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Author Topic:   The evolution of hell: how rhetoric changes religion
ICANT
Member
Posts: 6187
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 46 of 66 (601182)
01-19-2011 2:14 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by ApostateAbe
01-15-2011 6:44 PM


Re: Damned
Hi Abe,

ApostateAbe writes:

Hell, then, is not so much a place of inflicting torture, but it is a place that the damned souls willingly choose.

You have a warped view of what the Literal Biblical Text says.

Question: If a soul is damned how can there be a choice?

First of all I can not use the word soul for the spirit of mankind.

Modern man was created in the image/likeness of God Genesis 1:27. God has a body, mind and spirit. Therefore man has a body, mind and spirit.

The body will die the mind and spirit will never die.

Hell is temporary.

All mankind are doomed to spend eternity in the lake of fire which has no relation to hell.

John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

This verse tells us mankind is condemned already. He doesn't have to do anything and has no choice in the matter.

Mankind is condemned already because of unbelief.
Mankind is condemned but he has a choice as to whether he will take God at His word and accept the free full pardon to eliminate that condemnation.

Now to Hell being temporary.

Everyone in Hell will get out one day and face the God man who was crucified on the cross at calvary to pay the sin debt of all mankind. They will bow their knee and confess to God.

Romans 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

Hell will be cast into the lake of fire where the devil and the false prophet are, along with everyone whose name is not written in the Lamb's book of life.

They will be tormented there for the balance of eternity.

Revelation20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

The sad part about this is it makes no difference if you believe it or not it will come to pass. You may not believe in God today but when you meet Him face to face you will confess that He is God.

God Bless,


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-15-2011 6:44 PM ApostateAbe has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 48 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-19-2011 9:40 AM ICANT has responded
 Message 49 by Coragyps, posted 01-19-2011 10:14 AM ICANT has not yet responded

    
bluescat48
Member (Idle past 2262 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


Message 47 of 66 (601183)
01-19-2011 2:17 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by ApostateAbe
01-18-2011 11:12 PM


Re: keeping score
It may not have been your intention but this is the line that brings it up from your OP
At the end of the 19th century, something happened. Darwin's theory allowed atheism to become a reasonable thing to believe.

That is the connection which led to the Atheism off topic threads.

I have this odd thing about answering questions running from the last entry on a topic and working backwards, quite often not even seeing what the title of the topic is.


There is no better love between 2 people than mutual respect for each other WT Young, 2002

Who gave anyone the authority to call me an authority on anything. WT Young, 1969

Since Evolution is only ~90% correct it should be thrown out and replaced by Creation which has even a lower % of correctness. W T Young, 2008


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-18-2011 11:12 PM ApostateAbe has not yet responded

    
ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 2700 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 48 of 66 (601221)
01-19-2011 9:40 AM
Reply to: Message 46 by ICANT
01-19-2011 2:14 AM


Re: Damned
ICANT, how do you take the modern shifts in the definition of hell away from what was believed classically? Do you take such shifts to be a good thing? A bad thing?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by ICANT, posted 01-19-2011 2:14 AM ICANT has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 50 by ICANT, posted 01-19-2011 11:05 AM ApostateAbe has responded

  
Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5377
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 49 of 66 (601225)
01-19-2011 10:14 AM
Reply to: Message 46 by ICANT
01-19-2011 2:14 AM


Re: Damned
....for the balance of eternity....

Sorry if it's OT, but I just had to preserve this phrase.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by ICANT, posted 01-19-2011 2:14 AM ICANT has not yet responded

    
ICANT
Member
Posts: 6187
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 50 of 66 (601237)
01-19-2011 11:05 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by ApostateAbe
01-19-2011 9:40 AM


Re: Damned
Hi Abe,

ApostateAbe writes:

ICANT, how do you take the modern shifts in the definition of hell away from what was believed classically? Do you take such shifts to be a good thing? A bad thing?

What do modern definitions of hell have to do with anything?

There are those who say it is the grave.

There are those who say it does not exist.

There are those who say God is such a loving God He would not put anyone in hell.

There are those who say God does not exist.

I will let you in on a little secret. It does not matter what anyone believes or says about the existence of hell or God. The only thing that matters is what is recorded in the Biblical Text.

Hell is not the final destination of those who do not accept the free full pardon offered by God.

