Heaven and hell

The overt lack of empathy inherent in the Christian concept of heaven and hell has to be one of the most devilish ideas ever devised.

Most Christians believe there is a place of eternal happiness, and they call it heaven. With all their hearts they believe that is where they will be for eternity once they die. But they also believe in a place of eternal damnation: hell. It may not be a stereotypical, Dante’s Inferno sort of place, but it will bring unending unhappiness. Many people have gone there and many more will, according to Christians.

Now let’s think about this. Christians believe they will go to a place of glory that will give them eternal happiness. Yet they also believe that many people, including those they know and love, will go to just the opposite place. Any decent person would have to admit that the idea of loved ones being eternally damned and eternally unhappy would have an effect on his or her own happiness, even in heaven. But not Christians. They’ve already stipulated – at the very core of their beliefs – that they will be eternally happy. This seems to me to be nothing short of monumental selfishness.

To be okay with such an idea seems nothing less than wicked to me.

11 Responses

  1. When you start with people who irrationally believe in a sky daddy, resurrection, virgin birth and the sun stopping in the sky for hours, etc. then it is no surprise that they also participate in cognitive dissonance, selfishness and the belief that they can be as wicked as they please as long as they say sorry a moment before death. Religion is without morality.

  2. The last line is completely ridiculous, I am assuming it’s just your usual rhetoric, because I know you aren’t that dense. Generalizations like that are beneath you.

  3. How can a good person be okay with believing that it is an ultimately perfect thing for them to go heaven while others are tormented for eternity? The answer here is, “God says it is good, therefore it is good”, but that’s just a rationalization for something any decent person ought to think terrible.

  4. Way to go Nate. Ad hominem right out of the shute. I’m out of this thread.

  5. My issue was with the generalization that religion is inherently without morality.

    Which simply isn’t true. You cannot generalize based on a few things you deem immoral. You’re essentially throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    And Bob, if you can point out the ad hom, I’d appreciate it.

  6. Since the concept of Hell is blatantly immoral and unjust, it destroys any notion of the associated faith being worthy of respect.

    Short form: If Hell exists, then God is evil. Why worship a demon like that?

  7. If God exists, I assume God would be a much higher intelligence at the very least. I’m not sure we can make such claims of immorality anyway.

    My dog might just as well declare that my going to the bathroom inside is immoral.

  8. Morality is a human concept, invented by humans and applied by humans. If a “superior intelligence” wants to quibble about how we describe it, it’s welcome to make a case. As soon as it can prove it exists.

  9. I’m just saying its foolish for either side to really try and score a win on.

    Can’t be done. It’s really an extension “if there is a God we are so inconsequential, he doesn’t take note of us” argument. Which is a much better one than the “God is evil” argument.

  10. Not really. The theist argument is that “God is beyond our understanding and beyond our concepts of good and evil… but he’s also infinitely good, so WORSHIP HIM.” That’s nonsensical, and it should be pointed out as such.

    Religion is inextricably tied up with moral claims, so we’re completely justified in evaluating them according to moral principles. If you want to propose some transcendent entity that has nothing to do with morality, you’re free to do so–but you won’t be describing anything recognizable by a religious believer.

  11. “God is beyond our understanding and beyond our concepts of good and evil… but he’s also infinitely good, so WORSHIP HIM.”

    How about:

    “God is beyond our understanding and beyond our concepts of good and evil… but no one can ever really know. So do what you want.”

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