No longer religious. Still afraid of hell

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Deforres's picture
That's a red herring, Hawk.

That's a red herring, Hawk.

ThePragmatic's picture
Hawk Flint - "...I preached..

Hawk Flint - "...I preached..."


CyberLN's picture
HF: "Everything I preached

HF: "Everything I preached up there is in the bible, even if it's not said that way."

And that it is in your bible counts for what? Are you asserting that because you have interpreted some words in a book to mean a certain thing that is actually does?

ThePragmatic's picture
@ Hawk Flint

@ Hawk Flint

We are just saying, that it's out of line to start preaching about God and Hell to someone that has come to ask for help "to let go of this fear [of Hell]"

I know you believe in your religion and it's perhaps even natural to start preaching spontaneously. But even a theist should see that this isn't Okay.

algebe's picture

"My own common sense tells me that eternal torment is unfair and absurd"

Exactly. Now apply that common sense to the whole ridiculous edifice of religion and you'll be able to break its hold on you and live free in the here and now. Hell is just a tool that religions use to keep people afraid so they'll put more money in the collection box. In Japan, the Buddhists charge huge fees to keep deceased loved ones out of hell and move them to better suburbs of heaven.

Think of the worst person you can imagine. Say Adolf Hitler or Caligula. Would you be willing to sentence them to eternal burning agony? I think you're too good for that. The whole concept defies logic, morality, and credibility.

Look at the concept of original sin. Does it make any sense that we are all born guilty? Does it make any sense that god would make a virgin pregnant so his son could grow up and get tortured to death to redeem us for a sin committed by our mythological first ancestors? Is it logical or moral that anyone who doesn't believe that story should be burned forever? It only makes sense for those seeking power and money through fear.

If that's not enough, look at the people who've profited from religion and used it to control the world throughout history. Look at ISIS. That's the real face of religion.

I came close to death a couple of years ago. I had to have open-heart surgery. As they put me under, the most comforting and peaceful thought I had was I had nothing to fear but nothing.

There's no hell, except the ones that we make here. There are no 72 virgins. No sitting on clouds playing harps. There's just this moment here and now. What more do you need?

Dave Matson's picture
It might help to know that

It might help to know that hell, far from being created one sunny day by a vengeful God, is an evolved, human product! The ancient Hebrews spoke of sheol (poorly translated as "hell" in some Bibles) which was merely a dark and gloomy place where good and bad ultimately wound up. God rewarded people, then, with physical blessings in their lifetime! That's because everyone, with one or two exceptions, ultimately died and went to sheol. Notice that Job gets his blessing then and there, not in some heavenly afterlife. The final judgment was originally God's judgment on nations. Israel would be raised up in glory, led by God's chosen king, and those nations that had oppressed Israel would be stricken down to a lowly, servile status at best.

Somewhere near the end of the Old Testament the rewards and punishments got transferred from nations to people. Perhaps, the utter rout of the old Hebrew kingdom by Nebuchadnezzar had something to do with it. Perhaps the infusion of Iranian theology had something to do with it. It seems, at first, that hell (no longer the quiet sheol) was viewed as a enlarged version of the trash dump outside Jerusalem. Refuse was continually burning and maggots worked their way through garbage. At that time, hell, as a place of eternal torture, did not seem to be in the cards. A careful reading of the New Testament suggests that several ideas of hell were circulating, but those suggesting eternal torment soon were favored by the Church for obvious reasons. Hell got warmed up to the point where the Church produced little booklets for children that depicted a condemned child banging his head on the roof of a red-hot oven!

Those are the main details that I remember (at this moment's notice). No doubt, some study by yourself using serious materials from the Internet and from Libraries, would sharpen up the above picture and supply a lot more details. Seeing that hell was a continually evolving human production, rather than a divinely created place, might be just the thing to put your mind at rest!

watchman's picture


I am sorry you were witness to the rantings of a deluded ,irrational evangelical....... (Hawk Flint)

BUT be assured ,as Shakespeare put it ," it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing."

He presents no evidences ,no proofs ,nor rationale ..... it can be dismissed without thought.......

However.... the fears we are taught as children run deep and may not be easily out run but by way of an exercise try these.....

