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Fri Jan 10, 2020, 01:40 PM

Why Do People Believe in Hell?

Evangelicals love the idea of hell.

No truly accomplished New Testament scholar, for instance, believes that later Christianity’s opulent mythology of God’s eternal torture chamber is clearly present in the scriptural texts. It’s entirely absent from St. Paul’s writings; the only eschatological fire he ever mentions brings salvation to those whom it tries (1 Corinthians 3:15). Neither is it found in the other New Testament epistles, or in any extant documents (like the Didache) from the earliest post-apostolic period. There are a few terrible, surreal, allegorical images of judgment in the Book of Revelation, but nothing that, properly read, yields a clear doctrine of eternal torment. Even the frightening language used by Jesus in the Gospels, when read in the original Greek, fails to deliver the infernal dogmas we casually assume to be there.

On the other hand, many New Testament passages seem — and not metaphorically — to promise the eventual salvation of everyone. For example: “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.” (Romans 5:18) Or: “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22) Or: “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2) (Or: John 13:32; Romans 11:32; 1 Timothy 2:3-6; 4:10; Titus 2:11; and others.)


https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/10/opinion/sunday/christianity-religion-hell-bible.html

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Arrow 46 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why Do People Believe in Hell? (Original post)
Cattledog Jan 2020 OP
guillaumeb Jan 2020 #1
Voltaire2 Jan 2020 #5
guillaumeb Jan 2020 #6
Voltaire2 Jan 2020 #8
guillaumeb Jan 2020 #12
Voltaire2 Jan 2020 #17
guillaumeb Jan 2020 #20
Voltaire2 Jan 2020 #23
guillaumeb Jan 2020 #24
Voltaire2 Jan 2020 #25
guillaumeb Jan 2020 #26
Voltaire2 Jan 2020 #29
guillaumeb Jan 2020 #37
edhopper Jan 2020 #9
trotsky Jan 2020 #14
Cartoonist Jan 2020 #15
guillaumeb Jan 2020 #16
Cartoonist Jan 2020 #18
guillaumeb Jan 2020 #21
dewsgirl Jan 2020 #27
Cary Jan 2020 #31
guillaumeb Jan 2020 #38
Cary Jan 2020 #39
guillaumeb Jan 2020 #40
Cary Jan 2020 #41
guillaumeb Jan 2020 #45
Cary Jan 2020 #42
we can do it Jan 2020 #2
Croney Jan 2020 #3
we can do it Jan 2020 #4
CaptYossarian Jan 2020 #7
LakeArenal Jan 2020 #10
TlalocW Jan 2020 #11
Major Nikon Jan 2020 #13
Duppers Jan 2020 #19
JustFiveMoreMinutes Jan 2020 #22
catrose Jan 2020 #28
Major Nikon Jan 2020 #43
catrose Jan 2020 #44
Thomas Hurt Jan 2020 #30
Cary Jan 2020 #33
Cary Jan 2020 #32
Srkdqltr Jan 2020 #34
Binkie The Clown Jan 2020 #35
unblock Jan 2020 #36
NeoGreen Jan 2020 #46

Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 01:42 PM

1. In my view, hell is a metaphor for a separation from the Creator.

And heaven is being one with the Creator.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 02:21 PM

5. That's the lame ass "it's not that bad" hell.

At least the fire and brimstone folks stand up for what they actually believe.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 02:23 PM

6. No, it the assertion that hell, and sin,

are a part of separation from the Creator.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 02:47 PM

8. I swear you've claimed that your gods are everywhere.

So how do sin and he’ll get excluded?

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 03:54 PM

12. It is a separation, an apartness.

A decision.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 06:48 PM

17. So your gods are not everywhere.

Odd.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #17)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 08:06 PM

20. Your statement bears no relation to what I wrote.

It is a mental separation.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #20)

Sat Jan 11, 2020, 09:07 AM

23. So gods are not part of consciousness?

I must be dim. I don’t understand how your gods can be everywhere but also not be somewhere specific, as for example your version of hell.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #23)

Sat Jan 11, 2020, 02:16 PM

24. As I said, in my view hell is a state of being.

So hell exists in the consciousness.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #24)

Sat Jan 11, 2020, 05:38 PM

25. And you are also claiming that your gods are everywhere?

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #25)

Sat Jan 11, 2020, 05:40 PM

26. The Creator is inseparable from the creation.

One comes from the other. One is a part of the other. Both together make up what is.

