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Do you ever have doubts?  When was the last time you thought, hmmm, I could be wrong about all this...

What is the single best argument you ever heard for the non-existence of supernatural entities and what was your reasoning for denying it?

What do you believe will be the post-life fate of atheists such as you encounter here?  Are we fucked?  I know the pc answer is "only God knows" "who am I to say" etc but what is your gut feeling?  What do you imagine Hell to be like (regardless of whether you think we are headed there or not)?
I never had a god concept.  When we die we're dead.  When we're dead we won't know we're dead because we're....um.....dead.    

No one worries themselves into a freizie about where they were prior to birth, well, except maybe Hindus but even they are more worried about their next life. But humans are the only animals fully aware they're going to die someday and humans are great storytellers.  So they've created stories about an afterlife with rules and regulations on how to get there and how to exclude anyone they dislike in life.   

There's zero evidence a soul exists except as a fantasy idea in theists brains.
Do I ever have doubts? Certainly from time to time.

Best argument against God - Probably uh, the fact that God seems to be incredibly violent in several instances in the Bible for example Ten Plagues of Egypt, particularly the death of the firstborn, one of the earliest doubts that plagued me was is it right to worship a divine being so immoral by human standards, if we look at his actions in a human context?, remember writing a Religious Studies essay on that question in, like Year 13 for A-level mocks heh. As for why I continue to worship, combination of factors, fear of Hell, at first, the fact that I’ve always been Christian, I guess, nowadays I tend to focus on the trying to follow the Ten Commandments as much as I can.

After we die? We might just be dead, no paradise no nothing, I like to hope there’s a paradise, but I think believing that when we die we die, it’s more useful, more uh, incentive if you will, to live fully ya know?
As for what happens to atheists, scriptures have been clear always, it’s damnation it’s Hell, but me personally, if there’s a Heaven, you probably get it if your deeds balance out (good outweighs bad) that kinda thing.
(05-22-2021, 06:37 PM)Cypher44 Wrote: [ -> ]... if there’s a Heaven, you probably get it if your deeds balance out (good outweighs bad) that kinda thing ...

How confident is a believer that the god's gauge of total goodness vs net badness will match their own, particularly if the bible's accounts of how savage and petty the god is are accurate?  I don't see how believers sleep at night:  if they TRULY believe the god condemns people to an eternity of hell they've got NO assurance whatsoever the god will honor its promises or forgive their trespasses (which no human alive ever avoids committing).  I imagine believers clutch at a secret belief they'll be able to talk their way out of trouble, fool god, as it were - which is quintessentially human.

Any "code of conduct" with fear as its basis is, at its root, idiotic.  We shouldn't be stopping at stop signs because we fear getting a ticket, we stop at stop signs because not doing it wreaks a havoc far more disruptive than being fined.  And if it's only fear of punishment that's stopping you from running stop signs you've got to look hard at your own justification for sharing a planet with other people.

Sorry for crashing a thread meant for believers to present their thoughts - I just had to react to the all too common trope that god maintains a ledger and that the guy that steals a pencil is punished to the same degree that the guy that incinerates 10 million people receives.
Not religious either, but just wanted to say that when I was, I found (and still do) the idea of hell beyond abhorrent...


... and the idea of paradise beyond horrific. I vividly remember lying in bed as a teenager, unable to sleep because of the crippling, unimaginable, petrifying terror of the mere thought of eternity and, more precisely, an eternity in which I am alive, with no end ever. Ever. EVER.

There's a religious member who doesn't really post here anymore, who's told me they, too, are terrified of the idea of eternity.

(It's called apeirophobia btw and I couldn't (and cannot) think of anything scarier.)
I think Jesus is the only way to get to where Jesus is leading. You decide.

I think that if you're sure there's no afterlife, then I don't know why the mere mention of the word hell would bother you.

And I simply can't muster the faith needed to believe there's no Higher Being(s) and unfortunately atheists err...I mean Non-Stamp Collectors don't seem very motivated to persuade me. 

The best argument against God isn't the one which tries to persuade you He doesn't exist. 
Its the one which says who cares whether He exists...the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”

"The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keyser_S...Baudelaire.
(05-23-2021, 01:35 AM)Lion IRC Wrote: [ -> ]I think that if you're sure there's no afterlife, then I don't know why the mere mention of the word hell would bother you.

Easy, because it's psychological abuse. But you don't care about the fact that it's psychological abuse, do you?
(05-23-2021, 01:35 AM)Lion IRC Wrote: [ -> ]I think Jesus is the only way to get to where Jesus is leading. You decide.

I think that if you're sure there's no afterlife, then I don't know why the mere mention of the word hell would bother you.

And I simply can't muster the faith needed to believe there's no Higher Being(s) and unfortunately atheists err...I mean Non-Stamp Collectors don't seem very motivated to persuade me. 