Use Wikipedia to look up ...Hell......
"The modern English word Hell is derived from Old English hel, helle (about 725 AD to refer to a nether world of the dead) reaching into the Anglo-Saxon pagan period, "

see it originates as a term around 725 AD...... so..was there no hell between 30 AD and 725..? also note that the fiery furnace bit is a germanic what term preceded "hell"......well the hebrews used 2 terms......Sheol and Gehenna.

Now what do these terms refer to ?

Sheol ...."It connotes the place where those that had died were believed to be congregated. "

see...just a gathering place for the mention of mention of judgement.....very like the Greeks picture of Hades....

Now we get to the fire.......
Gehenna....." Hebrew Gehinnom (Rabbinical: גהנום/גהנם), is the Jewish analogue of hell or purgatory in Christianity."

However it appears that it IS a real place....."The term is derived from a place outside ancient Jerusalem known in the Hebrew Bible as the Valley of the Son of Hinnom "

So you be in danger from "Hell" would need to be a follower of the pagan Germanic religions (Thor ,Odin etc.)

or a traditional Jew who would spend the afterlife hanging round Sheol

or wandering around the valley around Jerusalem or possibly if you are a rabbinical Jew spending a year in suffering while atoning for transgressions.

in any event...not too terrifying a prospect.....

However by looking at the varying sources I think you will be able to see how this concept "evolved" over time to serve as the "stick" to "heavens" carrot ..

Finally try this.....

"If you look for "hell" in the Bible, you're in for a long, fruitless search for facts, definitions and explanations. Why? Because the Hebrew prophets never mentioned a place where human beings writhe in eternal torment, gnashing their teeth forever. Nor did the prophets ever mention even the possibility of suffering after death."

ætherborn98's picture
Wait a I feel

Wait a I feel dumb. You asked how to get the fear of hell out of you. Not why it's there. Well, you can run to Christ, and He'll take most of the fear away (that's what He did for me), or you can deny hells existence entirely. It's up to you really.

And, BTW @watchman, I don't think hell isn't active yet. When Christ returns, then the kingdom of G-d will be active, and those not welcomed to it will be cast into hell until the end of the age. This is when He judges the nations. Until then, we will sleep, possibly in a pit full of the dead. I'm unsure about this though...

Deforres's picture
Not quite preaching, so I'll

Not quite preaching, so I'll give you a break this time.

algebe's picture
."I'm unsure about this

@ Hawk Flint
."I'm unsure about this though..."

As if you're sure about any of the other rubbish.

Dave Matson's picture
Hawk Flint,

Hawk Flint,

The moral absurdity of hell was presented in my post of 09/05/2016 13:37. Anyone who holds that God is good and connects him with hell isn't thinking properly! Denying the existence of hell (now or in the future) is like denying the reality of the Easter Bunny. It's a no-brainer!

ClovenFeet's picture
evrything in the bible

evrything in the bible contradicts everything else.

ClovenFeet's picture
your fear will not end until

your fear will not end until you embrace it.

watchman's picture
Hawk Flint….

Hawk Flint….
“Everything I preached up there is in the bible, even if it's not said that way.”

“even if it's not said that way.”…..??

So its not actually in the bible then….
Or do you have some special dispensation to change/alter and paraphrase holy writ ?
Or even just make it up as you go along.

Hawk Flint….
“I don't think hell isn't active yet. “

So you DO think hell IS active…..?
And apart from your contradiction (double negative)…
when did what you “think” become of import to anyone but yourself ?

Hawk Flint….
“I'm unsure about this though...”

And yet that lack of surety did not stop you from promulgating your guess’s
I thought you were dealing with (from your perspective) the eternal truths of your supposed deity..
the unalterable ,unchanging foundations of your faith….. and you say…” I'm unsure about this though...”
But ….I’m sure if you ask your pastor he will tell you what you should think.

Hawk Flint…
“Do not reject G-d's voice (that is, the fear He puts in you), He is warning you to remain in His love.”


So…its worship me …or else….do as I say…or else
Thus demonstrating that the concept of love is totally alien to this death cult …..

