Posts Tagged ‘hell’

Very nice collection from our online atheist community. Thanks to all.

I find the subject concept so patently absurd, that I suspect it is a significant part of the reason I have never been a religious person.  The idea that you can spend all of eternity in bliss…just because you eat certain things, speak a certain way, dress a certain way, refrain from certain things, partake in certain things, treat sex a certain way, read certain books, pray to certain gods, and certainly don’t pray to certain gods, is quite obviously an attempt to control human behavior.  Of course if you don’t practice all the certain things….you burn in a lake of fire for all eternity.  Lovely.

This is a child’s fear-based fantasy, and should be treated as such.  It is more fantastical than flying reindeer or toy-making elves.  It is as realistic as fitting a mating pair of every species on the planet onto a single boat, or living inside a whale.  It does not hold up to 30 seconds of reasonable questioning.

Imagine being in Heaven, while one of your relatives (or worse, your child) were being punished in Hell, for whatever trivial shortcomings in religious vanity the “good” lord declares they have displayed.  Could you really enjoy bliss knowing that your loved ones are suffering the most extreme pain and torture one can conceive?  Apologetics typically answer by stating that my memory would likely be erased of the relative’s existence.  Isn’t that wonderful?  The love of your life is ripped away from you to be tortured forever, and erased from your memory so that you can enjoy chocolate fountains and gold pavement with other people who would never violate the Sabbath.

Or…imagine the not-so-odd situation when a war widow and her new husband, after a tragic accident, meet her original husband and his original wife in heaven.  Awkward moments of silence ensue.  Polygamy must be allowed I suppose.  Or perhaps sex does not exist anymore.  What kind of bliss is that?  How old are all the dead heaven dwellers anyway?  The same age as when they died?  95 year-old Frank is reunited with his wife who died during childbirth at 20? Maybe they are not personified….yet that wouldn’t make since either, God itself is the (egotistical) image of man.

As a matter of definition, there must be no free will in Heaven. After all, one man’s free will can be another man’s burden.  There are no burdens in Heaven.  No freedom either, apparently.  Or perhaps there is free will and you can be in heaven, commit a sin, then be sent to the sadistic reaches of Hell.  I don’t see how a return trip would ever be possible, but not all is lost.  I personally would rather spend eternity with people whose behavior reflected their morals, as opposed to those who require blind faith as an entrance requirement.