Why I think the doctrine of Hell is problematic for Christianity
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22-12-2015, 04:03 AM (This post was last modified: 22-12-2015 04:14 AM by Sylia Gray.)
Why I think the doctrine of Hell is problematic for Christianity
When I became an atheist, I had a thought that came to me almost like an epiphany of why Hell is a problematic doctrine for Christianity and it deeply saddens me how it's not blatantly obvious to most Christians including my parents and my brother who are absolutely convinced that Christianity is truth. And how they are willing to go through all sort of mental gymnastic twists and contortions to defend their indefensible beliefs.

When I was a Christian, I was taught to believe that Christianity was the absolute truth! And just like many devout Christians, I absolutely believed that Christianity was truth because the bible said so and the bible is the perfectly inerrant (cough! cough! ahem!) word of God. But then, when I became an Atheist and took off my God glasses (as Seth Andrews calls them), I realized there was a gaping hole in the idea that Christianity is the ultimate truth. The doctrine of Hell and eternal damnation is ENORMOUSLY problematic for the idea that Christianity is the ultimate, absolute truth. Now, I know many of you who read this thread are aware of the problem of evil. I'm attacking this Christian doctrine here from different angle - if it's true, why threaten nonbelievers with eternal damnation for their disbelief? So aside from the problem of evil argument, here is another reason why I find the doctrine of Hell so problematic to Christianity.

They way I see the concept of truth is that whenever an idea (whatever this idea maybe) is considered truth, it should be able to stand up with evidence to support it in the face of intense scrutiny (experiments, peer review, etc.). And in order to get people to accept this idea as truth, what should be needed is plenty of solid, convincing evidence that supporters of this idea should not have to resort to scare tactics to get people to believe. You don't need to scare people to believe in the theory of evolution as truth. It has already undergone and successfully withstood over 150 years of rigorous testing and plenty of evidence has been discovered with even more being discovered to this day. All that needs to be done (and is being done) to get people to accept evolution as truth is present the evidence to them and educate them. And if there are people who continue to reject an idea that is thoroughly tested and proven by sufficient evidence, then those people are either still ignorant (which not necessarily bad as long they're willing to learn more and change their position) or delusional.

Christianity, on the other hand, makes an extraordinary claim that there is this magical Jewish sky wizard called "Yahweh" who fucked some poor virgin teenager (isn't this rape, by the way?) to give birth to himself to sacrifice himself to save mankind from the Hell that he himself created. This is one of the reasons why I came to think that Christianity one of the most dumbest religions ever conceived, in my opinion. The God of the bible would have to be, by definition, an idiot because for an all powerful god, there would have to be a much better way to fix the world that he himself fucked up and blames us for, without thousands of years of all this drama. But that's a whole different subject of its own. So what makes it so glaringly problematic for me to accept Christianity as truth is:

(1) It discourages questioning its doctrine because it is claimed that their scripture is the word of God. (Jesus answered, "It is said: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'" - Luke 4:12)

(2) It lacks evidence. And any evidence brought up by apologists is dubious and often packaged with hackneyed arguments that have debunked over and over again.

(3) According to Christian doctrines, it doesn't matter whether you, as a nonbeliever, were good or bad during your lifetime. If you don't believe in Christianity, then it's "Fuck you! Go to Hell!" And that's the bottom line.

In conclusion, Christianity is NOT the absolute truth. It's not even just simply the truth because it's an idea that fails to stand on its own with no genuine solid evidence to support it. It discourages people from questioning its doctrines (because then you'd be testing their God). Instead of being backed by solid evidence, nonbeliever are threatened with eternal damnation if they don't believe by faith. If Christianity is absolute truth, why does it rely on fear tactics to get people to believe instead of relying on convincing evidence. And where are all of its supporting evidence outside the Bible? This can't be truth. It's ludicrous!

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22-12-2015, 05:09 AM
RE: Why I think the doctrine of Hell is problematic for Christianity
Concepts of utopia afterlife and concepts of retribution for transgressions against the tribe are much older than the books of Abraham and existed in polytheism long before. Now if you hear Jews tell it they would claim that their religion and Yahweh have no concept of hell, but still the OT god even without that still does not take kindly to dissent to the tribe.