I feel that we should thank Hawk Flint for his admirable demonstration of the absolute necessity of being Atheist……...

“We are just saying, that it's out of line to start preaching about God and Hell to someone that has come to ask for help "to let go of this fear [of Hell]"

BUT it IS par for the course for opportunistic, unprincipled, predatory evangelical hucksters.

Sir Random's picture
Are you trying to be the

Are you trying to be the first to kill someone by the amount of shame you make them feel? 'Cause I think you might be close to doing that.

Hawk Flint, consider yourself annihilated.

algebe's picture

"So…its worship me …or else….do as I say…or else
Thus demonstrating that the concept of love is totally alien to this death cult ….. "

You hit that nail on the head. It's the opposite of love.

I've seen real love in unlikely situations twice. The first was in London. A man whose son was about be hanged for a rape and murder in the early 60s came to our door and asked my parents to sign a petition to commute his sentence to life in prison. The second time was in New Zealand in the 1980s. I met a father whose son was in jail for life for the same crime. He wanted me to use my position to help his son get the right to apply for parole after a certain number of years. I told him I sympathized with him as a father, but that I honestly thought that his son should stay in jail until the victim stopped being dead.

Both fathers were horrified and heartbroken by their sons' crimes, but their love was unconditional, unlike old father Jehovah, who will sentence us to eternal hellfire simply for not believing in him, however well we live our lives.

Beegowl's picture
Our minds are vulnerable to

Our minds are vulnerable to childhood indoctrination. I recently read a new book by John C. Wathey, "The Illusion of God's Presence: The Biological Origins of Spiritual Longing". In it, Wathey, a neuroscientist, describes the strong biological origin of the innate trust that children give to their caregiver parents. That trust makes children particularly vulnerable to indoctrination. The trust is a survival trait that can be misused. Your fear is a product of a trust that children give to parents, they used it to indoctrinate you about hell, and it's difficult to overcome, but it can be done. Also, realize that parents didn't act maliciously but acted as their own parents acted and they thought they were acting in your best interests. Who wants anyone, let alone someone we love, to suffer any kind of torture especially torture that is infinite (infinite torture, now there 's a loving deity for you). In a religious culture where asking questions about the doubts we have is frowned upon, during your childhood you probably never encountered anyone who said, "That (Hell) is just bullshit calculated to keep the parishioners coming back and the priest class in charge". I was raised in a Christian bubble where questioning the pastor or the Bible was seen as rebellion, so even though my sincere questioning of the entire construct began in earnest during my teenage years, I was not rid of the indoctrination completely until I was well into my 50s, had read and studied the issue extensively and concluded that faith in an omnipotent, omniscient god who communicates secretly with prophets is the world's longest running scam. Mythology is a product of human fears and hopes. It may be that human beings are predisposed to want to depend on an all powerful protector even after we've outgrown the actual need. Gods are human constructs, the Christian God, the Muslim God, the Hindu Gods, it's all conjured up by human beings so that they can control other human beings. The scientific method is what humans use to explain things, because human minds have evolved to the extent that we have the ability to discover how to explain more and more of reality. Hell is not real. It's imaginary. Like flying horses and resurrected dead people.

Sir Random's picture
Oye! What'd flying horses

Oye! What'd flying horses ever do to you?

algebe's picture
"What'd flying horses ever do

"What'd flying horses ever do to you?"

If you see one, you'd better have a big umbrella ready.

Sir Random's picture
Oh shit!(literally) lol

Oh shit!(literally) lol

bigbill's picture
according to the founder of

according to the founder of christianity jesus believed and spoke quite about hell,since christianity is the biggest monotheist belief there is some credence to what he the old testament it is the netherworld,regardless the old or new testaments address it in detail.we won`t really know until we get to the other side,i am also skeptical but always after a brief time come back to the experience with atheism and agnosticism has led my head spinning round and round.without the lord life for me is totally nihilism.i only have today with all its problems and discouragements at least with the lord jesus christ there is a hope that injustice here will be dealt with and a much better place exist.this is quite comforting to me i hope i can be of some help to you

algebe's picture
@skeptical christian

@skeptical christian
"at least with the lord jesus christ there is a hope that injustice here will be dealt with and a much better place exist."

