Life is no less miraculous and awe-inspiring without the notion of a creator God as depicted by billions of people in their literal interpretations of the Bible. If people were told that hell did not exist, would they still go to church or call themselves Christians? We have a church on every corner in these United States but so few “Christians”. We are astoundingly disconnected from each other through our various belief systems. There are approximately 33,000 sub-groups of Christianity around the globe. Some would say that they are “taking the planet for the kingdom of God” or something along those lines. I say you’ve got a shit ton load of people that cannot agree on anything. Everybody thinks they are in the “in-group”, that they have the answers to life on lock-down and the rest of y’all can just go to hell in a lake of fire for all of eternity.
I would not wish that sentence upon anyone, including a monster like Hitler. After how many eons of eternal damnation would your sentence be up? And what about the Heaven idea? I mean what are you gonna be doing for ALL of eternity?? Dancing around the throne of God on the streets of gold? Ruling and Reigning? Over whom?? Seems like that would get old after a few billion years.
Fundamentalist Christians have elaborate explanations with regards to theology and how we are to live and act on planet earth but they are a little short on info regarding what we will be doing for all of eternity in Heaven. “I don’t know dude, its heaven”… have you seen some of these grumpy church people? Many of them I would not want to spend 30 seconds with let alone for all of eternity.
So let me get this straight. You’ve got this one lifetime of maybe 80 years if you are lucky and oh buddy you better believe in the big guy upstairs before you kick the bucket or you are gonna pay BIG time! Sounds like a medieval idea. Sounds like an idea that originated and flourished out of ignorance centuries ago before the masses could read or write or even travel to the next town. This sounds like an idea that came from a time when people were burned at the stake and tortured in unimaginable ways, such as being beheaded by the guillotine.
I was so terrified of Hell as a child that I would have nightmares about it all the time. I actually had no reason to be because I was a squeaky clean, church going, say my prayers before bed, Bible-reading preacher’s kid. I always had a fear that I might be sent to Hell on judgment day due to some formality I had overlooked. The whole concept sucks because the game is stacked against you right out of the gate. God as commonly portrayed commands you to love him on the one hand but on the other hand says you have total free will. Not much of a choice really. You better “love” God or you’ll get tossed in a lake of fire for all of eternity forever and ever and ever! If you chose to live life in your own way – in ‘sin’ for a short span of 80 or so years – you might reap a few rewards on earth but the consequences of your choice would be inestimably bad once you die.
That’s heavy stuff for a child to process or anyone else. I can’t prove that Hell doesn’t exist and I can’t prove that it does. Only when Hell is considered symbolically does it start to make sense to me. But most people don’t think symbolically about Hell – to them it is a literal place of eternal torment and agony. We humans have a savage history and these ideas came from savage minds who sought to control the minds of the masses. And it totally worked.