The Yahweh character is a name taken out of Canaanite polytheism as part of a "divine family" in which El was the head god and Yahweh was a lesser god or Elohim(lesser gods).

No, Christianity is not the truth, nor is any religion for that matter. All religions that are believed today and those of the past are simply human made and stem from competing ideas, not real gods.

Religion is a result of human's flawed perceptions, it is merely a reflection of our own attributes and desires. I don't even give Buddhism or Hinduism a pass. There was no religion 200,000 years ago, much less 4 billion years ago, much less 14 billion years ago. Religion is not a requirement for evolution to occur. The dinosaurs didn't pray to Jesus and still went extinct. Cockroaches and bacteria don't build mosques and have been around far longer than humans and outnumber humans.

I find it absurd once you know it takes on ray of light 100,000 years at the speed of light to cross our galaxy, or the 10s of billions of stars in our galaxy alone, and the 100s of billions of galaxies in our known universe, to think that all this was put here just for humans.

If you have not, which most atheists I know have, The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins is a standard most read, but an author I don't think got enough attention and just as important if not more is Victor Stenger,

"God The Failed Hypothesis" Victor Stenger
"The New Atheism" Victor Stenger

I think are must reads.

While what we see is mostly Christianity I always like to point out there really is nothing new under the sun as far as religion as a human invented concept. It is simply gap filling, a placebo, a false comfort. And Christians are not the only ones to attempt to debunk science only to try to co opt it when they cant debunk it. I have been at this for almost 15 years and seen every major religion"s followers try to attack science or claim to be the gatekeeper of science.

Science is not a religion, it is a tool and it does not, nor ever will prop up any religion or any god claim. Science is completely independent of religion. It is why a computer works in Japan and in North Korea and in Iran and in Mexico and in Canada. It is why a cell phone works and why we have doctors and why we have put humans on the moon and probes on Mars.

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22-12-2015, 07:36 AM
RE: Why I think the doctrine of Hell is problematic for Christianity
(22-12-2015 04:03 AM)Sylia Gray Wrote:  It discourages people from questioning its doctrines (because then you'd be testing their God).

Who does? I don't recall a time where I was ever discouraged from questioning it's doctrines. In fact it's something the writers of scripture do all the time, in the ever expanding and changing perception of God, like the questioning in the book of Job, the writers rejections of the belief that suffering was a punishment from God.

For me, I've always felt that if Christianity proclaims itself as true, then it should be receptive to doubts, and questioning, which I think in its long tradition, that scaled 2,000 years, with the reformation, that made interpretation a matter of individual conscious, etc... a tradition that has been read, and scrutinized, and picked apart by every level, by believers and unbelievers, by Christians of variety of traditions, by our great authors, like Dostoevsky, and great atheists philosophers like Nietzsche.

There's perhaps very few if any other worldview, or belief system, that has been questioned, or scrutinized to such an extent as it has.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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22-12-2015, 07:58 AM
RE: Why I think the doctrine of Hell is problematic for Christianity
(22-12-2015 07:36 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(22-12-2015 04:03 AM)Sylia Gray Wrote:  It discourages people from questioning its doctrines (because then you'd be testing their God).

Who does? I don't recall a time where I was ever discouraged from questioning it's doctrines. In fact it's something the writers of scripture do all the time, in the ever expanding and changing perception of God, like the questioning in the book of Job, the writers rejections of the belief that suffering was a punishment from God.

For me, I've always felt that if Christianity proclaims itself as true, then it should be receptive to doubts, and questioning, which I think in its long tradition, that scaled 2,000 years, with the reformation, that made interpretation a matter of individual conscious, etc... a tradition that has been read, and scrutinized, and picked apart by every level, by believers and unbelievers, by Christians of variety of traditions, by our great authors, like Dostoevsky, and great atheists philosophers like Nietzsche.

There's perhaps very few if any other worldview, or belief system, that has been questioned, or scrutinized to such an extent as it has.