How much better it would be if we all lived fully in the here and now and worked to make it better. I think even Jesus believed that (sufficient unto the day....). If we assume that god will make everything right on judgment day, what incentive is there to work for justice in this world? This isn't a rehearsal for the afterlife. This is our life. This is our world.

bigbill's picture
i agree with you algebe but

i agree with you algebe but you don`t get total justice here in this life it is the most important to work during the duration of our lives for justice and to improve humanity but as a christian i have something to hope for, to live with my savior and lord for eternity in total bliss.yes thank god that we christians arent just stuck with life on this planet but a much better place kind has been trying to improve the human condition since time began but just look at the state of affairs here now.

Sir Random's picture
You can't say that until you

You can't say that until you prove the existence of your god. With empirical proof. That's not Bible or faith based.

bigbill's picture
dear tieler, i believe after

dear tieler, i believe after i doubted for a short time that jesus was god so i adhere to what he says,and he rose from the grave, he beat death and the devil at the same time.i have my evidence from the bible i believe that its a valid has comforted people of all persuasions over the life time.i go by the spiritual dimension of things, you say i must have or show evidence outside the bible well as a christian the bible directs my life. i strive for the virtues in ephesians and galatians epistles.

Sir Random's picture
"jesus was god"

"jesus was god"


Attach Image/Video?: 

algebe's picture
@skeptical christian

@skeptical christian
".man kind has been trying to improve the human condition since time began but just look at the state of affairs here now."

For pretty much all of that time we've been working with one hand tied behind our backs by the self-imposed chains of religion. How many wars have been caused by religions? How much progress has been lost or reversed because of petty dogma? That's why many atheists are not content just to abandon faith. We also want to get religion's tentacles out of government, education, etc.

bigbill's picture
dear algebe: you can see by

dear algebe: you can see by mother teresa who was claimed a saint this past sunday her virtuous life i dont see any secularist person doing the great things that made teresa a saint.look at joseph stalin who killed millions all in the name of atheism pol pot the cambodian killing fields,also lok at china also millions killed so why don`t you mention them?as for government here in the united states you have the first amendment to the constitution saying that this country should not have a state relgion to call its own,a seperation of church and for education school prey was eliminated years ago from public schools do you want to infringe on my rights as a practicing christian not to be able to attend a place of worship this is a free country i have the right that many people died for to gather for please leave us christians alone to prey and to altrusitic deeds and live piously for god.

Sir Random's picture
"look at joseph stalin who

"look at joseph stalin who killed millions all in the name of atheism"

No. He killed because he was paranoid and didn't want to lose his position. That crap you just said was made up by religious people to make atheist look bad. If this is the best you have, go home.

"china also millions killed"

I think you need to read your history book again.

"worship this is a free country i have the right that many people died for to gather"

They did not die for your religion. They died for the country.

P.S not everyone here is from the U.S.A. We have a Russian, People from Europe, People from. India, ect.

"altrusitic deeds"

Like using fear to convert people?

Listen close: I'm not just an atheist, I'm an anti theist. I see religion as harmful to humanity. Of course I'm going to fight against it.

algebe's picture
@Skeptical christian

@Skeptical christian
" you can see by mother teresa who was claimed a saint this past sunday her virtuous life"
Mother Teresa...She's been discussed a lot around here. Let's just agree to differ about her supposed virtues.

I don't want to infringe on your rights to practice Christianity. If it floats your boat, good luck to you. But in the US you have religious nuts everywhere trying to get evolution replaced with creationism in public school curricula. You even have god on your money. Your constitution might separate church and state, but your political system doesn't.

Joseph Stalin didn't kill anyone in the name of atheism. He trained as an orthodox priest and returned to the faith in later life. Pol Pot was a Buddhist. Hitler was a Christian. These men were monsters. Neither religion nor atheism should be blamed for their crimes. Look at the history of Christianity before you start flinging those accusations around. Ever heard of the Cathars or the St. Bartholemew's Day Massacre, the Crusades and the Thirty Years War? In more modern times, what do you think of the Catholic church's support for the Pinochet regime in Chile and the "Dirty War" in Argentina?


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