If I'm going to hell..

robj101
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If I'm going to hell..

I have several christian friends, my whole family claims christianity as their belief and "salvation" (even my gay cousin claims to be a christian).

I am an atheist.

According to their belief I am going to hell, for eternity to be tortured mercilessly.

Why do they act like nothing is going on? If I truly thought my friend was going to go to a "hell" I would be all over trying to convert them 7-24.

Yet they act like nothing is going on "hey man, wanna play some disc golf tomorrow?" etc.

 I would be pleading with them like "Hey man, you know you are going to hell.. I want to help you, please let me help you" or some such.

None of them even want to talk about atheism, and not one has said anything about me going to hell.

They all act careless and carefree about it.

I haven't seen much care for anothers "soul" on this forum, or anywhere for that matter.

 

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


rdklep8
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In my experience, when any

In my experience, when any friend of mine who is religious finds out I am atheist they go into some sort of shock mode.  Conversation stops, awkward pausing.

Next time I see them they act like nothing happened. I think there is some sort of ass-backward rationalization that goes on in their heads where they say something like , "People who don't believe in my God are going to hell.  But Ryan is a good person... God will see that.  Ryan will go to heaven."

If they are so willing to accept a religion full or errancy, then they have already become masters at taking "facts" from the bible and altering them to fit their own idea of God and what is right.  Making things fall into place and shoving pieces where they don't belong is a pastime for theists... just another day on the job.


robj101
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rdklep8 wrote:In my

rdklep8 wrote:

In my experience, when any friend of mine who is religious finds out I am atheist they go into some sort of shock mode.  Conversation stops, awkward pausing.

Next time I see them they act like nothing happened. I think there is some sort of ass-backward rationalization that goes on in their heads where they say something like , "People who don't believe in my God are going to hell.  But Ryan is a good person... God will see that.  Ryan will go to heaven."

If they are so willing to accept a religion full or errancy, then they have already become masters at taking "facts" from the bible and altering them to fit their own idea of God and what is right.  Making things fall into place and shoving pieces where they don't belong is a pastime for theists... just another day on the job.

I agree, and it's pretty convenient isn't it. Didn't the pope come out a good while back and say the same kind of thing, something about good people will go to heaven regardless? Yes, very handy, makes me all warm and ..wait, I couldn't care less about what he has to say really.

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


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rdklep8 wrote:In my


rdklep8 wrote:

In my experience, when any friend of mine who is religious finds out I am atheist they go into some sort of shock mode.  Conversation stops, awkward pausing.

Next time I see them they act like nothing happened. I think there is some sort of ass-backward rationalization that goes on in their heads where they say something like , "People who don't believe in my God are going to hell.  But Ryan is a good person... God will see that.  Ryan will go to heaven."

If they are so willing to accept a religion full or errancy, then they have already become masters at taking "facts" from the bible and altering them to fit their own idea of God and what is right.  Making things fall into place and shoving pieces where they don't belong is a pastime for theists... just another day on the job.

Its either that or they just don't care. and in my experience, not caring is a lot  more often.

Besides, people aren't friends because of their religion, they are friends because they enjoy each other's company and personality. 

"I don't believe in afterlife, although I am bringing a change of underwear."


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robj101 wrote:If I'm going

robj101 wrote:

 

If I'm going to hell..

Then you're going to where all the cool people are, which would explain why...

robj101 wrote:
they act like nothing is going on

robj101 wrote:
I haven't seen much care for anothers "soul" on this forum, or anywhere for that matter.

 Most people, theist or otherwise, will tell a complete stranger off if they come begging them to "rethink your ways", and "glory unto god"

The lesson has been well learned by many that only fools acting on behalf of con artists engage in this behavior.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Just be happy that they are

Just be happy that they are not trying to smack you in the head with a bible. Where I come from admitting that you are an atheist is social suicide. I still think that about 70% of people that go to church on Sunday just do it because you are "supposed to". Most of the people that I talk to 1 on 1 will tell you that they don't really believe in religion, they just go because of parents/grandparents/spouse.

"So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence." - Bertrand Russell

Stewie: Yay and God said to Abraham, "you will kill your son, Issak", and Abraham said, I can't hear you, you'll have to speak into the microphone." "Oh I'm sorry, Is this better? Check, check, check... Jerry, pull the high end out, I'm still getting some hiss back here."


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Not talking about atheism

I would assume those people are in varying degrees of disbelief of the claims of the religion, afraid to think of the repercussions if the claims of the religion are true, and just go about their days because they are people with connections not based in some religious fantasy world but in this real one.

robj101 wrote:
Yet they act like nothing is going on "hey man, wanna play some disc golf tomorrow?" etc.

