First a song
Then commentary from a man of the cloth
Morrison: What do you make of the theology which is pretty quite prominent these days in America, which is there is one guaranteed way not to go to hell; and that is to accept Jesus as your personal saviour.
Spong: Yeah, I grew up in that tradition. Every church I know claims that ‘we are the true church’ – that they have some ultimate authority, ‘We have the infallible Pope,’ ‘We have the Bible.’… The idea that the truth of God can be bound in any human system, by any human creed, by any human book, is almost beyond imagination for me.
I mean, God is not a Christian. God is not a Jew or a Muslim or a Hindi or Buddhist. All of those are human systems, which human beings have created to try to help us walk into the mystery of God. I honour my tradition. I walk through my tradition. But I don’t think my tradition defines God. It only points me to God
There is a discussion going on somewhere on this blog. Our interlocutor has made a comment that I think deserves special treatment.
Hell does exist. Jesus spoke about Hell quite often. Why don’t you want Hell to exist?
If there is no Hell, then what is the point of judgement day? What is the point of working out your salvation with fear and trembling? What is the point of good and wrong, if there is no hell?
You are saying that he’ll doesn’t exist, because you don’t want to go there. But by your closing your eyes from the sun, will it make the sun stop shining?
Hell existed to Jesus….because he spoke of hell many times. Not just words but stories. For every word and action, you shall give account.
Romeo believes there is a judgement day. Hell has to exist. No hell, judgement is in vain. I think this is brilliant.
The Paulines haven’t moved so far away from their fore fathers in wishing us damnation. They claim to worship a benevolent god who wants to be in a some kind of relationship with man but at the same time they tell us this gods has a plan to make BBQ of some people for a period of time so long I can’t conceive it properly and that my brothers is love. Below is the wishes of one Tertullian, writing in the early centuries of this religion
You are fond of spectacles, expect the greatest of all spectacles, the last and eternal judgement of the universe. How shall I admire, how laugh, how rejoice, how exult, when I behold so many proud monarchs, and fancied gods, groaning in the lowest abyss of darkness, so many magistrates, who persecuted the name of the lord, liquefying in fiercer fires than they ever kindled against the Christians, so many sage philosophers blushing in red hot flames with their deluded scholars, so many celebrated poets trembling before the tribunal, not of Minos but of Christ, so many tragedians, more tuneful in the expression of their own sufferings , so many dancers
E. Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
A post written for atheistenquiry.org where I blog alongside 7 other wonderful people. When you visit say I sent you 😛 as le Ark would say, a fine gentleman the fellow is!
I find these two questions that am going to attempt to answer very interesting, if not presumptuous. That said, I will attempt to do them justice.
1. When you end up in Hell, who are you most looking forward to seeing? Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, or Mao Zedong?
2. If after death your soul finds itself in a place of eternal torment, who will you blame?
Re-read those questions! They are what I call loaded questions, that is, they have several hidden premises in them and we will first try to show what they are then continue to respond. They assumes among other things:-
- that there is a hell
- that there is an afterlife
- that people are resurrected in the form in which they exist now
- that there is need for eternal torment
- that we have a soul
- and that I or other atheists are going to hell
Having identified what yours…
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A god infinitely good, can neither be infinitely cruel nor grant his creatures an infinite duration, solely for the pleasure of eternal torments.
Baron d’Holdbach in good sense
I was recently at a funeral and the thoughts that I had written a few days ago about grieving and the subsequent discussions we had resurfaced in my mind. As I was there listening to each person who spoke to the bereaved family and to all those present, it occurred to me that for most people, or rather for those who spoke, that this life is just a preparation for another life, a future life of bliss for those who follow the right god and damnation for everyone else. While this thought alone irks me, for why would a person who thinks his particular god is loving, also hold in the same brain that this god will punish others for eternity for not bending to his whims, forget that the said god is also said to be all-powerful.
There is a particular speaker who did say they believe, or rather their religion teaches, that if a child dies, they go straight to heaven and encouraged the parents to stay on the path of the lord and they will be sure to go to heaven. He added, even though it is sad to lose a child, the parents should have cause to be happy for their child would at the required time refuse to go to heaven?unless all those she loved are in heaven. I have a problem with this line of thought for a few reasons
- If god cares that we go to heaven, and children head there straight away, why not ensure we all die as children?
- If to go to heaven, all one requires is the innocence of a child, why not just populate heaven?
- Why do people want to live after they have died?
The other thing I no longer can reconcile myself to belief is that there is more after this life. There was a time, long ago I could have wanted it to be true but not anymore. The life we have here is temporal but it is the ONLY one we know and as far as we can tell the only one we will live. It is time imams, priests, church ministers and other fraudsters in the names of deities started to tell their followers the truth, and that truth is that life here is much more important that any other imaginary life. People must be told that death marks the end of their existence and they will go back to where they were before they were born. To accept this will go along way in making people look to this life in a different light, as a life worth living and that we need not make preparations for a future existence, especially since we did have to make preparations for this one.
If I should remember what others said, I will update this post… I promise 😛