The best argument against God isn't the one which tries to persuade you He doesn't exist. 
Its the one which says who cares whether He exists...the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”

"The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keyser_S...Baudelaire.

Hell doesn't bother me in any emotional sense it bothers me intellectually like what do people who believe in it imagine it to be like, what does it even mean to have an eternity of punishment, who has to go there, who avoids it, etc. 

Thank you for replying.  Mere Christianity was very powerful for me as a young Christian, then I read it again as an adult and was embarrassed that it had had such an impact on me.  Haven't read any of his other works.  And Usual Suspects is a pretty cool movie.
(05-23-2021, 02:02 AM)GenesisNemesis Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-23-2021, 01:35 AM)Lion IRC Wrote: [ -> ]I think that if you're sure there's no afterlife, then I don't know why the mere mention of the word hell would bother you.

Easy, because it's psychological abuse. But you don't care about the fact that it's psychological abuse, do you?

I think he meant as a possibility to atheists, in which case I would assume he is just mistaken.  Agnostics, people weighing the pros and cons and trying to come to grips with it, no doubt your description would apply.
Honestly if I died and found myself facing God, my conscience would be clear if he gave me the thumbs down. I would have to say, well, I may have been wrong, but it was in good faith and if you think this is what I deserve then you're the cunt here, not me.
(05-23-2021, 02:21 AM)jerry mcmasters Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-23-2021, 02:02 AM)GenesisNemesis Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-23-2021, 01:35 AM)Lion IRC Wrote: [ -> ]I think that if you're sure there's no afterlife, then I don't know why the mere mention of the word hell would bother you.

Easy, because it's psychological abuse. But you don't care about the fact that it's psychological abuse, do you?

I think he meant as a possibility to atheists, in which case I would assume he is just mistaken.  Agnostics, people weighing the pros and cons and trying to come to grips with it, no doubt your description would apply.

If someone calls you an idiot but you don't believe you're an idiot, that would still be abuse, wouldn't it?
(05-23-2021, 02:26 AM)GenesisNemesis Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-23-2021, 02:21 AM)jerry mcmasters Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-23-2021, 02:02 AM)GenesisNemesis Wrote: [ -> ]Easy, because it's psychological abuse. But you don't care about the fact that it's psychological abuse, do you?

I think he meant as a possibility to atheists, in which case I would assume he is just mistaken.  Agnostics, people weighing the pros and cons and trying to come to grips with it, no doubt your description would apply.

If someone calls you an idiot but you don't believe you're an idiot, that would still be abuse, wouldn't it?

I suppose, but I think this is more a case of a very committed theist not understanding what atheists really think and what makes us tick.
The point I was making is that if I were as committed to atheism as some adult atheists here seem to be, I wouldn't feel violated or psychologically abused just because someone I thought was deluded, told me they believed in a (non-existent) place called hell and that a non-existent entity was absolutely positively going to send me to this non-existent realm when I die.

If that belief triggers some atheists, then you would presumably have to accept that @Bucky Ball et al telling insecure Christians that their cherished afterlife paradise isn't real is ALSO psychological abuse of the exact same type. Is it? 

#goose_gander
(05-23-2021, 02:58 AM)Lion IRC Wrote: [ -> ]The point I was making is that if I were as committed to atheism as some adult atheists here seem to be, I wouldn't feel violated or psychologically abused just because someone I thought was deluded, told me they believed in a (non-existent) place called hell and that a non-existent entity was absolutely positively going to send me to this non-existent realm when I die.

If that belief triggers some atheists, then you would presumably have to accept that @Bucky Ball et al telling insecure Christians that their cherished afterlife paradise isn't real is ALSO psychological abuse of the exact same type. Is it? 

#goose_gander

Well I think GN was speaking of it as torturous abuse if the listener was either a believer or a potential believer or an agnostic or something like that, in that case it (saying Hell is real) would be psychological intimidation and abuse. (GN can speak for himself)  To an atheist it is nothing to be told about the potential of Hell and eternal punishment, etc.  So maybe he was speaking more generally about the role of Hell as propaganda and psychological warfare directed against ones own side (the Christian side); keep the Faith or else, that kind of thing. 

Whereas I don't see an equal comparison to imagine an atheist committing psychological abuse on a Christian believer by suggesting their belief in possible everlasting damnation and torture is wrong, that seems more like an intervention to prevent further intellectual retardation and childishness.  Bucky or any of us explaining to you that your cherished afterlife paradise isn't real is just guiding you towards other possible ways of thinking and interpretting reality, as is the Christian by telling us about Hell.
(05-23-2021, 02:19 AM)jerry mcmasters Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-23-2021, 01:35 AM)Lion IRC Wrote: [ -> ]I think Jesus is the only way to get to where Jesus is leading. You decide.