A fellow disc golfer! Rad dude, now I don't feel so alone! What type of courses do you have in your parts?

"This may shock you, but not everything in the bible is true." The only true statement ever to be uttered by Jean Chauvinism, sociopathic emotional terrorist.
"A Boss in Heaven is the best excuse for a boss on earth, therefore If God did exist, he would have to be abolished." Mikhail Bakunin
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"Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme leadership derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!"
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B166ER wrote:I would assume

B166ER wrote:

I would assume those people are in varying degrees of disbelief of the claims of the religion, afraid to think of the repercussions if the claims of the religion are true, and just go about their days because they are people with connections not based in some religious fantasy world but in this real one.

robj101 wrote:
Yet they act like nothing is going on "hey man, wanna play some disc golf tomorrow?" etc.

A fellow disc golfer! Rad dude, now I don't feel so alone! What type of courses do you have in your parts?

I would make the same assumption, but one of my friends in particular is the hardcore type that wont even watch a youtube debate vid. He has "jesus loves you" as some default at the end of each message. He also told me, the one time he tried to debate that they just "found" the bible. I lol'd so hard. I asked him if he thought it just fell from the sky, he was stumped.

Lucy park and lake wichita, the lucy park course is nice, the lake course fun but some parts they don't mow often enough. I'm not terribly serious about the disc golf, just for fun. I have 4 discs and can only lay claim to 1 ace. That hole is only 69 yards, just have to go around some trees. I walk my dog when I go, I usually let her off the leash and she chases the discs. She never grabs them, just runs and "spots" them.

 

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


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 I really, really want

 I really, really want there to be more clinical studies of the cognitive processes of believers.  This is a very good question, but the answers you will get from theists won't be the real answer.  (Obviously.)

The problem is that there is some combination of emotion/rationalization/compartmentalization going on in the mind of a believer, and their answer to this question is the answer that has put their mind at ease, but it's not a reflection of what really went on in their subconscious.

The most common answer I've heard, and the one I gave when I was a Christian, is that God commands us to do the best we can to save others, but it's the spirit of God that does the real converting.  Until a person is touched by the Holy Spirit, his heart will not accept the gift of salvation.  Our job as believers is to be the channel for the spirit.  When we witness to someone, we are creating an opportunity for God's spirit to touch someone, but we are not in charge of knowing if this is the time when the spirit is ready to touch them.

This rationalization does alleviate some of the guilt a believer might feel in knowing that there were unsaved people who needed to be saved, but it really doesn't answer the question at hand.  If the Christian truly, deeply, firmly believes that hell is real and that unsaved people are going there forever, then wouldn't ordinary human compassion compel them to give the Holy Spirit every possible opportunity to do its work?   

Part of the problem, I think, is that our human brains aren't built to process things like being tortured forever.  You can prove it to yourself.  Stop reading for a minute and think about "forever."  Visualize it in your mind.  Focus on exactly what "forever" is.

[/Hums Jeopardy Tune]

Ok.  Now think about what you were conceptualizing and thinking about.  Is it the same kind of thing as when you conceptualize "year"?  Nope.  A year is 365 days.  A day is 24 hours.  But how long is forever?  It's... um... 

You just can't do it.  So on some level, when we talk about being "tortured forever" we really don't know what we're talking about.  We know it's a really long time, but our brains just sort of change the subject when we start wondering how long.

I'm just speculating here, but I think there may be a kind of mental "sealing off" that happens when something is beyond comprehension.  In a lot of ways, hell is genuinely beyond comprehension.  How can eternal punishment be appropriate for any crime at all?  How can an all loving God send anyone to hell?  These are horribly dangerous questions, too.  If we ask them with too much earnest, we may be forced to acknowledge the possibility that God is evil, or that he does not exist, but acknowledging that possibility is opening the door to hell and taking half a step in.

So rather than go down that horrible path, perhaps the subconscious of the believer simply stores that whole process in a box marked "Do Not Open Until The Rapture."

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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rdklep8 wrote:In my

rdklep8 wrote:

In my experience, when any friend of mine who is religious finds out I am atheist they go into some sort of shock mode.  Conversation stops, awkward pausing.

Next time I see them they act like nothing happened. I think there is some sort of ass-backward rationalization that goes on in their heads where they say something like , "People who don't believe in my God are going to hell.  But Ryan is a good person... God will see that.  Ryan will go to heaven."

If they are so willing to accept a religion full or errancy, then they have already become masters at taking "facts" from the bible and altering them to fit their own idea of God and what is right.  Making things fall into place and shoving pieces where they don't belong is a pastime for theists... just another day on the job.

Funnily enough, one of my friends had exactly the same reaction you just described here. When he heard me out on why I didn't believe in God, and he realized that I wasn't an immoral monster, he rejected his religion within 3 days.