My view.

Now, time for football.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #26)

Sat Jan 11, 2020, 05:45 PM

29. But these hell inhabitants are separate from your gods.

You do understand it makes no sense at all, right?

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #29)

Sat Jan 11, 2020, 10:43 PM

37. They are spiritually "apart" from the Creator.

And that concludes this debate. Neither of us is trying to convince the other.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 03:06 PM

9. I'd rather laugh with the sinners

than cry with the saints.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 04:52 PM

14. Oh yeah that's how you avoid the "god sends people to hell" problem...

by saying that the souls burning for eternity chose it for themselves.

neat.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 05:05 PM

15. I'm okay with the separation

I'm seperated now. So there is absolutely no punishment for my sins? So what did Jesus supposedly die for?

On further thought, I absolutely want to be seperated from that genocidal maniac.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #15)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 06:26 PM

16. Consider sin as another word for behaving unjustly toward others. eom

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #16)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 07:03 PM

18. I've only done that a few times

I'm usually on the receiving end.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #18)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 08:07 PM

21. A fantastic image.

This image would make a great poster.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #18)

Sat Jan 11, 2020, 05:42 PM

27. Lol😂

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 11, 2020, 05:58 PM

31. That is the Reform Jewish interpretation

Although the term "hell" isn't used as far as I know.

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Response to Cary (Reply #31)

Sat Jan 11, 2020, 10:44 PM

38. I had no idea.

Thank you for the information.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #38)

Sun Jan 12, 2020, 11:26 AM

39. It just meant as information

I don't believe in proselytizing.

To me the ideas that the Bible is not literally true, that God created people and put a little bit of Herself in everyones' heart and therefore serving people is serving God, and that heaven is being closer to the creator makes sense.

If God is literally an all knowing, all powerful being who told his faithful servant Abraham to take his only beloved son Isaac up to the mountain to bind him and murder him (among many other nasty stories) then I dunno. It has to be a metaphor.

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Response to Cary (Reply #39)

Sun Jan 12, 2020, 12:56 PM

40. Regarding the Bible as mainly metaphor,

look at the creation story, and the meaning of the names Adam and Eve.

Adam means red, and earth.

Eve means life, and living.

From the earth comes life. Science 101.

In my view, the story of Abraham shows obedience to the will of the Creator, and the meaning of asking Abraham to sacrifice his son reinforces the idea of obedience to the will of the Creator.

Even among those Christians who claim to be Biblical literalists, they do not, in fact, literally follow every Biblical passage.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #40)

Sun Jan 12, 2020, 02:49 PM

41. if they literally followed the Bible they'd be nasty, vindictive slugs.

Oh, wait ....

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Response to Cary (Reply #41)

Sun Jan 12, 2020, 08:21 PM

45. And I feel that there are no true literalists. eom

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #40)

Sun Jan 12, 2020, 02:51 PM

42. How about where God denied Moses entrance into the promised land

for hitting a rock too hard?

Moses gave up being the favored son of a Pharoah to lead a wretched mass through the desert for 40 years.

Nice. Wasn't it?

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 01:43 PM

2. Because they are nuts?

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Response to we can do it (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 01:58 PM

3. I was going to say "because I need a fitting place to picture

my ex-husband," but I like your answer better.

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Response to Croney (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 02:04 PM

4. 😂

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 02:24 PM

7. With what we know about Republicans and their supporters, I hope it exists.

We've already spent too much time with these weasels.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 03:07 PM

10. Why do people believe in divinity at all.

No evidence at all.

