A person once asked me during a conversation, “what if you are wrong and God is real?” I replied with a simple question. “To which “God” or gods are you referring to, because my answer greatly changes based on who”. “The God of the Bible!” She replied with seething hate in her voice. “Oh well, I would gladly accept my ticket to hell and I would try to slap that sexist, racist, bigoted, fear loving, baby killing, child raping, daughter selling, son molesting, slave owning piece of shit God, over and over agin until the demons dragged me down to the depths of hell, and then I would bathe in the joy knowing I am not forcefully stuck worshiping that trash for all of eternity. Now I ask the same question to all of you, if God is real (the God of the Bible for this topic) and hell is real. What is your honest reaction? Of course this is a mind experiment so I would ask people to not just simply dismiss the notion of a “God”.
I made up my mind a long time ago that if this specific god was real and say hell was where I was going (this god isn’t logical nor predictable- very controlling and egocentric)
I would gladly go.
I have a feeling I’d get along and be happier with this god’s “opposer”. Plus I know too many people that would be there too!
If hell was real? Silly question but, given the opportunity I would give that sonofamisgynist, torturing bitch a piece of my mind.
Then I would recline on my lava armchair and watch the demons taunt Cog by NOT using the rolling pin …
IF, I really hate IF questions…anyway…either way, when I die, I have made my choice, I rejected a belief in gods and in YHWH. I like the world the way I experience it. Without a god. And without a god, it all just makes more sense, with no magic and nothing beyond natural reality.
IF I made the wrong choice and it was YHWH all the time hiding, from plain view behind 40,000 different, confounding denominations and faiths, using overly worked translations of translations in redacted, multiple-edited and dishonestly inserted scriptures containing both vague and conflicting information, then I just wasn’t created smart or pious enough to accept stuff I could not interpret as truthful or meaningful, or even divine. I see evil in the holy (“other”). So I failed. I lose. Send me down. I have learned long ago accept the consequences of my actions. Its more dignified than begging.
In the meantime…I am enjoying, appreciating, marvelling, learning, sharing, delighting, fearing, being cautious, cynical, wary, despising, loathing, contemplating and generally astounded with life .
This life is unique and short and I have discovered, all too late in life, that I have no time to spare, worrying about the unevidenced gods that others fear and remains wilfully hidden, or the divine horror of my unavoidable fate for not being able to share in that fear.
Thanks for asking.
My favourite Christian is Bishop John Shelby Spong , and he has some interesting things to say about hell. (he has also written some best selling books and has LOTS of videos free on YouTube)
As for my own views: If it turns out that the monster YHWH of the Torah is real, then I’m fucked. Probably the same for most atheists and more than a few christians. Possibly all of them because Christianity is blasphemy according to Judaism.
If on the other hand it’s my Catholic mother’s Jesus of infinite forgiveness and compassion, then we will all be fine. That includes human monsters such as Stalin, Mao, Hitler and Pol Pot. With a god of infinite forgiveness, it cannot be otherwise by definition.
Nothing I can do about it of course. I am unable to believe and am unable to convince myself that a god would be stupid enough to fall for Pascal’s Wager.
Under of the heading of grossly unfair ironies: If I’m in error, I will be made acutely aware of that fact immediately upon my death. Christians and other believers simply won’t know if they are wrong.
I know a supper extreme cult that believes in YHWH and that cult hates Jews, NGK members , Muslims, LGBT people ,disabled people , atheists, technology ,infrastructure and animals .They believe Jews is very evil and they to kill all the gentiles .They believe that Jews want to control the world . They have believe in the “True Israelite” thing . What is the “True Israelite” thing ? . The "“True Israelite” thing means you are unmixed pure blood and pure white , their religion is very similar to Neo-Nazism .The man they hate the most is Angus Buchan .They call him “the devil with the hat” and they also say "He didn’t even open the Bible it is only Israelites that goes to heaven " .They are also very arrogant they say “we are the chosen few that goes to heaven” .
Image from .
Here is the church they extremely hate the NGK church .
They love the killing of endangered species they call it "Country cleaning " their pastor preach “you must kill these demons (animals) with great brutality these sinners don’t read the Bible their place is hell”.
First of all, I don’t agree with the prescription contained in your online handle. Don’t burn so-called “holy books!” We humans need historical artifacts to remind us of what barbarians we once were, so that we can keep from going back to barbarism.