The lake of fire is the final destination of the devil and his angels and all those whose names are not written in the Book of Life.

Now if God does not exist then it is all a lie and those who do not believe in God does not have anything to worry about.

God Bless,


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-19-2011 9:40 AM ApostateAbe has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-19-2011 12:55 PM ICANT has responded

    
ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 2700 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 51 of 66 (601249)
01-19-2011 12:55 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by ICANT
01-19-2011 11:05 AM


Re: Damned
ICANT writes:

Hi Abe,

What do modern definitions of hell have to do with anything?

There are those who say it is the grave.

There are those who say it does not exist.

There are those who say God is such a loving God He would not put anyone in hell.

There are those who say God does not exist.

I will let you in on a little secret. It does not matter what anyone believes or says about the existence of hell or God. The only thing that matters is what is recorded in the Biblical Text.

Hell is not the final destination of those who do not accept the free full pardon offered by God.

The lake of fire is the final destination of the devil and his angels and all those whose names are not written in the Book of Life.

Now if God does not exist then it is all a lie and those who do not believe in God does not have anything to worry about.

God Bless,


I believe that hell does not objectively exist, but it's subjective existence has a very powerful effect on our lives. Do you think the doctrine of hell helped to motivate adherence to Christianity and Islam in the past centuries to help those religions predominate and that the doctrine has less of an effect in modern times?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by ICANT, posted 01-19-2011 11:05 AM ICANT has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 53 by ICANT, posted 01-19-2011 4:02 PM ApostateAbe has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 12156
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 52 of 66 (601258)
01-19-2011 2:19 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by ApostateAbe
01-17-2011 8:02 PM


The evolution of rhetoric concerning religion
Abe writes:

Phat, do you have any thoughts about how rhetoric against hell affects the Christian doctrines of hell? I wrote this thread to show that rhetoric against religion really does matter.

Hmmmm....

Asking rhetorical questions is always a good way to approach a topic.

bluescat48 writes:

hell, like heaven and any other repository of the hypothetical "soul," is nothing more than a human invention, from imagination ...

While we know that human imagination is the only source that we can see, and logically we deduce that the Bible was humanly written, does not take away the possibility that God may exist and may have preceded human imagination. Hell may well be a human invention, as may Heaven, as may God. Perhaps a question: Is Hell logical? Sorta like a trashcan for imperfect souls who willingly or unwillingly ended up on the cutting room floor?

Iblis writes:

Theologically, hell may have once represented a place which was free of God, the dreary Sheol of Hebrew myth, but this is no longer the case. With the nature of God being eternal, having become human he has always been human, having died he has become eternal Death -- "the lamb slain from before the foundation of the world" -- and having visited hell he resides there eternally.

Well that certainly complicates things! What reason would God have to eternally reside in Hell? Just because God can hypothetically be in any place or plane does not mean that God must be in these places.

GDR writes:

I don't see it so much as choosing between heaven and hell as choosing whether we are to live a life that is self focused or a life that is God focused.

Or perhaps the choice is self focus versus "others" focus.

IMB Hell was never created for humans. (Metaphorically also)
Hell was a place for spirits who wanted to be self focused and shunned the idea of God focus, for whatever reason. Clearly, humans used the concept as a means of controlling the behavior of the religious.

Abe, to bluescat48 writes:

If you underestimate the influence of Darwin's theory on religion and philosophy, then I suggest that you find another way to explain the rise of atheism.

Perhaps the question would be "Whats wrong with a rise in the number of atheists"?

nwr writes:

Scientists tend to be skeptical. Those that believed in a God, mostly took a deistic like view of God - roughly, deism + Jesus. And they were probably full of doubt about the miracles.

Which is fine, IMHO. Its always good to be skeptical and have more questions.

Perhaps a question:

Do we need to have a reason to believe in God?

and...

Is the God that we imagine in our heads and hearts due to blind faith alone? What type of God can we agree on, if possible? Is it important for humans to be in agreement on a complex issue such as personal and religious beliefs?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-17-2011 8:02 PM ApostateAbe has not yet responded

  
ICANT
Member
Posts: 6187
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 53 of 66 (601280)
01-19-2011 4:02 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by ApostateAbe
01-19-2011 12:55 PM


Re: Damned
Hi Abe,

ApostateAbe writes:

I believe that hell does not objectively exist, but it's subjective existence has a very powerful effect on our lives. Do you think the doctrine of hell helped to motivate adherence to Christianity and Islam in the past centuries to help those religions predominate and that the doctrine has less of an effect in modern times?

