I have come back to post again because I am becoming stronger in my atheism but I still have some work to do before I can become a full on atheist.
I am a person with a physical disability who identifies as gay and I went down an unpleasant path because of my guilt and shame surrounding my sexuality.
I have a question regarding how to get rid of the concept of “hell” from my mind. I feel like there is still a part of me deep inside that is worried about being punished for who I am. However, there are a couple logical reasons why I know this is not the case:
Every concept in human culture is created by humans, and humans are constantly evolving.
I do not want to believe in a god that punishes people with ailments just because they are LGBT
There are thousands of religions around the world that claim that they have it right.
I am envious of those atheists who are unapologetic about themselves and I aspire to be like them someday. I was wondering if there were any strategies that helped you “deprogram” the concept of hell from your mind?
Do I really want to read any further? (I’m really hoping for the best here… )
PALM FACE! "You can’t become ‘stronger in your atheism.’ ATHEISM IS NOTHING. IT IS THE NOWHERE POSITION. It is the NULL HYPOTHESIS. It is the “Show me the evidence for your claim!” position. How in the hell do you get stronger at nothing?
You don’t get stronger at Atheism. You realize the shit the religions of the world have been shoving down your throat for thousands of years is SHIT. It looks like SHIT. It smells like SHIT. It tastes like SHIT. And when you roll in it, it sticks to you like SHIT.
None of that has anything to do with Atheism. When you have seen enough shit. Smelled enough shit. Tasted and eaten enough shit. And wallowed in enough shit. You will simply stand up, say, "Enough is enough, and walk away. You won’t even know you are an atheist. You will just know you are glad to have the stink of shit off of you.
I love the concept of Hell. I can’t tell you how to get rid of it. I can only tell you how I got rid of it. I studied it. Where did the idea of Christian hell come from? That was enough to cure me. The Christians made it up. It was invented. It is not a part of the Jewish tradition. Satan was a good guy in the Jewish tradition. The whole fucking story is one big joke. And then you add to it the Jewish exodus from Babylonia and the progression of the Jews from polytheism and their worship of Ashirah, Baal, and the pantheon of gods, to henotheism, and finally to monotheism, and then to the 300 or so Christian offshoots of early Christianity and the plethora of beliefs they had… ITS A FUCKING WONDER How this modern version of hell ever came about. One story is that the Roman Christians used to scare the shit out of their kids by telling them, “If you are not good, (Satan / the enemy), the horned god of the heathen, (People who lived in the heaths/hills outside of Rome and worshiped Pan, the horned god of the forest) will come in the night and steal you away.” "Pan, the horned god of the forest was the “Boogieman.” Anyway, just a little bit of studying and all this shit just folds. It’s all made-up bullshit. “Information and education is the bane of religion.”
That’s stupid! Why not just believe God punishes LGBT. That’s what the bible says. I believe it 100% If the biblical god is real, he hates your fucking guts. Why in the fuck would you deny that. The asshole wants you dead!
You are fearing things that go bump in the night. There is nothing there. All you have to do is open your frigging eyes and look.
Cog is quite right in his own inimitable chimp fashion.
Atheism is a single decision. " I lack belief in a god or gods" That is it. You do not get stronger or weaker in your belief, or lack of.
You can say “I do not believe in the existence of the god that you claim to exist”. Then you have to have convincing evidence that it does not exist,
That is what Cog was explaining about “hell”, once you research and marshal your facts, you can indeed argue, with evidence, that hell is a late Christian construct and does not exist…except in the believer’s imagination.
Enjoy yourself here . Cog is a bit rough with newcomers, something to do with that rolling pin up his arse I think…or was it the pineapple?
Don’t know if this came out right… or I am reading is wrong. “You don’t need convincing evidence of anything.” It’s enough to know that there is no convincing evidence for the assertions being made by the theists. (Its all made up bullshit. We know it is made up bullshit. We can follow the historical data. We know the evolution of the Jewish religion. We KNOW the orgin of the Hell Story. We know the evolution of SATAN. It’s right there in your bible in black and white, You just havn’t read it.)
You thought that was clear? HA! That’s what happens when you have had the wind in your ears for 70 years.
Requires no burden of proof. “I believe.” That is what I believe. The assertion is “I believe.” It is truly what “I believe.” Now… Can I justify the belief is another question? “I believe there are no Gods” is fundamentally different from “There are no gods.” The first sentence is about “me.” The second is about the world out there around me.