And, in addition to the historical, we also need the hysterical to make life on Earth entertaining!
So-called “holy books” can make for some spooky ghost stories and gross stories to tell around the campfire with the hot dogs and S’mores! (Just wait for the S’mores to cool some before scaring anybody, or the burn of hot sugar will be literal Hell on Earth. Yikes!)
The way to take the horrific power out of “holy books” is not to burn them or ban them, but to read them literally, read them out loud, point at them, and laugh!
Now, to answer the Theist’s hypothetical question with two other questions:
“What if you are wrong, there is no God, and a Supernatural Hell is also an illusion?”
“Haven’t you just wasted time that could be better spent keeping the Natural Universe from being a Hell for it’s inhabitants?”
Bishop Spong has many wise and benevolent thoughts, but really he is a Cosplayer Cbristian. He evidently gets some kind of jollies from wearing the clerical collar.
His “Points of Reform” for Christianity on his Wiki page might as well sum up as: “Let’s close this Muthah down! Last one out, please turn out the lights!”
John Shelby Spong–Wikipedia
It is funny to read that while he served as Bishop in Newark, NJ, the number of communicants in the Diocese dropped by around 50 percent! Bet that saved a lot of money on Red Rooster and little white crackers!
He needs somebody to tell him: “Ditch the collar and come on in, John! The water is just fine!”
I kind of agree, possibly not for the same reason(s)
Imo book burning is simply an extreme form of censorship, and so I cannot support it. Who exactly chooses which book should be burned? I do not support the burning of any book. Imo I have neither the legal nor moral authority to do such a thing. I really don’t know if anyone has the moral authority
Countries which begin burning books eventually start burning people. I’m thinking of the christian church from the fourth century until the sixteenth century, and (please forgive Godwin’s Law) Nazi Germany, which had huge bonfires of any and all books by Jewish authors.
If you have not done so, I urge you to read 1984 by George Orwell. Written in 1948, (hence the title) it was Orwell’s view of how thing could go in post war UK.
Orwell on censorship: “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”
― George Orwell, 1984
1984 is available for free loan from The Internet Archive
This guy looks and sounds like one of these old Cowboy Preachers in the U.S., only with fiberglass in his chaps, a “catheter that hurts less,” and an addiction to chintzy Meth. Here’s some of his doppelgangers:
Cowboy Preachers, Atheist, and Satan
I’m A Professional Cowboy and I Use Catheters
My response includes aspects of many posts already. I’ll go from an angle of going to heaven: Why would I want to live forever bowing down to a narcissistic tyrant who extorted me to love and worship him? Many of my friends and relatives wouldn’t be here and that would make heaven sad.
But I suppose the god would make me love him and be happy. If so, the person I am/was would be dead. And what difference would it be to lose myself in heaven or hell?
@boomer47 I’ve read “1984” and seen three movies, the TV version from 1954, the theater releases from 1956 and 1984. Enjoyed them all. I had written a personal essay comparing aspects of Eng Soc to my former christianity. I didn’t use that quote you mentioned, though I remember it.
I started with the three chants preached to the followers: “Freedom is slavery,” “War is peace” and “Ignorance is strength.” It’s been a while since I wrote it, but I remember elaborating on how my christianity implemented those concepts. I forget what else I explicated. I’ll have to find it and reread it. ha
I also have read and saw “Fahrenheit 451” about book burning and censorship. I definitely like the book better than the 1967 movie. Another way of being controlled: if we give up reading and remain ignorant–similar to christians who don’t actually read their scriptures and let others dictate what to believe.
Fun concepts to think about, eh?
You will be pleased to know that I’ve read 1984 4 times since the 7th grade when I was age 13 and Animal Farm 7 times since then too. I also did my High School English Thesis on George Orwell.
Orwell grasped the nature of tyranny better than a lot of people and according to his biographer Bernard Crick, Orwell was a fellow unbeliever who saw the mythical Abrahamic God as a model for Big Brother.
Only thing is, kids here in the States have been reading Orwell as part of mandatory curricula since 1984 came out, yet life becomes more like art every day. The Skoolz evidently don’t present the book as a cautionary tale, but as a way of acclimating students to the horrors. Some people probably even think 1984 should be an instruction manual. And so it goes…
Atheism isn’t a claim or belief that no god exists, it’s the lack or absence of belief in any deity or deities, so it can’t be wrong.
Start there, as the person is misrepresenting atheism.
