Hell again

I find these two questions that am going to attempt to answer very interesting, if not presumptuous. That said, I will attempt to do them justice.

1.  When you end up in Hell, who are you most looking forward to seeing?  Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, or Mao Zedong?

2.  If after death your soul finds itself in a place of eternal torment, who will you blame?

Re-read those questions! They are what I call loaded questions, that is, they have several hidden premises in them and we will first try to show what they are then continue to respond. They assumes among other things:-

  • that there is a hell
  • that there is an afterlife
  • that people are resurrected in the form in which they exist now
  • that there is need for eternal torment
  • that we have a soul
  • and that I or other atheists are going to hell

Having identified what yours truly considers as hidden premises, I want to first digress a while and posit a question that will aid us in answering the ones before us. The question to ask is why and at what point in the cosmic history was hell created and whose idea was it? What purpose was it meant to serve?

First, granting, for argument’s sake, the existence of the christian god, a god we are told is all loving, all merciful and all just and all-powerful, why would this god create hell? If hell was created at the same time this god created the universe, one of the things I can draw from this is there was always the intention to punish some people. It is not a fluke. It couldn’t have been created to act as deterrent for actions that would be committed here on earth. We would expect that this god would have known men fear the punishments of other men than the threat of punishment elsewhere in another life. Such a god, an all-knowing god, would have found a way of showing his power here where it matters.

If hell was created later after man had been created, and started sinning as the christians want us to believe, then again it points to the failure of an all powerful god to save everyone. At this point I know there are those who will argue that god granted man free will so that he could chose or reject him. This is bunk! You cannot tell us your god gives people free will to do what they want to do and damn them for eternity for doing just that! No no, that is not even sensible. It is cruel, it is malicious and the person responsible cannot be described to be anything close to all loving and just.

If, however, your god will create hell at the end of time, then again, he can’t be all-powerful and all merciful. It is impossible to believe that the creator of the universe, which he did by saying a few let there be-s, would not by the same measure forgive everyone. It points to a being that is either confused, malicious and cruel but not all-powerful, all just and all loving. If there was a time it was important to stop Hitler, it was here before he started his movement. God, if at all he cared about the Jews, would have made the Nazi hierarchy mad for instance or by a shrug of the shoulders, assuming it has, changed their whims. To argue that he left them do as they desired in order to punish them in future, points at an incompetent parent, a malicious parent and one that takes pleasure in seeing people suffer! It is a god that no one, and I mean no one should be looking forward to meet him unless you are a psychopath and this makes me ask, are religious people psychopaths for dreaming their god shall punish unbelievers eternally and not cringe at such a prospect?

Forgive my digression, in what form would the likes of Pol Pot be in hell? Will they be spirits, whatever these are? will they be as they were here with hands and all that goes with being a human being? If they are anything other than a full-grown human being, how would we know them? Will they have grown old, will they still have a beard and so on? You see, the person who asks this question betrays their lack of thinking through issues. Anyone who thinks about the question would see the absurdity in asking it. One would see that if there god was going to keep these men and many more people alive in some state just to torture them forever, I don’t know how long that is, then there is a problem with the person asking the question and am afraid to say this is a potential psychopath!

The second question assumes we have a soul. The person asking the question doesn’t tell us what this is or how we can know we have one. I can only assume that this person is a dualist. I am not a dualist. I believe man these people who think that man has a soul are ignorant. They see the thinking man and the physical man and think these are separate entities. But as I said, I will grant him/ her that we have a soul. If at the end of my life here, I should find myself before your god, it shall have been his failure to speak to me in a language that was clear and precise so that I know him. Don’t worry for me, I shall be my attorney and I will not need your help.

And now to end this very long post, allow me to quote from a speech made by George Jacob Holyoake in 1871 on an address entitled the Principles of Secularism.

We neither seek their counsel nor desire their sentiments – except where they concede them on terms of equality. The light by which we walk is sufficient for us; and as at the last day of which Christians speak, we shall there have, according to their own showing, to answer for ourselves, we prefer to think for ourselves; and since they do not propose to take our responsibility, we decline to take their doctrines.

Thank you for your indulgence!

Categories: Atheism, god, Religion


38 replies

  1. This is a great rebuttal of “hell”.

  2. I would hope an apologist comes and presents what evidence they have which leads them to suspect the soul exists. I think we give theists far too many passes on things that should be established as fact first before entertaining any further discussion concerning other matters.

  3. Reblogged this on Random thoughts and commented:

    A post written for atheistenquiry.com where I blog alongside 7 other wonderful people. When you visit say I sent you 😛 as le Ark would say, a fine gentleman the fellow is!

  4. Since you’re concerned about when the Judeo-Christian version of hell was created, shouldn’t we consider domains reserved for eternal torment prior to the creation of the aforementioned? Like Tartarus, or the Zoroastrian version of hell? Interesting enough, as I’m sure you’re familiar with the parallels between Christianity and Zoroastrianism, those crazy followers of Zarathustra believed in a final judgment day too. In their version, you were led by the hand into the abyss, thereby retaining your human form and allowing for one another to recognize eachother.