Isn’t it much easier to just 'not believe?" I don’t believe any theist has ever met their burden of proof. OKAY OKAY! I admit it, I don’t believe in any fucking gods, ghosts, or supernatural bullshit. But I won’t let the theists know that. I might be arguing against the wrong god or the wrong supernatural bullshit. Always wait for the theist or the spiritualist to define what in the fuck they are talking about. Until they do, I have no idea if I believe their claims or not.
So Hell Exists? What evidence do you have for this assertion? The Bible? Haha haha… I have already shown the evolution of the concept of Hell in the bible. It is an invented construct. We know its origins. What else do you have? Dante perhaps. He did more to influence modern beliefs in hell than almost anyone. I have never seen of nor heard of a good argument for the existence of hell, Any hell.
Hi. It’s nice to meet you. I have not read your previous post(s). So when I read your first sentence here, I wasn’t sure if you understand the concept of A-theism. It’s simply the lack of belief. “Do I believe that any supernatural beings exist?” If you answer “no,” then you an atheist. Any other answer puts you somewhere other than the default position.
But your fear of hell seems to be a common problem for some that are deprogramming. I know emotions can be strong. I have my own fears (of other issues that I won’t get into here) that too often ‘slip in’ and affect me.
The best advice I can give is to arm yourself with knowledge. Awareness of reality helps to stave off fears for me. My reading of history and science led my critical thinking self to escape my bonds of religion. It took years. I was alone, completely surrounded by christians, and I knew of no one else who had shed their beliefs.
One of my first steps was to apply logic to the hell concept. I asked, “would a loving god actually punish me for asking questions, and would a loving god actually punish me for being me?” My conclusion was that if it did punish me, than I would know that I was more moral than this god (or any of the 1000s of gods that might decide to punish me).
That set me on course to losing my fear of any hell. I’m not saying it’s easy, and it takes time to ‘unpractice’ ingrained fears.
Hope this can help in any little way.
Carry on and good luck on your journey.
NO! A-theist = SPECIFICALLY - THEISM - a belief in God or gods. It says nothing at all about the supernatural. Atheists can believe in spirits, ghosts, crystial magic, and all sorts of nonsense.
ATHEISM IS THE DEFAULT POSITION.
The easiest example of this is for you to look up at the stars in the sky. If I tell you that the number of stars in the known universe is “Even.” What is the default position? Do you scream at me, “No! The number is odd?” Of course not. The default position is to not believe me. THAT IS THE DEFAULT POSITION. So when some dweeb asserts that he has contact with the all-powerful creator god of the universe who exists in a timeless, spaceless, pre-big bang but an ever-present manifestation, I claim “Horseshit” and demand evidence. When no evidence is forthcoming, I take the “DEFAULT” position and do not believe the silly assertions are being made. I AM AN ATHEIST. (I DON’T BELIEVE YOUR CLAIM WITHOUT EVIDENCE.) That is the “DEFAULT POSITION.”
The rest of the post is okay… whatever you can get your teeth into to start your journey. I found passages like slicing open the stomachs of pregnant women and dashing unborn babies on rocks, particularly reviling. Then there was the ole, your hand should be the first to kill anyone who tries to dissuade you from your faith. And I always thought the NT passage, “Not one jot or title of the law will be changed. until all this has come to pass.” was particularly good. The God of the Bible is a fucking ASS.
I think you’ve been led to believe that hell is real by people who have little interest in providing evidence to support that claim, if any interest.
I think those people and their unsubstantiated claim still have control over you, and you’re letting them. Fuck them.
I think you wouldn’t have been motivated to start this thread unless there were an inner voice telling you that being unapologetic about your atheism is the right thing to do. Try being it’s representative.
I understand everyone is passionate so maybe it’s good. I’m hoping I can gain your respect over time the more I evolve.
Based off of everyone’s responses, I probably did not word that correctly. What I meant was that I identify as an atheist and I also have some work to do before that belief “travels” from my mind to my inner being.
Do you guys know where I can find out more information about the origins of hell? I really feel like once I know more, I will be more equipped to defend myself and feel better.
On a separate note, how would you guys have worded the phrase? I didn’t mean to sound ignorant, I just tried to explain the best I could.
