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Do you fear hell?

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  • Do you fear hell?

    Do you accept the Christian argument that if we die not believing in Jesus as our Savior, we will be eternally damned? What would be the proper response? Isn't this ''appeal to fear''?

  • #2
    The proper response is a metaphorical pat on the head. Since humanity became anatomically modern a few hundred thousand years ago, we've had tens of thousands of gods. None of them were real. None of their threats or promises were real, either.

    Typically, there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It's entirely possible to stop at any stage along the way.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Juvenal View Post
      Typically, there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It's entirely possible to stop at any stage along the way.
      I dind't understand this bit. You're trying the say the religious people who appeal to Hell are stopping at the ''bargaining'' stage?

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      • #4
        Edited by a Moderator

        Moderated By: DesertBerean

        Sorry...this area is restricted from Christians

        ***If you wish to take issue with this notice DO NOT do so in this thread.***
        Contact the forum moderator or an administrator in Private Message or email instead. If you feel you must publicly complain or whine, please take it to the Padded Room unless told otherwise.

        Last edited by DesertBerean; 02-26-2020, 10:38 AM.

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        • #5
          Edited by a Moderator
          First off, thanks! I'd been afraid somehow this thread would escape the inevitable wayward theist incursion.

          Fearing hell is childish.

          I've seen people die, Leonhard. I've watched the monitors as they flatline. The heart stops. The brain ceases to function. Brain chemistry ends. No further memories can be saved or recalled. No further actions are possible.

          When you're dead, it's over. That's why we're afraid of death.

          Being afraid of what you might experience after you can't experience anymore is the archetype of irrationality. And to answer Seeker, to think you're going to experience things after you're dead is to remain mired in denial.
          Last edited by DesertBerean; 02-26-2020, 10:40 AM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Seeker View Post
            Do you accept the Christian argument that if we die not believing in Jesus as our Savior, we will be eternally damned?
            I don't, no.

            Originally posted by Seeker View Post
            What would be the proper response?
            I would say that Christians generally don't worry the least about the consequences of not believing in the tenets of other religions, so if they're going to casually dismiss those other tenets, I can likewise dismiss theirs.

            Originally posted by Seeker View Post
            Isn't this ''appeal to fear''?
            Yes, it is.
            I can solve the problem of evil without interfering with anyone's free will. So can your God, but he refuses. This is why I'm His moral superior.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Seeker View Post
              Do you accept the Christian argument that if we die not believing in Jesus as our Savior, we will be eternally damned?
              Nope. Grew up being taught that though, but can't say that I ever bought into it. Why adults continue to believe in the existence of such a tyrannus and evil god is beyond me. Satan is at least welcoming. You don't see him denying people entrance to his domain.

              What would be the proper response? Isn't this ''appeal to fear''?
              Of course, the appeal to fear and the appeal of reward. I came to think of religion as a psychological tool, a necessary evil used to help keep people in line. I mean who wants to burn in hell for eternity when they can live in mansions and drink and party and have all kinds of fun for eternity in paradise.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Whateverman View Post
                I would say that Christians generally don't worry the least about the consequences of not believing in the tenets of other religions, so if they're going to casually dismiss those other tenets, I can likewise dismiss theirs.
                That's a great point, actually. I fully agree.

                Originally posted by Whateverman View Post
                Yes, it is.
                What I really meant to say was that it is a formal fallacy of ''appeal to fear''. :) Just to clarify, of course.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Juvenal View Post
                  First off, thanks! I'd been afraid somehow this thread would escape the inevitable wayward theist incursion.

                  Fearing hell is childish.

                  I've seen people die, Leonhard. I've watched the monitors as they flatline. The heart stops. The brain ceases to function. Brain chemistry ends. No further memories can be saved or recalled. No further actions are possible.

                  When you're dead, it's over. That's why we're afraid of death.

                  Being afraid of what you might experience after you can't experience anymore is the archetype of irrationality. And to answer Seeker, to think you're going to experience things after you're dead is to remain mired in denial.
                  I was not, I am, I am not, I care not.

