I am a bit confused as to why I fear hell so much. I was raised Orthodox, and many aspects of religion do not make too much sense to me, but this fear seems unshakable. Frankly, I also think that if it were true that hell existed and that a creator let people suffer so much that it wouldn't be very kind of the creator. Why create people with urges, faults, etc and then punish them? Also, another thing I don't get is if these hell testimonies I talked about in the previous thread were true, wouldn't it be unethical of a creator not to let everyone see this hellish realm as it would
1) prove hell exists
2) give us warning?
Why would he choose to let a few druggies and non-religious Christians know but not the average folk?
Anyways, I'm on a rant now, would love some opinions.
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Phobias are deep and persistent. Things we hear and see in childhood burn these fears into us, and they're almost impossible to dislodge.
But look at the idea of hell. If it's real, how come the details vary according to the religion? Why do we have notions of hell? I think the first reason is that hell is a tool that religions use to control people through fear. Another reason is that humans have a vindictive, sadistic streak. We enjoy thinking about our enemies burning and suffering forever.
Also, if god and hell were real, wouldn't god make it absolutely clear to us what hell is like? It's supposed to be a deterrent. How can it work if we don't even know what it's like?
There are real hells, and they were all created by people. Look at Hiroshima/Nagasaki, Dresden, Coventry, Auschwitz, 9/11...... Look at Baghdad under Saddam, and Baghdad when the bombs started to fall. Look at what happened during the Biafra crisis in the late 1960s.
Hell stories are just a pale reflection of what we humans do to each other in the real world.
Because you're an easy mark to instill fear into. We called people like you 'Fraidy Cats" when we were kids. You let yourself trust people who had no good intent for your peace of mind - perhaps family members or relatives or your orthodox lunacy surrounds - and allowed yourself to believe their crap. That's the only source for your fears. Then, being weak of character, your own imagination took you to the fires of hot places and have since messed you up even more. You truly believe in the Bogeyman. Lucifer awaits you. Or, does he? You are aware of the Lucifer story aren't you? He was cast out of heaven when he fell out of favor with a vengeful god so he can't be all bad. The religious exaggeration makes him out as some kind of devil now with a penchant for roasting souls. Um, did you order your humans regular or extra crispy? Anyway, I digress. Get a grip, man. Slap yourself awake and get out of your head for a minute or forever. That's the only place your fire and brimstone exists. To me your fear is of yourself. You're afraid of your own thoughts and you just can't help but conjure up these tortured images of a Hell your friends, family and religion instilled you with. Sheesh, great people to have around when you're short on enemies. And you are your own worst enemy.
Relax and enjoy life!
Hell, as it is defined today, the eternal suffering of the soul in fire, is nowhere in the bible. It wasn't till much much later that Augustine made hell into a place of eternal suffering. Before that it was, the fires of hell would destroy your soul.
Hell was invented by man. It's as real as the bogeyman. Do you fear the bogeyman?
Fear is religion's best weapon. We didn't know many things about how the universe worked back then, let alone our own planet. Many natural things were thought to have supernatural origins. Death and life being more of a mystery back then, were explained away using god. And man saw he could control people using those fears. Thus heaven and hell were created. Do what we say, and you will be eternally rewarded. Don't do what we say and you will suffer for eternity. Neither claim needs to be proven, because of its very nature.
years of indoctrination
If you are a Christian there's no reason to fear hell. According to the biblical fairy tale there's only three places souls can go to when a person dies = the sea, death, or hell. The good news that that those are just temporary and everyone gets out on Judgment Day. At that time the souls either get into the golden cube, called New Jerusalem or they get tossed into the lake of fire. The lake of fire isn't hell but it is referred to as the second death. So it seems that it will be all over. Only the devil, the beast, and the false problem survive in the lake of fire, where they will be tortured forever.
If you are a muslim you will simply stay dead until Judgment Day. At that time you might get into paradise. If you get tossed into muslim hell you will be tortured forever but it has more women than men.
Based upon people's comments it seems that most Christians believe in the muslim version of hell than in the Bible version of hell. Even Jesus went to hell in the Bible but he got out in a couple of hours.
In the Jewish Babylonian Talmud Jesus is in hell being boiled in hot shit.
You fear hell because of your religious upbringing. Hell was made up by religion to control people with fear of eternal torture. Just enjoy life, stop worrying about a make believe place of torture. Let religion go and enjoy the life you have. Freedom from religion is better than fear of hell and the lie of heaven.
I think it all stems with a conscious or self conscious fear of death.
The great thing about becoming atheist for me was releasing myself of the fear and seeing how precious life is.
Now I live every day to be happy and enjoy as much as I possibly can.
This is what happens when a religious superstition is inflicted upon you early...
And if it makes you sleep any better: hell is a man-made superstition that was concocted by the early christian cult for their unauthorized sequel to the bible called the new testament. Prior to the invention of hell, people long believed in the idea of "sheol" - an abode for the dead where everyone's essence went into an everlasting sleep.
In Islamic discussion forum I saw many discussion about hell and heaven and angels, satans, saviors, intercession and this kind - that are drifted away from the essence of theology. Your worry of hell is an indication that you care about right and wrong, it is a good thing.
In Islam it is what we do that count. And along the work that we do we may slip, forget, lazy or whatever, it is what human is all about. But in the Qur'an we are told also not too worry with our short comings, just move on:
O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of God's Mercy: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful". (39:53)
What kind of juvenile nonsense is this? Are you an atheist? Then you KNOW that there is no heaven or hell!
The author is not an atheist. And for what it is worth, irrational fear of hell is not uncommon in the community. nb4notruescotsman