Howdy, Rdoug. Welcome to the Fun House of Degenerate Godless Heathens. On that note, if Cog offers you a banana, DO NOT accept it. Just something you need to know. Anyway, about your fear of hell…
If it makes you feel any better, your problem is actually more common than you might think. Based on what you said, your situation is very much like the challenge I faced when trying to shed the burdens of my religious indoctrination. No matter how ridiculous I thought it all was. No matter how illogical and contradicting the bible teachings seemed to be. No matter how much I thought it was all just one big con game. That ever-present fear of going to hell if I questioned any of it was absolutely the hardest thing to finally shake. Took me over forty years of my life to do so. Hopefully, it won’t take you nearly that long. But how do you finally get rid of that insidious pang of doubt? Just like others here have already suggested, you learn. You study. You discuss it with others to help you sort it all out. The more you know, the better. Beyond that, though, allow me to share something with you that helped me to finally put hell in its place…
Keep in mind, what you are about to read is an understanding I gradually developed over a period of several months. I didn’t just wake up one morning and go, “Aha! I got it!” (I wish it had been that easy.) But today, YOU get it in one convenient package for three easy payments of only $19.99 (shipping and handling not included). Here we go…
Simply read the bible. Personally, I can’t even get through the first few chapters of Genesis without rolling my eyes and shaking my head. And from there it only goes down hill. Then ask yourself, does ANY of that sound like something that would have been written/inspired by a PERFECT all-knowing/all-powerful entity? Also bear in mind that the bible is THE VERY FOUNDATION of Christianity. Without the bible, there is no Christianity. And if the foundation is cracked/unstable, how reliable is everything that is built upon it?
God is PERFECT. God made EVERYTHING, including Lucifer and all the other angels. And they all lived in heaven together with God. Heaven… The most wonderful paradise anybody could ever imagine, right? YET, Lucifer and a few of his angel brothers were not satisfied with living in heaven with God, so they rebelled. Big bloody war between angels started, and the pro-God angels won. Hooray. Now, let this next part sink in. God (being all-knowing) should have KNOWN this would happen. God (being the all-powerful creator of EVERYTHING) could have easily stopped the rebellion with a snap of his fingers and no war. But did he? Nope. Instead, this PERFECT all-knowing being decided the best course of action was to banish the rebellion leader (Lucifer) to rule over hell (made by this ALL-LOVING benevolent God) to punish sinners for all of eternity.
If Satan is evil and rebelled against God, then why would Satan want to punish evil people who also rebel against God? Along those same lines, if heaven is such a perfect paradise, and God is so perfectly loving, then why did Satan rebel in the first place?
According to what I was taught, God knows EVERYTHING about me. Knew everything about me eons before I ever even existed, and knows every single thought I will ever have even before I ever have them. Knows what I am typing here at this very instant. And God makes every single person that will ever exist as a part of his PERFECT PLAN. Therefore, this God KNOWS why I do not believe in him and why I don’t believe in Satan/hell. AND this God could EASILY do whatever is necessary to make me believe. Yet, here we are. In which case, it stands to reason, if this God truly exists, it DOES NOT WANT me to believe in it. In which case, according to the rules IT made, I will be sent to its hell to be punished for something IT was responsible for doing. In which case, even IF this God was real, I sure as fuck would never worship it in the first place. I’d prefer to take my chances with Satan.
So, hopefully, these little pointers will help get you going in the right direction. Sure, there is more to it than this, but some things are better if you realize them on your own. Besides, you still haven’t sent me the first payment. What, you think I just give this shit away for free? Damn freeloaders.
Same here. It took me a while to shake the “I’m going to hell” feeling as I was going through my transition from Christianity to Atheism in my teenage years. But once I learned and concluded that like every other religion out there. I had concluded that it was an inconsistent, silly, man made religion and that’s what helped me fully over come my indoctrination and leave it behind.
Oh, one other thing I should mention, Rdoug. Good news. With luck, there will come a day for you when the light switch finally goes “click” in understanding why the concept of a hell being created by an all-powerful/all-knowing/all-loving PERFECT god makes ZERO rational sense. And when (if) that day arrives, your world and your mind will both become much nicer places. Just so you know. Telling you this from personal experience.
I think that constant education and adding additional arguments that refute beliefs in this type of fairy tale. Eventually there will come a moment when this certainty will be very high. these things do not exist, it is just a fairy tale for weak people.