I do not think the doctrine of hell helped to motivate adherence to Christianity.

That is if you mean Christianity as a following of the teachings of Jesus and trying to live a life of love and forgiveness. Those things only come because of the leadership of the Holy Spirit one receives when they are born again in accepting God's offer of a free full pardon.

If you mean did the doctrine of hell cause people to see their need of accepting God's offer of a free full pardon the answer is yes.

It still causes those who believe it exists to accept that pardon.

Are there fewer accepting that offer today the answer is yes.

But it is expected and predicted.

Titus 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

I will not comment on Islamic doctrine.

As far as what you believe it has nothing to do with whether hell exists or does not exist.

Its simple if God exist then hell exist and the lake of fire exists that death, hell and the grave will be cast into.

If God does not exist you have no problem.

Are you 100% sure God does not exist?

God Bless,


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-19-2011 12:55 PM ApostateAbe has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 54 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-21-2011 10:09 PM ICANT has responded

    
ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 2700 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 54 of 66 (601602)
01-21-2011 10:09 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by ICANT
01-19-2011 4:02 PM


Re: Damned
ICANT, thank you for your intelligent answers. I am 100% sure that God does exist, and I make sense of the existence of God as a very popular and powerful idea. It is essentially the same thing that an atheist believes, but I make an important distinction between objective existence and subjective existence. I am certain that God exists subjectively (in the mind), and I am almost as much certain that God does not exist objectively (in the external universe).

You said, "If God does not exist you have no problem." The implication is that, if God does exist objectively, then I do have a problem. No doubt about it. That is essentially the reason why I regard hell as so important to explaining the popularity of Christianity and Islam--they make people believe that they are taking a big risk if they do not adhere. Even if the odds are very small that there is a heaven and a hell, who would be stupid enough to take the risk in believing that they do not actually exist? You would risk a very a big punishment and losing a very big reward. Am I right?

Edited by ApostateAbe, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by ICANT, posted 01-19-2011 4:02 PM ICANT has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 55 by Phage0070, posted 01-22-2011 6:37 AM ApostateAbe has not yet responded
 Message 58 by ICANT, posted 01-22-2011 11:59 AM ApostateAbe has responded

  
Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 55 of 66 (601617)
01-22-2011 6:37 AM
Reply to: Message 54 by ApostateAbe
01-21-2011 10:09 PM


Re: Damned
ApostateAbe writes:

... Even if the odds are very small that there is a heaven and a hell, who would be stupid enough to take the risk in believing that they do not actually exist? You would risk a very a big punishment and losing a very big reward. Am I right?

Pascal's Wager? Seriously?

No. You are not right.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-21-2011 10:09 PM ApostateAbe has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 56 by Panda, posted 01-22-2011 6:50 AM Phage0070 has responded

  
Panda
Member (Idle past 1785 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


Message 56 of 66 (601618)
01-22-2011 6:50 AM
Reply to: Message 55 by Phage0070
01-22-2011 6:37 AM


Re: Damned
Phage0070 writes:

Pascal's Wager? Seriously?


I think that Abe was leading ICANT to that point on purpose, not through ignorance.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by Phage0070, posted 01-22-2011 6:37 AM Phage0070 has responded

Replies to this message:
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Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 57 of 66 (601619)
01-22-2011 6:53 AM
Reply to: Message 56 by Panda
01-22-2011 6:50 AM


Re: Damned
Panda writes:

Phage0070 writes:

Pascal's Wager? Seriously?


I think that Abe was leading ICANT to that point on purpose, not through ignorance.

Hmm, that subtlety was apparently completely lost on me. Pardon!

Hopefully it won't be lost on ICANT as well.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by Panda, posted 01-22-2011 6:50 AM Panda has not yet responded

  
ICANT
Member
Posts: 6187
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007
Member Rating: 1.9


(1)
Message 58 of 66 (601631)
01-22-2011 11:59 AM
Reply to: Message 54 by ApostateAbe
01-21-2011 10:09 PM


Re: Damned
Hi Abe,

ApostateAbe writes:

ICANT, thank you for your intelligent answers. I am 100% sure that God does exist, and I make sense of the existence of God as a very popular and powerful idea. It is essentially the same thing that an atheist believes, but I make an important distinction between objective existence and subjective existence. I am certain that God exists subjectively (in the mind), and I am almost as much certain that God does not exist objectively (in the external universe).