I’m not pointing out Christians. But they certainly wear those shoes.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 03:32 PM

11. Convenient way for the early church to control people

Yes, your life sucks. You're hungry, poor, cold, covered in muck while we clergy are doing pretty well, but you shouldn't focus on this life but the rewards you'll have in the next unless you don't do what we tell you this book says you should do, otherwise it's torment worse than what you currently are enduring. Now here's a list of rules we want you to follow - pay special attention to the section on tithing. Oh, and it goes without saying if you don't do this, we'll torture you!

TlalocW

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Response to TlalocW (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 04:29 PM

13. The promise of reward or punishment for the controlled behavior

Conveniently unverifiable.

It’s no wonder this nonsense has to be indoctrinated from birth. No sensible adult would fall for that bullshittery.

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Response to TlalocW (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 07:59 PM

19. +1

My idiot grandfather believed in a literal hell - as if a dead body could feel eternal pain.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 09:00 PM

22. Our 'individual Hells' (economic, mental, relationship, environment, etc etc. ARE REAL.

We really DONT need eternal damnation when life has given it to you as physical beings. Sigh.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Sat Jan 11, 2020, 05:45 PM

28. Usually I sigh over people's inability to comprehend metaphor & other literary devices in the Bible.

But hell--or Sheol--was a literal place, the dump outside Jerusalem that smoldered and burned forever, like a compost heap. Trash included dead bodies with no one to claim them, and it was a horrifying thought, to think that you'd be thrown out with the garbage to burn forever if no one loved you enough to give you a proper burial.

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Response to catrose (Reply #28)

Sun Jan 12, 2020, 04:14 PM

43. With metaphor all things are possible

Jesus said that, metaphorically.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #43)

Sun Jan 12, 2020, 05:14 PM

44. Love it! Metaphorically, of course

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Sat Jan 11, 2020, 05:46 PM

30. It offends evangelicals when people "get away" with things the evangelicals call sins.

That is why they hate abortion and birth control and welfare.

To the right, people who have sex and are lazy or what have you, should have to suffer getting pregnant and carrying a child to term, catching STDs is the result of being a slut. The poor are all lazy and shiftless and should starve not get welfare.

They think they are God and should enforce punishment on others they see as their lessers.

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Response to Thomas Hurt (Reply #30)

Sat Jan 11, 2020, 06:02 PM

33. Authoritarians

Cannot handle complexity or nuance.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Sat Jan 11, 2020, 06:01 PM

32. I was in an Uber a couple of days ago and a hard core Christian

insisted on lecturing me the whole trip. It seemed to be very important to him that I bend to his fundamentalist nonsense.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Sat Jan 11, 2020, 06:16 PM

34. I think a lot of people love to see others in pain.

Either from actual pain or from hurtful words. Telling someone "to go to hell" is a very strong thing to say. Very hurtful.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Sat Jan 11, 2020, 06:47 PM

35. If god is truly infinitely loving and merciful, then even Hitler went to heaven.

The problem is that humans just can't accept that as a possibility, so they must invent a place of ultimate revenge.

You would think that any god worth the name would want his "children" to learn by their mistakes. Would any parent who caught their child in a lie or found out that the child had stolen fifty cents from the mother's purse throw the child into the basement and lock them there for the rest of their life? Don't be ridiculous. We try to help our children learn from their mistakes so that they can become better people. Apparently this so-called god doesn't want people to become better. Eternal punishment for a finite crime is nothing more than the human need for vengeance, not the impulse to help. Hell leaves no possibility of learning from mistakes, and is, therefore, petty and vindictive, and is clealry a human invention.

Disclaimer: I don't believe in god or the devil or any kind of eternal reward or punishment. It's all fairy tales and mythology meant to comfort us when scary things go bump in the night.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Sat Jan 11, 2020, 08:06 PM

36. I do not believe in consciousness after death

So to me, heaven is being remembered favorably and fondly by those you leave behind; hell is being remembered as a rotten person.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Fri Jan 17, 2020, 09:28 AM

46. Indoctrination, conditioning, repeated lies, brainwashing...

Last edited Fri Jan 17, 2020, 10:34 AM - Edit history (1)

...the implied threat of eternal conscientious torment... shall I continue?

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