"The Chaplain had mastered, in a moment of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective rationalization and he was exhilarated by his discovery. It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. Just no Character."

"He...had gone down in flames...on the seventh day, while God was resting"

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My mother in law, upon

My mother in law, upon finding that I am atheist, looked me right in the eyes and said "Don't worry, I will pray for you".  I could not stop myself from staring at her like she had two heads. I don't understand why people think atheism is some sort of disease.

Of course debates have come up. Of course it was like talking to a tree (it will move around a bit, but it really isn't listening). She just won't believe that I'm not going to heaven.

"So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence." - Bertrand Russell

Stewie: Yay and God said to Abraham, "you will kill your son, Issak", and Abraham said, I can't hear you, you'll have to speak into the microphone." "Oh I'm sorry, Is this better? Check, check, check... Jerry, pull the high end out, I'm still getting some hiss back here."


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An interesting topic

An interesting topic indeed. 

But it's as wrong for me to assume your damnation as it is wrong for me to presume upon my salvation.  There is no assurance of either one of these propositions. 

The idea of individualistic salvation is a recent development among Christians.  1 Timothy finds Paul's assertion that God "desires all to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth."  Can we really thwart the will of God? God's plan is not to rescue a religious elite from an otherwise botched creation but to restore all things in Christ.  From St Paul's letter to the Ephesians, "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of opur trespasses, according to the riches of his grace which he lavished upon us.  For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to the purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fulness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth."  There's more like this in Colossians.  To unite all things in him.  To reconcile all things.  Pretty universal.

Christians must desire that all be saved, for that, we believe is what God desires.  If that is what we must desire, then we must hope that to be the case as well.  We must intercede then as Abraham interceded or Sodom and as Moses interceded for Israel.  The elect are elected not against others but for others.  We are saved on behalf of all to be reconcilers, intercessors and mediators for all participating in the contiuing work of Christ, the "one mediator between God and men."

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... then I'm going there

... then I'm going there playing the piano.

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To robj101: if you ever are in the Seattle area...

We have plenty of great parks. I'm not a competitive player either; I hate the macho penis waving bullshit that comes with males and competitive sports, but I do love playing disc! So if you ever make it to the Seattle area, we have some great parks.

"This may shock you, but not everything in the bible is true." The only true statement ever to be uttered by Jean Chauvinism, sociopathic emotional terrorist.
"A Boss in Heaven is the best excuse for a boss on earth, therefore If God did exist, he would have to be abolished." Mikhail Bakunin
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dictate the ends in which you find yourself."
"Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme leadership derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!"
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robj101 wrote: I would be

robj101 wrote:

 I would be pleading with them like "Hey man, you know you are going to hell.. I want to help you, please let me help you" or some such.

None of them even want to talk about atheism, and not one has said anything about me going to hell.

They all act careless and carefree about it.

I haven't seen much care for anothers "soul" on this forum, or anywhere for that matter.

 

They don't really believe. If you're around theists enough, this eventually becomes obvious, they all slip up and reveal this. At best they may be hedging their bets(Pascal's wager) that it could be true or just 'believe' because of social pressure.

 

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Well if all us atheists are

Well if all us atheists are going to hell, atleast hell will have a higher average IQ than heaven Smiling


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robj101 wrote:I have several

robj101 wrote:
I have several christian friends, my whole family claims christianity as their belief and "salvation" (even my gay cousin claims to be a christian).

I am an atheist.

According to their belief I am going to hell, for eternity to be tortured mercilessly.

Why do they act like nothing is going on? If I truly thought my friend was going to go to a "hell" I would be all over trying to convert them 7-24.

Yet they act like nothing is going on "hey man, wanna play some disc golf tomorrow?" etc.

 I would be pleading with them like "Hey man, you know you are going to hell.. I want to help you, please let me help you" or some such.

None of them even want to talk about atheism, and not one has said anything about me going to hell.

They all act careless and carefree about it.

I haven't seen much care for anothers "soul" on this forum, or anywhere for that matter.

In my experience, they're very weary of how they can drive people away with a "hard sale".
They recognise that people cannot be forced to believe so try and limit themselves to more subtle approaches.
i.e. by keeping a good relationship most of the time and then on occasion use the opportunity to open a conversation, bring you to an event or recommend you a book.

In the meantime they might worry alone, might pray for you, might even bring the issue up in prayer meetings how it's challenging that their friend might be lost to them. Sometimes they consider it a matter of faith that so long as you stay earnest that God will reveal himself to you in time. I think it ultimately comes down to that for things beyond their control like that, they place their trust in God to be just and merciful, leave it to him and put it out of mind.