So you are 100% sure that people make up God and believe in their mind that He does exist.

You are a little less than 100% sure that God does not exist in reality.

ApostateAbe writes:

You said, "If God does not exist you have no problem." The implication is that, if God does exist objectively, then I do have a problem. No doubt about it. That is essentially the reason why I regard hell as so important to explaining the popularity of Christianity and Islam--they make people believe that they are taking a big risk if they do not adhere. Even if the odds are very small that there is a heaven and a hell, who would be stupid enough to take the risk in believing that they do not actually exist?

You are 100% sure you have a problem if God does exist in reality.

You base that on the stories of a place that is called hell.

You are correct in the belief that many have used the scare tactic of using the fear of hell to control people and get them to join their religion.

I was even guilty of that some 45 years ago as that is what was being taught and is still taught by many.

But I learned very quickly that a man convinced of something against his will is unconvinced still.

So if I could scare you into saying a prayer asking for salvation when you were not really convinced that God exists I would be doing more harm than good.

This has been done for the past 100 years or more and the actions and lives of those people is the reason for the attitude today towards christianity.

What do you base the odds of heaven and hell being small on?

Either God exists or God does not exist.

If God exists then heaven and hell exist.

If God does not exist then heaven and hell do not exist.

I make that out to be a 50% chance heaven and hell exist.

I am sure the choir will tell me how wrong I am.

Just as they brought up Pascal's Wager.

I was convinced by God that He does exist and because of that I accepted His offer of a free full pardon. Because of that I have live 62 years since then without a worry about anything. God has provided everything I have ever needed.

There is no way I can convince you or anyone else that God does exist. Neither is there any way I can scare you into believing in God. If you do not believe in God you can not be scared by a story about hell.

If God can not convince you He exists there is no way I can.

ApostateAbe writes:

You would risk a very a big punishment and losing a very big reward. Am I right

Let me take a stab at correcting your version of Pascal's Wager.

First of all if God exist you are doomed to spend eternity in the lake of fire. That is a fact.

Second if God exist He offers you a free full pardon.

Since you do not believe God exists in reality there is no choice for you to make. Thus no wager to make.

Now if you did believe God exists as some here do and then refuse to accept His offer of a free full pardon then you would be making a wager.

God Bless,


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-21-2011 10:09 PM ApostateAbe has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 59 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-22-2011 12:35 PM ICANT has responded

    
ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 2700 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 59 of 66 (601632)
01-22-2011 12:35 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by ICANT
01-22-2011 11:59 AM


Re: Damned
ICANT writes:

Hi Abe,

ApostateAbe writes:

ICANT, thank you for your intelligent answers. I am 100% sure that God does exist, and I make sense of the existence of God as a very popular and powerful idea. It is essentially the same thing that an atheist believes, but I make an important distinction between objective existence and subjective existence. I am certain that God exists subjectively (in the mind), and I am almost as much certain that God does not exist objectively (in the external universe).

So you are 100% sure that people make up God and believe in their mind that He does exist.

You are a little less than 100% sure that God does not exist in reality.

ApostateAbe writes:

You said, "If God does not exist you have no problem." The implication is that, if God does exist objectively, then I do have a problem. No doubt about it. That is essentially the reason why I regard hell as so important to explaining the popularity of Christianity and Islam--they make people believe that they are taking a big risk if they do not adhere. Even if the odds are very small that there is a heaven and a hell, who would be stupid enough to take the risk in believing that they do not actually exist?

You are 100% sure you have a problem if God does exist in reality.

You base that on the stories of a place that is called hell.

You are correct in the belief that many have used the scare tactic of using the fear of hell to control people and get them to join their religion.

I was even guilty of that some 45 years ago as that is what was being taught and is still taught by many.

But I learned very quickly that a man convinced of something against his will is unconvinced still.

So if I could scare you into saying a prayer asking for salvation when you were not really convinced that God exists I would be doing more harm than good.

