanding is "if you are good, you go to heaven, if you are bad you go to hell". Surely that doesn't require to believe in anything? You can be a good person and not have any "faith" at all. And if that is the case, I'd rather go to hell for being who I want to be, rather than worship somebody because they say so.

"I don't do magic, Morty, I do science. One takes brains, the other takes dark eye liner" - Rick
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05-04-2017, 07:33 AM
RE: Why I Believe
It's only a matter of time before your god joins the rest of them.

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