It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
I went to a Catholic school from the age of five, and was indoctrinated by nuns who wielded straps, sticks and canes. During my teens I read Darwin, and what he said about evolution made such a lot of sense to the logical part of my mind. However, I've gone through life suffering much conflict and a deep down fear of hell fire which gets triggered quite frequently. I've had some psychotherapy which has enabled me to work through some of my earlier problems but can't seem to overcome this deep fear.
Fear is a weapon of mass followers.
but you know what I fear more?
Originally posted by Kandinsky
Heaven and hell? Bribery and blackmail? I hope neither of the Biblical destinations exist...the type of people accepted for either aren't the kind of people I want to spend eternity with
It is the tool of fear.
Fundamentalist Christianity is one institution that is extremely effective in using fear to persuade people to accept various beliefs. It is the fear of Hell that it uses so well. Thinking back to when I was a Christian, I clearly remember two instances when I came across a negative concept of Hell.
The first was when I was in high school. One weekend, our entire church youth group went camping on a farm near Heidelberg in Gauteng. One night, while we all sat around a raging bonfire, our youth leader gave a talk on Hell. He asked us to imagine jumping into the bonfire, and to imagine the torment of our skin peeling off our bodies. We all shivered at the thought. He then added that Hell would be a thousand times worse: we would be encased in small enclosures – alone, cut off from everyone else – and we would burn in agony, for eternity. I remember everyone being numbed at this thought.
. . . the extreme horribleness of hell, as portrayed by priests and nuns, is inflated to compensate for its implausibility. If hell were plausible, it would only have to be moderately unpleasant in order to deter. Given that it is so unlikely to be true, it has to be advertised as very very scary indeed, to balance its implausibility and retain some deterrence value.
Fear ensures that people remain obedient: it discourages dissent and questioning, it eliminates open dialogue and honest persuasion.
Originally posted by stevedel0
People are afraid. We're all a bunch of scaredy cats. Thats why theres so many Christians!
That's why they all put their money in that basket they pass around! Thinking its gonna get them in heaven.
If I was in heaven I'd give God a good kick in the ass for making hell.
Thats right I said it. What are you gonna do? Pray for me? How about sending me some money instead
What do YOU know?
Originally posted by Happyfeet
Oddly, I have a BRR Tshirt on when I was reading this. Honestly, I was miserable at that camp. This camp has the most brainwashed staff ever. I know of one case where the preacher told girls that rape was always their fault for dressing slutty or being in bad places. One girl from a church that buspooled with us killed herself a few days after we got back.
I nearly got thrown out of said camp for trying to argue against the preaching of such things. I was told that my opinion did not matter since I was not an ordained man of God.
I'm one of life's thinkers. In all the ways I've considered heaven and hell, I can't find a logical reason why they'd exist.
Heaven and Hell hold no attraction or fear.
They are clearly human constructs and probably a necessary stage in the evolution of consciousness.
If we ever meet a comparable ET civilization, I imagine they will have very similar concepts of Heaven & Hell in their history.
Naturally, the religious Institutions and two-bit preachers would seize on it as validation.
Hell, its such a weird concept, one has to wonder where we ever got such a wild idea
The idea that a loving God would sentence us to Hell for eternity to be tortured in agony simply for not believing in something devoid of proof...
I don't get it at all and I don't understand how anyone could believe in something like that.
How much Cognitive Dissonance does it take to dissuade someone? How many logical inconsistencies?
First off there is the belief that we are all born guilty, that we are all born as sinners and must later in life accept Jesus in order to be saved. This idea that we are all BORN guilty seems like just a ploy to make people filled with guilt as early in life as possible.
What sort of God sticks you with the guilt because of something Adam and Eve did ages ago? What kind of God bases his system on whether you blindly believe in some guy who died 2000 years ago (without any evidence) rather than whether you are a good person or not? And then if you are a good person, but just happen to not believe in Jesus for one reason or another you still burn FOREVER... I'll tell what kind of God - the made up kind.
Hell is there way of keeping us in line and of painting God as a tyrant (this especially helped when Kings were claiming divine right to be on the throne, if God was personified as a King and they were His "servants' than surely the people should obey)... Stay in line, don't mouth off, OBEY or BURN...