This has been done for the past 100 years or more and the actions and lives of those people is the reason for the attitude today towards christianity.

What do you base the odds of heaven and hell being small on?

Either God exists or God does not exist.

If God exists then heaven and hell exist.

If God does not exist then heaven and hell do not exist.

I make that out to be a 50% chance heaven and hell exist.

I am sure the choir will tell me how wrong I am.

Just as they brought up Pascal's Wager.

I was convinced by God that He does exist and because of that I accepted His offer of a free full pardon. Because of that I have live 62 years since then without a worry about anything. God has provided everything I have ever needed.

There is no way I can convince you or anyone else that God does exist. Neither is there any way I can scare you into believing in God. If you do not believe in God you can not be scared by a story about hell.

If God can not convince you He exists there is no way I can.

ApostateAbe writes:

You would risk a very a big punishment and losing a very big reward. Am I right

Let me take a stab at correcting your version of Pascal's Wager.

First of all if God exist you are doomed to spend eternity in the lake of fire. That is a fact.

Second if God exist He offers you a free full pardon.

Since you do not believe God exists in reality there is no choice for you to make. Thus no wager to make.

Now if you did believe God exists as some here do and then refuse to accept His offer of a free full pardon then you would be making a wager.

God Bless,


I think that is a very good point. It is my opinion that the fear of hell and the appeal of heaven do not really have much of a direct effect on people who do not already believe it. The greatest effect is on the people who are already believe the religion. Heaven and hell have two very serious effects:

1) Christians are strongly motivated to discourage doubt and any movement toward disbelief in themselves and in other people.
2) Christians are strongly motivated to evangelize.

I grew up in a conservative Christian environment, and it made sense for many people to direct one's entire life to maximize the number of Christians in the world. After all, this life is only temporary, but the choice of adherence made in this life has an eternal and profoundly important effect in the life to come. Nobody wants to stand by as more people go to an eternity of punishment in the lake of fire, if they can do anything to lessen that number of the damned. I think a Christian would actually be very nearly psychopathic if they chose to do nothing about it. You and other Christians are good people, and so the doctrines of heaven and hell help very much to explain a primary motivation behind evangelism. You want to save the people of the world from damnation. The targets of evangelism do not actually need to hear about heaven and hell in order for the doctrines of heaven and hell to be important forces of evangelism.

There really is a tendency of those outside the religions to think that heaven and hell exist to scare non-believers, and that is misleading, though it may be true for children and the especially gullible. The greatest effect is on those who already fully believe, and that is how heaven and hell help a religion become popular. Christianity was the religion that first used that method to maximum effect, becoming the most popular religion in the world, and Islam copied many elements of Christianity including heaven and hell to become the second most popular religion in the world.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by ICANT, posted 01-22-2011 11:59 AM ICANT has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by Iblis, posted 01-22-2011 1:48 PM ApostateAbe has not yet responded
 Message 61 by ICANT, posted 01-22-2011 3:47 PM ApostateAbe has responded
 Message 63 by Aurora, posted 01-30-2011 2:23 PM ApostateAbe has responded

  
Iblis
Member (Idle past 1968 days)
Posts: 663
Joined: 11-17-2005


Message 60 of 66 (601636)
01-22-2011 1:48 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by ApostateAbe
01-22-2011 12:35 PM


Re: Damned
Perdurabo writes:

But the worst of all phantasms are the moral ideas and the religious ideas. Sanity consists in the faculty of
adjusting ideas in proper proportion. Any one who accepts a moral or religious truth without understanding it
is only kept out of the asylum because he does not follow it out logically. If one really believed in Christianity,
if one really thought that the majority of mankind was doomed to eternal punishment, one would go raving
about the world trying to “save” people. Sleep would not be possible until the horror of the mind left the
body exhausted. Otherwise, one must be morally insane. Which of us can sleep if one we love is in danger of
mere death? We cannot even see a dog drown without at least interrupting all our business to look on. Who
then can live in London and reflect upon the fact that of its seven million souls, all but about a thousand
Plymouth Brethren will be damned? Yet the thousand Plymouth Brethren (who are the loudest in proclaiming
that they will be the only ones saved) seem to get on very well, thank you. Whether they are hypocrites or
morally insane is a matter which we can leave to their own consideration.


This message is a reply to:
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