No longer religious. Still afraid of hell

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Dave Matson's picture
skeptical christian,

skeptical christian,

You don't seem that skeptical to me! You seem like many Christians. Perhaps you haven't looked hard enough to find atheists who have done wonderful deeds. Remember, they aren't counting on a heavenly reward to cash in on! We atheists also don't have the propaganda power and publicity of organized religion, so good deeds by atheists (when not suppressed in the public media) may require more searching for than the deeds of religious people who have been elevated (often with exaggeration and omitted facts) to heroic status.

Need I point out that Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, and Mao killed in the name of their utopian ideology and to secure their own position, NOT in the name of atheism! I heard that Stalin had a few religious friends, probably from his days in a seminary. Most of those deaths in the USSR and China were due to economic failures caused by the dogmatic ideology. Compare that to the endless religious wars and butchering all done in the name of Christ! Hitler, far from being an atheist as presented by many Christians, spoke favorably of Jesus and even promised to put God back into the schools. If judged by what he actually said, publicly and privately, he would have to be defined as an unorthodox Catholic--a Christian in short! And, he remained a Catholic all his life. Almost all of his high command were religious, either Catholic or Lutheran, an odd situation if he were truly a fanatic atheist.

When will these big lies about atheism stop? One of the prime reasons that communism became atheistic is because the religious establishment supplied the Czar with legitimacy. Religion and state worked together to suppress the peasants. Mao, faced with a similar situation in China, simply followed the Russian example.

Dave Matson's picture
Life on this planet is not

Life on this planet is not all that bad, right now, at least for many people of modest means and, of course, for those with more wealth. Life is nowhere near as brutish and limited, intellectually and economically, as it was just a few hundred years ago. Compare your life with a peasant under the old feudal system. Medicine has gone from comforting the dying and finding balms for those who hurt, to eradicating whole diseases and creating a whole line of modern drugs that perform near miracles. On the intellectual side, science has probed the depths of reality even as spacecraft reach the outer limits of our solar system. And, it's all there on the Internet--a library that not even the richest tycoon could dream about not long ago! Have you made use of it lately, exploring some topic in depth? We are as gods by ancient reckoning, by how people lived for 99.9% of the time we humans have been on earth. The nice side of civilized life will disappear, of course, if we fail to address the onrush of major problems.

If religion stopped opposing efforts to control the population explosion, if that problem could be solved as it could in principle, then a host of other crushing problems would be hugely reduced. Global warming, the end of major resources, and the necessary lowering of life's quality due to overpopulation, and numerous other problems could all be reduced in a big way. Shouldn't you be a part of that effort instead of dreaming of the day when you get "unstuck" from this old orb?

The dream of a better life beyond the present toil and sweat and hurt is an ancient dream that has many names. "Christian heaven" is just one of the more recent names for paradise. But they are all dreams, just dreams, and this planet is all you are ever going to have. So, it is good to try to better things for your children and grandchildren, for future generations. Dreams, mere dreams, can be a force for good.

bigbill's picture
i disagree with your premise

i disagree with your premise that this planet and this life is all there is.i as a christian believe in what my lord said about eternal life thats the whole difference between christianity and any other ism, we have another chance eternal life i received this not in dreams but in revelation from god himself through his blessed word,i encourage you to put down what your doing and pick up the word of god.

Sir Random's picture
Of course you disagree! Your

Of course you disagree! Your a religitard. A closed minded prick who thinks that only they can be right! Get lost. Your making the ground dirty.

Dave Matson's picture
skeptical christian,

skeptical christian,

Yes, you have your belief, and most of us atheists will defend your right to religious freedom, but your sales pitch to us is not very convincing. After much study, I have not seen a single, compelling argument for any god let along a god tied to the obvious, Iron Age failings of the Bible. I have, however, found a number of powerful arguments against the Christian god, arguments to which I've never seen a decent rebuttal. "Rebuttal" invariably takes the form of silly speculation about what God might want, and it's usually mighty strange. The straightforward, natural arguments always point to atheism.

Sir Random's picture
Can someone pull up that list

Can someone pull up that list of killings done in the name of religion? This blaggard needs a reality check.