    Thomas Aquinas describes a version of hell that is similar to Zoroastrianism, insofar as the punishments are equivalent to the crimes one committed. Dante, a contemporary of Aquinas, had a similar picture of hell. If you remember, the protagonist routinely runs into people that he recognizes, and they exist in domains representative of the crimes they committed while alive. Anyway, that’s what came to my mind.

    • I read Dante’s Inferno and yes the protagonist run into people he can recognise. But that presents a logical problem on two fronts; one, if you exhume a body, you find it has disintegrated after staying under for some time and two if people are to be raised in the form they once had, why wouldn’t this being just populate the two places from the word go.

      I need to read Zoroastrianism.

      Thanks for the insight

      • “if people are to be raised in the form they once had, why wouldn’t this being just populate the two places from the word go.”

        Well, there are many reasons for this. For instance, the Judeo-Christian doctrine is incongruous with a omniscient being. But a Christian apologists might answer something like, “Hell was not necessary until the fall of the Morning Star.” This argument would probably lead to some sort of “Free Will” discussion, as you suggested above.

  5. When I first read this topic I thought it said “Hello Again”. 🙂

    I guess I can just keep going to hell over and over again. And “Hello” to all of you again and again.

  6. Can I get back to you on those questions? Hugs!

  7. Great Post mak. Those are definately loaded questions. I get where you are coming from and am in agreement with everything you point out.

    Oh, and if for some reason the atheists are all going to Hades (can I go to Hades instead of hell?), it will be great to see you guys there! Save a seat for me.

    • There will be a seat. We are working on the dietary arrangements and the proposal is we overcome our aversion to cannibalism since it is my judgement that for us to burn eternally, we must be able to regenerate tissue

  8. Very provocative, my friend! Based on your assumptions, I didn’t interact with any of those persons during my hell on earth, so why even entertain the notion of interaction with them in eternal hell?

    Excellent rebuttal of the notion of the myth of hell! Great job, my friend! 🙂

    • Very important point. I didn’t interact with these mad men here, why should I care about them in future. But I would to meet Marcus Aurelius, Cicero, Nietzsche, Twain, Paine, Ingersoll and the many wonderful people I have met here on the blogosphere

  9. They are rhetorical questions intended to express and to provoke anger. They are unworthy of thoughtful response.

  10. Let me bunk your idea.

    Assume The Christian God is True God. It mean The Christian God himself is God even I do not believe or acknowledge Him as God. I myself by as default is “heresy” of Christian doctrine. So, through your philosophy, I will not end up in hell and need no worry to think that I will be in “hell” or “heaven”. At the same time, I do not require or wasting my time to learn Christianity.

    Is it correct?

    In history of world, we found that many psychopath, in Bible itself mention named as Pharaoh who killed thousand babies, or modern history as Pol Pot or Anders Behring Breivik.

    As it was God’s will, why government should bother to create a prison, law enforcement, army or even police. In the end, we do not require to enforce the law because God himself is Intelligent? Why not we just release and give warm welcoming to Mr. Anders Behring Breivik because he already fulfill God’s will?

    Is it correct? Or how your philosophy work in the condition provided.

  11. Any such question posed by those of a religious bent will inevitably be loaded.

    The mindset of many believers cannot contemplate a worldview without god, heaven or hell.

    It is almost impossible to rationalize with this level of inculcation.

  12. “When you end up in Hell, who are you most looking forward to seeing? Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, or Mao Zedong?”

    Pish. the place will be full up to the rafters with TrueChristians who were sure that their interpretation was what their god “really” wanted and “really” meant.

  13. Yes, there is a hell; but unfortunately you won’t get to meet anyone else there. According the God’s Holy word, hell is so dark you can’t see your hand in front of your face; you will hear moaning and gnashing of teeth, but you won’t see anyone, nor will you get to talk to anyone; you will feel like something is crawling on you constantly; and it’s hot. There’s no water or joy in hell. There’s no cool breeze to give relief from the heat. The worst part–it never ends. You don’t get a reprieve for time served.
    The fact that you don’t believe in God, does not change the fact that God is real and very much alive.
    One more thing then I’ll leave you alone. Humanism and Atheism are religions. They put man as the head honcho. Kind of a joke considering how our government is running things now. They can’t even launch the health care plan. Can you see them trying to create an entire universe? Hm, that might make an interesting story for me to write.

    • I will take is a joke what you write here but if you are any bit serious, I have a few questions that I need answers for before we continue

      1. What do you mean when you use the word god?
      2. Do you know what humanism and atheism are?
      3. What does your government’s failure to launch a healthcare plan got to do with whether hell or heaven exists

      and a bonus question

      4. Are you a psychopath? Don’t you cringe when you describe hell and entertain a moments thought that some people will populate that goddamned place?

      • God’s Holy Word came too late – because a sizable contingent of mankind (not to mention the genus homo and precursor) passed away before God realized very recently, in 500 bce that “Whoops, I forgot to tell them about hell ! I know I had that on my list of to-do’s here somewhere.”

        A terrible disservice to mankind.

        An additional premise that we must accept here, unspoken, is that quirky is the possessor of absolute knowledge. A very lofty boast.

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