When examined objectively and without presupposition, Christian theology fails every time. It is nonsense.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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22-12-2015, 08:00 AM
RE: Why I think the doctrine of Hell is problematic for Christianity
(22-12-2015 07:58 AM)Chas Wrote:  When examined, Christian theology fails every time. It is nonsense.

To you of course it does. But this tends to say more about you then Christian theology.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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22-12-2015, 08:08 AM
RE: Why I think the doctrine of Hell is problematic for Christianity
(22-12-2015 07:36 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(22-12-2015 04:03 AM)Sylia Gray Wrote:  It discourages people from questioning its doctrines (because then you'd be testing their God).

Who does? I don't recall a time where I was ever discouraged from questioning it's doctrines. In fact it's something the writers of scripture do all the time, in the ever expanding and changing perception of God, like the questioning in the book of Job, the writers rejections of the belief that suffering was a punishment from God.

Whut? I guess that's your interpretation, the book of Job was about god basically saying- who are you to question god?

BTW- God refuses to tell Job the truth- that God was in a dick-waving contest with the devil and that was why everything happened to him.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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22-12-2015, 08:30 AM
RE: Why I think the doctrine of Hell is problematic for Christianity
(22-12-2015 08:00 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(22-12-2015 07:58 AM)Chas Wrote:  When examined, Christian theology fails every time. It is nonsense.

To you of course it does. But this tends to say more about you then Christian theology.

The Bible has:

A talking snake and a talking donkey.
Adam and Eve being born of dust/rib--when evidence of how humans came to be tells otherwise.
Stories of a great worldwide flood with no scientific evidence that one ever occurred.
A God writing through people into a magical book.
A God that no one has ever truly seen with their own eyes.
Similar stories and myths such as Moses and Sargon.
Prayer that doesn't work.
Circumcision as a pact with God (something that was already going on in other cultures in that area, so it really wasn't anything noteworthy).
A myriad of laws that are very similar to those of other nearby cultures who believed in other gods.
An explanation of how animals become speckled/spotted--they do this by looking at a speckled or spotted rod while getting it on.
Archaic ideas on menstruation and women--which reflected the cultures of the time.
Sacrifice of animals--again nothing special--was going on in other places to other gods. This should illustrate to you that it was a learned custom and not a god expected one.
A demigod (i.e. Jesus) who practiced "miracles"--something that others were doing around this time as well, again nothing noteworthy. Jesus just happened to become legend.

And this is the short list. The list goes on and on as to why Christianity does not stand up beyond faith.

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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22-12-2015, 08:44 AM
RE: Why I think the doctrine of Hell is problematic for Christianity
(22-12-2015 08:08 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Whut? I guess that's your interpretation, the book of Job was about god basically saying- who are you to question god?

BTW- God refuses to tell Job the truth- that God was in a dick-waving contest with the devil and that was why everything happened to him.

God is primarily a side character in the story. The character of Job has no understanding of his suffering, but he rejects the main perceptions of suffering among his peers, and among the community in which it's being written for, who interpret suffering as God's punishment, and Job rejects this view, and the writer closes the book with the question left open.

The hall mark of Jewish history, jewish scriptures, of even the very name Isreal, is this constant struggle with God, the requisitioning of old wisdom, to reimagine a tribal God of the Hebrews, as the only God of humanity. Those who don't understand, really haven't read the bible in any meaningful way at all.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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22-12-2015, 08:48 AM
RE: Why I think the doctrine of Hell is problematic for Christianity
(22-12-2015 08:44 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(22-12-2015 08:08 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Whut? I guess that's your interpretation, the book of Job was about god basically saying- who are you to question god?

BTW- God refuses to tell Job the truth- that God was in a dick-waving contest with the devil and that was why everything happened to him.

God is primarily a side character in the story. The character of Job has no understanding of his suffering, but he rejects the main perceptions of suffering among his peers, and among the community in which it's being written for, who interpret suffering as God's punishment, and Job rejects this view, and the writer closes the book with the question left open.

The hall mark of Jewish history, jewish scriptures, of even the very name Isreal, is this constant struggle with God, the requisitioning of old wisdom, to reimagine a tribal God of the Hebrews, as the only God of humanity. Those who don't understand, really haven't read the bible in any meaningful way at all.