                  When death comes we are not there.
                  "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Seeker View Post
                    Do you accept the Christian argument that if we die not believing in Jesus as our Savior, we will be eternally damned? What would be the proper response? Isn't this ''appeal to fear''?
                    The notion of hellfire and damnation is a much later Christian construct. The word hell does not occur in the New Testament.
                    "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                      The notion of hellfire and damnation is a much later Christian construct. The word hell does not occur in the New Testament.
                      So what about that one from the KJV: "And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out,
                      and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for
                      thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell" (Matthew 5:29)?

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                      • #12
                        Note: I have permission to post here from the mods and seeker.

                        Originally posted by Seeker View Post
                        Do you accept the Christian argument that if we die not believing in Jesus as our Savior, we will be eternally damned?
                        No, I don't. A god like the Christians purport to have--all-benevolent and all powerful--would never create a place of eternal suffering for his creations. If their god exists, he is probably delusional and drunk with power.

                        What would be the proper response? Isn't this ''appeal to fear''?
                        The proper response would be the rejection of this god. We have no vantage point to really know with 100% certainty that he's all powerful and all good as he claims. We can easily see that humans who make such demands of others are narcissistic and abusive. The claim, "Dedicate your entire life to me or suffer forever in hell" is probably the most extreme abusive demand that a cosmic being could make upon humans. The best thing that we humans can do is say no. Clearly this god isn't good and either doesn't care about the suffering of his creations or cares more about loyalty to himself than suffering. Neither option is good. Indeed, why would such a being even want such loyalty if they rule over the entire universe? I'm reminded of an anonymous quote (often wrongly attributed to Marcus Aurelius, but that's a different topic):

                        "Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones."


                        The Christian god falls into the unjust category. I'd rather live my life as good as possible without him than to waste my time dedicating myself to him just to get away from hell. Hell is absolutely about fear and giving the recipient a Hobson's choice. Just like I cannot have a "loving" relationship with a human narcissist who demands all of my loyalty, I realized when I was deconstructing my former faith that I cannot have a loving relationship with a god who acts the same way.
                        "Concentrate on what you have to do. Fix your eyes on it. Remind yourself that your task is to be a good human being; remind yourself what nature demands of people. Then do it, without hesitation, and speak the truth as you see it. But with kindness. With humility. Without hypocrisy."
                        -Marcus Aurelius

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Seeker View Post
                          So what about that one from the KJV: "And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out,
                          and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for
                          thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell" (Matthew 5:29)?
                          That is a translation into English. The original Greek in that verse is γέεενναν which is translated as Gehenna. This is thought to have been an actual physical location near Jerusalem. The site is supposed to have had connections with Israelite early practises of child sacrifice - hence the "Moloch" deity found in the Hebrew bible. It was later deemed to be an accursed place.
                          "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                            That is a translation into English. The original Greek in that verse is γέεενναν which is translated as Gehenna. This is thought to have been an actual physical location near Jerusalem. The site is supposed to have had connections with Israelite early practises of child sacrifice - hence the "Moloch" deity found in the Hebrew bible. It was later deemed to be an accursed place.
                            Thank you for the information. Even without sources, at a cursory glance, most of what you wrote seems to be true.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Seeker View Post
                              Do you accept the Christian argument that if we die not believing in Jesus as our Savior, we will be eternally damned? What would be the proper response? Isn't this ''appeal to fear''?
                              Edited by a Moderator

                              Moderated By: Bill the Cat

                              Matt, this is a non-theist only area. Please make sure you see where you are posting. Thanks

                              ***If you wish to take issue with this notice DO NOT do so in this thread.***
                              Contact the forum moderator or an administrator in Private Message or email instead. If you feel you must publicly complain or whine, please take it to the Padded Room unless told otherwise.

                              Last edited by Bill the Cat; 08-27-2020, 10:49 AM.
                              Many and painful are the researches sometimes necessary to be made, for settling points of [this] kind. Pertness and ignorance may ask a question in three lines, which it will cost learning and ingenuity thirty pages to answer. When this is done, the same question shall be triumphantly asked again the next year, as if nothing had ever been written upon the subject.
                              George Horne

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