I am 13 years old. I was raised Catholic. My family isn't particularly religious, but my school is. My school taught me to accept religion at face value. When I was younger, I did accept religion, and I didn't think anything of it. I never really thought about challenging it, and I always feared hell. About 2 years ago, after a trip to a Science museum with my school class, things began to change. I began to realise that science actually makes sense, and although we cannot explain everything, the current answers science has to offer seem to satisfy me more than the answers that religion has to offer. Because I was younger, not only did science seem to make sense, but I kind of liked the idea of there not being a creator that always watches over people. I liked the idea of being free and I thought that the idea of evolution totally made sense. Recently, a friend of mine who is religious has been kind of trying to convert me, and has sent me a few youtube videos to try to convince me that I am incorrect. At first I didn't really take these videos seriously, but most of these videos talked about Near Death Experiences and how all these atheists went to hell during their experiences. I guess seeing those videos brought my old fear back to life and now I am kind of scared again. My dad says he doesn't believe in a creator, and now I am worried for him. It is strange because deep down I know that there is not a lot of evidence for religion being true, but I still fear death in case it may be true. Now I am almost hoping there is no afterlife because if there is no life after death, at least I know that there will not be any pain or any negative experiences. I guess you could say I am being controlled by my own fear. What can I do about this? Also, I hate to ask for a lot, but I wanted to share a video that kind of scares me and see what you guys think of the video.
Thanks to anyone who answers this in advance.
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It's non-sense. We shouldn't be surprised that people have weird dreams/hallucinations when they are not of sound mind and body. When they start 'coming back' with verifiable information that they couldn't have had access to ahead of time, then I'll pay attention, but they never do. They will cry it from the rafters that they have, but it never pans out.
And don't let them try to tell you that the similarities between the hallucinations/dreams mean there is some external reality to them. Who hasn't had a dream that they were back in high school (for those old enough)? Or that they were repeating some ordinary process over and over again, but making no progress towards a goal? Who hasn't had a dream that they were inexplicitly naked in an public setting? No one seems to think these almost universal dreams implies the existence of a supernatural creature that is trying to get you to go to work nude; but when you dream/hallucinate about a shared religious mythology, they jump to that conclusion.
First of all, Howard Storm doesn't speak for atheists in general. Those of us who have reached atheism by way of reason and study are hardly going to be calling out to a Christian Jesus in an hour of need! To us it would make as much sense to call out to a Hindu deity! Judging by his story, Howard Storm appears to have been thoroughly indoctrinated in Christianity with, at best, a thin veneer of atheism. He apes the old lie that people adopt atheism to enjoy sins. This would fit in nicely with the hypothesis that the whole video was a dishonest act designed to discredit atheism. At best he was a rather shallow atheist with serious doubts. Thus, at death's door his atheism, a mere veneer, departs to reveal his real beliefs/fears.
A real scientist, of course, would not even look into such an account. First of all there is no serious documentation. Probably, discounting possible fraud, Howard Storm really did have some sort of dramatic experience. Of course, it gets interpreted according to his latent belief in Christianity. In other cultures it would have been interpreted in other ways. Some people have reported no religious messages or images at all in their near-death experiences.
The big take-home point is that when your brain is starved of oxygen or other necessities by a failing body it can produce all kinds of feelings and visions, and like dreams, where essentially random activity in the brain is assigned meaning, meaning is attached according to one's views. Hence, it is not terribly surprising that Howard Storm would meet his Jesus rather than some Hindu deity or Mother Mary.
So, Pork222, don't go drawing unwarranted conclusions here, conclusions unsupported by evidence! This is not an objective account of what actually happened. At best, it is the interpretation of a frightened brain in a failing body, an interpretation almost certainly framed by Howard Storm's deep, Christian underpinnings covered by a thin veneer of atheism.
Thank you very much for your well thought out answer! I wasn't thinking about this using logic. At least, I wanted to but fear hindered me in doing so. It is people like you who highlight logic and as a person who is kind of on the fence, I appreciate it.
Dreams can inspire or terrify us, because they seem completely real when we're in them. But they all come from the same place--the subconscious mind. The only link to the external world is jumbled fragments of your memories and experiences. I have dreams about being lost and trying to find my way to home to places I lived decades ago, about being chased by the police,
[Edited to add that I've only been chased by the police in a dream, and that was when I fell asleep watching a "Lethal Weapon" video.]
Seven billion people have several dreams every night That's a lot of dreams. By sheer chance, a few of them are going to predict actual events, and they'll get coverage in the tabloid media. We never hear anything about the 99.999999% of dreams that predict nothing.
The near-death dreams are by definition the result of dire medical situations. It's hardly surprising that our brains will do funny things when we're injured, drugged or in pain. If you have your near-death experience in a hospital, you'll probably see the proverbial light. There's always a big light above operating tables, so that's hardly surprising. You'll also be surrounded by people dressed in white or blue, who might look like angels or demons. They're doctors and nurses.
The man in the video you shared was taken ill in a foreign country and had to wait for hours in severe pain to get medical attention. Who knows what chemical imbalances were occurring in his body and brain? The experience obviously had a profound effect on him, but that doesn't make it real. Also, don't forget that there's an awful lot of money to be made through this type of evangelical religion.