So you are agreeing the Bible is an imagined creation of the Jewish people?

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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22-12-2015, 08:57 AM
RE: Why I think the doctrine of Hell is problematic for Christianity
(22-12-2015 04:03 AM)Sylia Gray Wrote:  When I became an atheist, I had a thought that came to me almost like an epiphany of why Hell is a problematic doctrine for Christianity and it deeply saddens me how it's not blatantly obvious to most Christians including my parents and my brother who are absolutely convinced that Christianity is truth. And how they are willing to go through all sort of mental gymnastic twists and contortions to defend their indefensible beliefs.

When I was a Christian, I was taught to believe that Christianity was the absolute truth! And just like many devout Christians, I absolutely believed that Christianity was truth because the bible said so and the bible is the perfectly inerrant (cough! cough! ahem!) word of God. But then, when I became an Atheist and took off my God glasses (as Seth Andrews calls them), I realized there was a gaping hole in the idea that Christianity is the ultimate truth. The doctrine of Hell and eternal damnation is ENORMOUSLY problematic for the idea that Christianity is the ultimate, absolute truth. Now, I know many of you who read this thread are aware of the problem of evil. I'm attacking this Christian doctrine here from different angle - if it's true, why threaten nonbelievers with eternal damnation for their disbelief? So aside from the problem of evil argument, here is another reason why I find the doctrine of Hell so problematic to Christianity.

They way I see the concept of truth is that whenever an idea (whatever this idea maybe) is considered truth, it should be able to stand up with evidence to support it in the face of intense scrutiny (experiments, peer review, etc.). And in order to get people to accept this idea as truth, what should be needed is plenty of solid, convincing evidence that supporters of this idea should not have to resort to scare tactics to get people to believe. You don't need to scare people to believe in the theory of evolution as truth. It has already undergone and successfully withstood over 150 years of rigorous testing and plenty of evidence has been discovered with even more being discovered to this day. All that needs to be done (and is being done) to get people to accept evolution as truth is present the evidence to them and educate them. And if there are people who continue to reject an idea that is thoroughly tested and proven by sufficient evidence, then those people are either still ignorant (which not necessarily bad as long they're willing to learn more and change their position) or delusional.

Christianity, on the other hand, makes an extraordinary claim that there is this magical Jewish sky wizard called "Yahweh" who fucked some poor virgin teenager (isn't this rape, by the way?) to give birth to himself to sacrifice himself to save mankind from the Hell that he himself created. This is one of the reasons why I came to think that Christianity one of the most dumbest religions ever conceived, in my opinion. The God of the bible would have to be, by definition, an idiot because for an all powerful god, there would have to be a much better way to fix the world that he himself fucked up and blames us for, without thousands of years of all this drama. But that's a whole different subject of its own. So what makes it so glaringly problematic for me to accept Christianity as truth is:

(1) It discourages questioning its doctrine because it is claimed that their scripture is the word of God. (Jesus answered, "It is said: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'" - Luke 4:12)

(2) It lacks evidence. And any evidence brought up by apologists is dubious and often packaged with hackneyed arguments that have debunked over and over again.

(3) According to Christian doctrines, it doesn't matter whether you, as a nonbeliever, were good or bad during your lifetime. If you don't believe in Christianity, then it's "Fuck you! Go to Hell!" And that's the bottom line.

In conclusion, Christianity is NOT the absolute truth. It's not even just simply the truth because it's an idea that fails to stand on its own with no genuine solid evidence to support it. It discourages people from questioning its doctrines (because then you'd be testing their God). Instead of being backed by solid evidence, nonbeliever are threatened with eternal damnation if they don't believe by faith. If Christianity is absolute truth, why does it rely on fear tactics to get people to believe instead of relying on convincing evidence. And where are all of its supporting evidence outside the Bible? This can't be truth. It's ludicrous!

As far as your # 2 above there are other Babble verses that say the opposite. "Prove all things, hold fast to that which is right," My feeling is that the greatest accomplishment of the Babble is that it directly contradicts itself in all and every thing it says. Many Christians do not believe in the idea of Hell at all! SDA's for one.
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