Deforres's picture
Wow. Someone tried to pull

Wow. Someone tried to pull the "Evil Old Russian Atheist Who Wasent Even An Atheist Joseph Stalin" thing?

Sir Random's picture
Yep. Sorry Ruski.

Yep. Sorry Ruski.

algebe's picture
I though he was an evil old

I though he was an evil old Georgian atheist.

Nyarlathotep's picture
skeptical christian: look at

skeptical christian: look at joseph stalin who killed millions all in the name of atheism

You can't be serious? right?

ThePragmatic's picture
@ sceptical christian

@ sceptical christian

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

If you have any more of these cliché arguments, you might want to dust off and review the arguments in your toolbox.

"I smite thee, in the name of 'no faith'!!"

"The power of 'no god whatsoever' compels you!"

"It was an act of 'lack of evidence'."

eleuthermaniagirl_'s picture
I think every person, no

I think every person, no matter what they believe wonders what happens to them after they die. Even with all our different beliefs, that is something we can all relate on. So to relate to you on that subject, I would just recommend reading the Bible. I know that seems ridiculous if you don't practice the religion anymore. But honestly just reading the Bible with no bias, not anticipating everything that is going to happen next because we have all heard Bible stories at some point. Also, go into it just like you would read anything else aka hoping to take anything and/or something away because any kind of reading will do that to you but seriously, I have never just tried reading the Bible as a whole. I am as we speak though for the first time reading all of it. I was given a kind of planner type thing that breaks up the scripture into 90 days that I've been following. I've been doing it for a week and its challenging but I'm literally learning so much.

Don't get me wrong, I have many doubts, I over think and I'm always worrying. But when I'm reading the scripture, I can push away all of those things, along with the words people have spoken against or for the Bible in my life because I am just purely reading it. I am learning in a way I never have before because I'm seeing things I've never seen before. I can send you a copy of 90 day schedule if you would like? You could make sense of your fear through reading the Bible.

Sir Random's picture
If you are a believer, I have

If you are a believer, I have one message for you: Reading the bible (in the exact way you just suggested) was what made me an anti theist.

ThePragmatic's picture
Yes, it seems to be common

Yes, it seems to be common among ex-Christians to have evaporated their faith by reading the Bible.

bigbill's picture
well i am a christian and i

well i am a christian and i believe in what jesus stated about there being a for the old testament contradicting the new where does that show,where in the old testament.the old testament points to the new in the old testament read isaiah chapter 53 that states that a messiah would come and die on a tree for humanitys sins.i know in my own life i need jesus, i need the comfort of the holy spirit,with jesus i face nihilism.

watchman's picture
@Skep Chris.....

@Skep Chris.....

"as for the old testament contradicting the new where does that show".....

Well.... try this......

Matthew 2:6
And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

What in your opinion does this verse refer to ..?

bigbill's picture
watchman you have to take any

watchman you have to take any verse in its proper context,this is the scribes and the chief priest of the people jesus was born of bethlehem i find nothing historically wrong with this verse he then was taken down to egypt by joseph and mary to wait for when king herod would have to remember what herod did to all those children 2 years of age and younger we call that the slaughter of the holy innocents.

watchman's picture
Skep Chris.....

Skep Chris.....

A little "wordy" but essentially correct....from your perspective.....

But surely you missed a trick there...... you failed to mention the previous verse
Mat 2:5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,

it being one of the "Messianic Prophesies"...surely it is of some import.

Anyway do you agree that the "prophesy" being referred to here is that of the Old Testament prophet Micah ?? (Micah 5:2 in fact..)

Sir Random's picture
OK, "Sceptical Christian",

OK, "Sceptical Christian", let's see how you handle this:

1. The Earth is not flat
2. The Earth is not 6,000 - 10,000 years old
3. The Earth was not formed in 6 24 hour periods
4. The Exodus has no archeological or historical evidence outside the bible
5. The bible condones genocide
6. Deontological codes are inherently imperfect and unjust systems of ethics
7. Many prophecies of the bible failed to come to fruition
8. The bible contradicts itself on certain doctrines on numerous occasions
9. The miracles in the bible are not possible
10. Christian religions have historically been extremely violent and sects of particular Christians still kill one another as they have done for centuries. This is counter to the instructions contained within the Pentateuch
11. There is no consensus on "Christian truth", as evidenced by the huge number of denominations who assert their interpretations as an exclusivist truth
12. A God who is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent by definition foresaw and willingly chose any and all paradigms which exist, meaning that prohibitions against intrinstic natural phenomena like homosexuality or sexual promiscuity are diametrically oppositional to the paradigms which God himself chose. God is a self-contradictory tyrant in that regard.
13. If God is omnipotent yet suffering exists, God is not omnibenevolent. If God is omnibenevolent yet suffering exists, God is not omnipotent. If God is not omnibenevolent then he is malevolent (why worship him?) and if God is not omnipotent, then he is in some or many ways impotent (again, why worship him?)

Will someone tell me which member wrote this (I can't remember), so I can credit them?

Sir Random's picture
And another thing: You won't

And another thing: You won't be able to convert anyone here.

Dave Matson's picture
skeptical christian,

skeptical christian,

If you have any doubts about anything on the list Tieler gave, you could start a thread on that topic. We would be happy to educate on that aspect of the Bible.

Seenyab4's picture
Does anyone else find it a

Does anyone else find it a little sad that this thread, dedicated to helping a fellow member of the website, just turned into another debate. Don't get me wrong, I realize it was the Christians who came in here to preach and question us, but isn't there a better time and place? I'm genuinely concerned that this poor person going through such a difficult time, is being neglected by all of us. He hasn't even responded since his original post.

Nyarlathotep's picture
He shouldn't have posted it

He shouldn't have posted it in the debate section. The religious vultures were sure to descend and try to "save him".

algebe's picture
I think he responded several

I think he responded several times and joined in the discussion. There was also a lot of advice about how to deal with the hell thing.

It wouldn't be right to let the theists spout their poisonous rubbish with impunity.

charvakheresy's picture
The picture of hell painted

The picture of hell painted in our imaginations is frightening enough without having to evangelists tell us how much worse it is.

Going up I thought a lot of how I would like to live my life and the one thing that kept on recurring in my worries was my fear. It seemed at every step fear of the unknown or at times the town seemed to lurk in my psyche.

The most liberating moment for me was when I let go of this fear. Whether you label it irrational or inconsequential or even justified and eventual the bottom line is that no matter how hard you try it is not upto you whether you would see heaven or hell in the next life.

No matter how good you are by your standards some religion or religious preacher will find you wanting.
Atheists and agnostics and even fence sitters and deists are all destined for hell by religious standards.
Either way where you end up in the next life is not in your control

The existence of the next life is not certain so whether you end up in heaven or hell is meaningless until you are finally dead.

Why waste any effort worrying about eternal torture or eternal servitude to God (a pompous ass may I add by religious standards) and make this life that you know exists and you know you have a living hell.

I hope that makes sense enough for you to let go of your fear of hell.

bigbill's picture
being catholic i never here

being catholic i never here much about hell or another teaching purgatory, i looked up in the catholic catechism and it still is a teaching by the church fathers you get different views of hell from protestants and catholics.but i disagree with your statement that either way way you end up is not yours to control.i feel that what injustices i face in this life will be ratified in the next life.jesus rose from the dead to prove there is life after death the whole meaning to jesus life was one of redemption, and i feel that through faith and his grace imputed to me at the cross on calvary that i am saved from hell or any other you profanity in speaking about GOD was not necessary.your statements come from your arrogance toward the divine, don`t be deceived my friend with these so called brights atheist like dawkins or harris stenger dennett,they are limited men speaking about and awesome subject.

charvakheresy's picture
That is your belief. But if

That is your belief. But if you verify what is needed for you to do to enter heaven with 10 different scholars they will all give you 10 different answers which will invariably find you wanting.

CartilageJones's picture
Hi guys,

Hi guys,

@Seenyab4 Thank you for your concern. I've just been busy with other things.

@Nyarlathotep My mistake. I'm new here and I wasn't sure where I should have posted this.

Has anyone read anything or received any information or advice that helped them let go of religion?

CyberLN's picture
Try Greta Christina's "Coming

Try Greta Christina's "Coming out Atheist"

Daisydog723's picture
I will. Thanks for the tip.

I will. Thanks for the tip.


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