Then ask them what objective evidence they can demonstrate for any deity?
If they can, do share it on here, as not one theists has offered any thus far to any atheist posting here.
If they can’t, ask them if they believe in all unevidenced claims, if not how is such obvious bias in favour of one god claim validated?
Beyond that I’m disinclined to speculate, but as others have pointed out the biblical deity is not a being I’d much care to worship anyway.
“Pascal’s Wager.” One of the worst possible arguments for believing in a god.
God or not, I can simply dismiss the invention of Satan and Hell. Concepts created by the Christian Church so that they could invent the cure and hook you into their idiotic belief system. If you knew where hell came from and how it evolved, you would not more believe in it than you do purple, web footed, unicorns.
I was merely making a suggestion.
I like Animal Farm too. Plus Brave New world as well as Fahrenheit 451.
We didn’t do any of them at school. In High School we did “Lord Of The Flies”, which I loved. The 1963 version is one of best film adaptions of a book I’ve ever seen.
That’s the main reason I come here. Otherwise the only way for me to have an intelligent conversation is to talk to myself
PS I understand that ‘Lord Of The Flies’ is banned in a lot of US schools.
Indeed, likening religion to a lottery really. It’s like claiming a lottery may exist, and losing it has dire consequences. Except your not sure which lottery to pick from, or what the winning ticket should contain even if you could select the correct lottery randomly from thousands. You can’t evidence the lottery exists in any objective or empirical way, and of course you can’t offer any really objective difference between the thousands of lotteries humans have created. While they all claim their lottery is the one real lottery, with most contemporary lotteries sub dividing endlessly into thousands of groups all claiming what the winning ticket must contain. What they don’t acknowledge is their winning ticket often involved deeply pernicious behaviours towards others of course, even and often against those who believe ostensibly in the same lottery, but disagree, often violently, about what the winning ticket should contain.
Then after all that, Pascal’s wager absurdly presents itself as a binary choice, with all the risk attached to having no ticket of course, and all the gain attached to the belief there even is a lottery anyway, that we were entered into, inexplicably, and without our knowledge or consent at the moment of our birth, or even our conception. Losing tickets seem to be conveniently ignored in this wager, no doubt because they can only vastly outnumber winning tickets.
As you say, it has to be one of the weakest, stupidest ill-conceived religious arguments ever, and that is some fucking accolade.
Oh yes, “Brave New World.” Almost forgot. I saw the 1980 movie and had listened to an audio book. I now recall a later movie version with Leonard Nimoy.
Literature classes in our high school (back in the 1970s and 1980s) included “Lord of the Flies,” “Brave New World” and “1984.” According to the lists in the curriculum, they were included in different classes or different years. I didn’t take the courses since I couldn’t stand ‘plowing’ through novels at the time. But from what students told me, the novels were discussed more on their art form–the authors techniques and how they described details, events, the culture, etc.
Yes, it’s funny how ‘freedom’ is ‘filtered’ in the U.S. I’d seen a few lists of banned or attempted to be banned books by interest groups, usually religiously influenced. I don’t recall any of the books not being available in my area of the country (upper midwest). I didn’t get around to reading most of them, so maybe I just didn’t notice if any others were unavailable.
In the US it is not about freedoms allowed, but the range of choices allowed. Even now, we witness just two possible options, with zero room for a third.
And a wonderful suggestion Orwell was. Many more a-literate U.S. Citizens can use a reading of Orwell, and many literate U.S. Citizens need to re-read it for depth.
To answer your question about Lord of the Flies, some localities probably did ban it. My locality didn’t, but it was extracurricular. Book censorship in the U.S. is usually done by County Boards of Education or a County Commission in charge of County public libraries.
State Departments of Education have done it to with Evolution in science curricula. Conceivably, if a President put in a Politically Correct Leftist or Religious Right Conservative as head of the U.S. Department of Education, that head could hold up funds for schools who didn’t toe the line on curricula.
All of these layers of potential and actual government censorship are one of many reasons I am no fan of Gummint Skoolz.
Private libraries and repositories such as those supported by Atheist tycoon Andrew Carnegie can include any damn thing the paying patron wants and prospective readers can have their choice of libraries and patrons or create their own libraries if their tastes differ. The Guttenberg Project and ibiblios are modern Internet libraries of public-domain material.
Given what’s happening at the Capitol building, I think Orwell’s hatred of totalitarianism has never been more relevant…