- "When I was younger, I did accept religion, and I didn't think anything of it. I never really thought about challenging it"
That's a big part of how it works, religious people will almost never tell a child that "It's Okay to not believe in any religion.".
- "not only did science seem to make sense, but I kind of liked the idea of there not being a creator that always watches over people. I liked the idea of being free"
It sounds like you want to think for yourself, good for you!
The good thing about science and scepticism is that you don't have to "accept it because you're told so", instead you can go digging in any subject you would like to know more about, even get specialized education in that area.
Another thing people might not tell you outright, is these alternatives:
* Millions and millions of people believe in gods without denying science, without trying to force their own beliefs onto others. But this requires a lot of loose interpretation of scripture, as if most of it is just metaphors.
* Belief in a divine creator, who shaped the creation of the universe and guided life, but not a personal god that listens to prayers. Scripture applies very little here. (Deism)
Some choose to put their foot down and tell everyone that they don't believe! Others want to fly under the radar, keep their doubts to themselves because it's not worth the hassle. Being only 13, it might be a good thing to stay neutral.
- "Recently, a friend of mine who is religious has been kind of trying to convert me, and has sent me a few youtube videos to try to convince me that I am incorrect. At first I didn't really take these videos seriously, but most of these videos talked about Near Death Experiences and how all these atheists went to hell during their experiences. I guess seeing those videos brought my old fear back to life and now I am kind of scared again."
You friend probably means well, but is doing damage instead.
- "...and how all these atheists went to hell during their experiences...."
This actually made me laugh out loud. LoL.
My question for that is: Where are they getting their information? Can they produce these "atheists" who had experiences where they went to hell?
It's just scare tactics. But if the viewer believes it, it can be effective, so I understand your concern. Try to not let them play your emotions against you and look for the answers yourself. The video is trying to feed you with what they want you to think, instead of letting you think for yourself.
It's absolutely GREAT that you have a dad who openly tells you he does not believe in a creator. This gives you the opportunity to talk about it. My advice, if you two can talk to each other in a productive way, is that you should ask him more about his view on the subject and honestly tell him your questions and what your worries are.
"deep down I know that there is not a lot of evidence for religion being true, but I still fear death in case it may be true."
It can take years for people to get rid of these fears.
- "I guess you could say I am being controlled by my own fear. What can I do about this?"
That sentence, is a very good start. You realize yourself that religion is trying to use one of the most basic feelings against you, and you want to do something about it.
I can't give you a cure that will make it disappear quickly, as this works differently for every individual. Try to be aware of how you react, how things make you feel, and then ask yourself if your fears are real or imaginary. People have all sorts of things they are afraid of, without it being a rational fear.
I'll get back to you about the video if I get the time to look at it.
[Slightly edited for clarification]
Thank you very much for your answer! You have answered all of my questions so far and I can honestly say that I appreciate your answers the most. Your answers have been a big help :-)
Very nice to hear, thank you. It's good to get some feedback, to hear that someone is listening to the answers and find them useful.
I haven't even looked at the video, but since others already had, I thought I'd spare myself the agony of watching it. :)
A tip if you get more videos like that:
Search on Google for that video and words like "debunked", "exposed". And try searching for specific people in the videos, and so on.
Sometimes people have already explained the video or exposed lies or fraudulent people.
You know, Christ died so you didn't HAVE to face hell. If you put your faith in him, He will save you from hell (even though the fear of hell will arise from time to time). Or, you can deny religion and lose your fear of hell for a while, but another christian may bring it back. And, don't believe every video you watch on the internet. They get money for their views. They say that they went to heaven or hell, but Christ said that false prophets would come in the end times. Und, here day r! I actually believed that the illuminati would take over the world or at least begin it in March. Guess what? I still have the freedom of speech that the American soldiers fight for! G-d bless them. Poor people...
Prove it! Stop proselytizing.
Hawk, are you out of your damn mind?! This is not a conversion forum. If the entire point of your visit is to convert people, shut the fuck up, and leave!
I'm not converting anyone. I gave a way to stop the fear of hell.
Come on Hawk.+
- "You know, Christ died so you didn't HAVE to face hell. If you put your faith in him, He will save you from hell..."
Are you saying this does not have the purpose of proselytizing? You do give an alternative, I'll give you that.
But this on the other hand, was interesting:
- "I actually believed that the illuminati would take over the world or at least begin it in March. Guess what?"
You where actually tricked into fully believing something that proved beyond any doubt to be completely false. But you still believe an ancient book that completely lacks credibility, because... why?
"You where actually tricked into fully believing something that proved beyond any doubt to be completely false. But you still believe an ancient book that completely lacks credibility, because... why?"
My first thought is me raising a finger, then lowering it in confusion. The illuminati stuff was VERY convincing. And the bible...I was desperate in my fear of G-d, and I'd always believed that the bible was true. Recently though, I've been questioning it.
"Are you saying this does not have the purpose of proselytizing? You do give an alternative, I'll give you that."
Of course. I gave contributions to the "OP" as you people call it.
" I gave a way to stop the fear of hell."
No. You tried to infect others with the disease that is the very source of the fear of hell.
Christ died for his own sins, he couldn't have died for anyone else's sins but his own since Ezekiel 18:21-23 says:
“But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die. None of the offenses they have committed will be remembered against them. Because of the righteous things they have done, they will live. Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?"
This is repeated many times in the Tanakh, 3 if I remember correctly.
Isaiah 53 with notes "[ ],"
Religion is a con propagated by appeal to emotion, arguments from ignorance and confirmation bias. Fear is their weapon of choice. It's in their book for crying out loud. How do you respect god? You fear him. Once you understand there is no god, that He is only an excuse for others to control you, then you have nothing to fear.
The problem is, it is such a perfect con. You know why nobody shows up at the Catholic church to tell them they are a liar? Because the only ones who know for sure are dead.
In Christianity, in Judaism we do not believe that you go to he'll for not accepting our religion, we believe that you go to hell for being wicked. Which is a fear ploy, but it is aimed at preventing people from committing immoralities, not at keeping them stupid.
Also, "fear of the L-rd," is actualy "awe of the L-rd," so this is a mistranslatuon.
The third Noahic commandment is not to commit idolatry. If I do not worship a g-d then I must be worshipping something else. It falls under the same category. Your religion feels no different about us atheists, they just don't spell it out. It's a given if you do not worship you will not be saved.
Awe is still an emotion, so it's still emotional blackmail.
13 year old agnostic, if you just read science books and you tube videos and science class of course you will only see one perspective, the key is to inject both maxims you will get a fuller picture.about evolution how can you explain the cabrian explosion where fossibls just appeared without anything before them if evolution is a naturalistic explanation there is no accounting where these fossils came from.there is no order to them they just popped up into existence.which rules out evolution completely.just look at the cell with all those genes billions upon billions also the eye, it bottles the mind and scientist everywhere to explain these.
Fossils are from animals that died millions of years ago. They died, and their bones where compressed and preserved by lares of sand, dirt, rock, and other things. Any sane person would know that. Unless you think the earth is 6000 years old, which immediately proves your are disassociated from reality.
yes but can you please explain how the cambrian explosion to place if evolution is a process then we should have the earlier fossils for these fish but we dont they just came into being.charles darwin was utterly confused by this finding he was mystified about the whole thing.
Perhaps we simply haven't found the earlier fossils yet. Its not like we've stopped looking for and finding new fossils.
that is one thing we may have in this world today is time to look and possibly find those missing fossils,but as of this moment there simply isn`t any concrete scientific explanation for the cabrian explosion.geologist and those who study rocks are dumfounded.
I thought I just said we simply haven't found the fossils we need yet. Are you even listening?
repent repent and come to alpha and omega the beginning and the end.he will guide your paths and give you anew heart today is the day of salvation not tomorrow we don`t know if we will ever come across this opportunity again.live for holiness put off your old selfish ways the lord is using me on this website to speak to all.dust off your bible read the greatest revelation to mankind ever.!!!
And again, from Disturbed's song Bound:
"Think your a little bit closer to changing me?
Your never winning me over!
Your wasting time!"
your photo says it all do you really think that satan will ever achieve anything but evil in this world?the eternity in flames is set out for him and be wise and don`t follow him.he and one third of his demons were cast ou and thrown into hell is that the fate you want for yourself?i don`t think so, so don`t idealized this poor figure but prayfor people who are practicing satanism tonight, who are misinformed and deceived he satan wants nothing more then to destroy you thru people like dawkins harris etc please turn your life over to god now!!!
That's not Satan. That's Disturbed's mascot, "The Guy"
The fact that you assumed that was Satan shows your presumptuous nature.
The point of religion isn't to explain things, the point of most religions is to give the person who invented the notoriety, whereas the point of Judaism is not of such. The point of Judaism is to get people to live a godly life.
Also understand that there doesn't have to be a contradiction between science and religion, the two are not mutually exclusive though most religions contradict science. You don't have to chose one or the other. In fact, Deists believe in G-d based on reason:
Third of all, you aren't going to sheol for being an atheist, you would go to sheol for being ungodly, Ezekiel 18 is a good verse as to who is righteous and who is wicked, nowhere do we find that the wicked deny G-d. Though I think that there was a verse which says that the foolish deny G-d, but that's a far cry from what Christians claim.
“Suppose there is a righteous man
who does what is just and right.
6 He does not eat at the mountain shrines
or look to the idols of Israel.
He does not defile his neighbor’s wife
or have sexual relations with a woman during her period.
7 He does not oppress anyone,
but returns what he took in pledge for a loan.
He does not commit robbery
but gives his food to the hungry
and provides clothing for the naked.
8 He does not lend to them at interest
or take a profit from them.
He withholds his hand from doing wrong
and judges fairly between two parties.
9 He follows my decrees
and faithfully keeps my laws.
That man is righteous;
he will surely live,
declares the Sovereign Lord."
And another thing, even if atheists deny what is said here, you can never regret living a moral lifestyle, even if G-d doesnt exist. So I am going to tell you that if you fit this criteria, you're not going to hell.