I think that if you're sure there's no afterlife, then I don't know why the mere mention of the word hell would bother you.

And I simply can't muster the faith needed to believe there's no Higher Being(s) and unfortunately atheists err...I mean Non-Stamp Collectors don't seem very motivated to persuade me. 

The best argument against God isn't the one which tries to persuade you He doesn't exist. 
Its the one which says who cares whether He exists...the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”

"The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keyser_S...Baudelaire.

Hell doesn't bother me in any emotional sense it bothers me intellectually like what do people who believe in it imagine it to be like, what does it even mean to have an eternity of punishment, who has to go there, who avoids it, etc. 

You know what's funny/paradoxical - to me at least - is that the topic of hell can produce two diametrically opposite inclinations about God.

Them : I wouldn't worship a God who allowed there to be a place called hell.
Me : I wouldn't worship a God who didn't.

Them : Eternal punishment is immoral.
Me : Making victims spend eternity in the same place as the unrepentant rapist/murderer is immoral.

It's as if the counter-apologetic accusation against God/hell reinforces my convictions rather than undermining them. So when I'm asked to think about the supposed strongest counter apologetic argument/atheology, they all seem to end up as heuristics for the God Conclusion.

(05-23-2021, 03:26 AM)jerry mcmasters Wrote: [ -> ]...Bucky or any of us explaining to you that your cherished afterlife paradise isn't real is just guiding you towards other possible ways of thinking and interpretting reality, as is the Christian by telling us about Hell.

Well that's a charitable assessment.
Do I take it that you are willing to extend the same charitable interpretation of the Christian who sincerely believes they are doing you a favor?
A number of years back there was a challenge going around for atheists to commit the one unforgivable sin, denying the holy spirit. Admittedly, the existence of the holy spirit is, intellectually, a non-starter for an atheist. That doesn't mean it is emotionally neutral, however, and I found the prospect of taking the challenge decidedly unsettling. I think the same can be true for hell. Intellectually, you know you shouldn't care. But that doesn't mean you don't.
(05-23-2021, 03:26 AM)Lion IRC Wrote: [ -> ]Do I take it that you are willing to extend the same charitable interpretation of the Christian who sincerely believes they are doing you a favor?

You're never willing to be charitable to atheists, so fuck off.
(05-23-2021, 03:26 AM)Lion IRC Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-23-2021, 02:19 AM)jerry mcmasters Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-23-2021, 01:35 AM)Lion IRC Wrote: [ -> ]I think Jesus is the only way to get to where Jesus is leading. You decide.

I think that if you're sure there's no afterlife, then I don't know why the mere mention of the word hell would bother you.

And I simply can't muster the faith needed to believe there's no Higher Being(s) and unfortunately atheists err...I mean Non-Stamp Collectors don't seem very motivated to persuade me. 

The best argument against God isn't the one which tries to persuade you He doesn't exist. 
Its the one which says who cares whether He exists...the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”

"The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keyser_S...Baudelaire.

Hell doesn't bother me in any emotional sense it bothers me intellectually like what do people who believe in it imagine it to be like, what does it even mean to have an eternity of punishment, who has to go there, who avoids it, etc. 

You know what's funny/paradoxical - to me at least - is that the topic of hell can produce two diametrically opposite inclinations about God.

Them : I wouldn't worship a God who allowed there to be a place called hell.
Me : I wouldn't worship a God who didn't.

Them : Eternal punishment is immoral.
Me : Making victims spend eternity in the same place as the unrepentant rapist/murderer is immoral.

It's as if the counter-apologetic accusation against God/hell reinforces my convictions rather than undermining them. So when I'm asked to think about the supposed strongest counter apologetic argument/atheology, they all seem to end up as heuristics for the God Conclusion.

Well it works better if we stick with "murderer/rapist" as you do, where it gets fuzzy is Hell for: "did you not believe in supernatural things despite never experiencing one, but it's in this book written more than a thousand years ago..."  We all have a natural inclination to want murderers and rapists to face not just punishment in this life but in potential lives afterwards too (I do, anyway).  A god that understands human nature would have been, it seems, more careful in considering these things.  Is it not odd that this particular god manufactured things in a way that belief in his existence is on a higher ethical plain than rape, murder, etc.  Almost as if the growth and prosperity of an institution were the goal, rather than a concern with actually improving human behavior.  Seems a reasonable person might notice the obvious human fingerprints involved in this process.

(05-23-2021, 03:26 AM)Lion IRC Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-23-2021, 03:26 AM)jerry mcmasters Wrote: [ -> ]...Bucky or any of us explaining to you that your cherished afterlife paradise isn't real is just guiding you towards other possible ways of thinking and interpretting reality, as is the Christian by telling us about Hell.

Well that's a charitable assessment.
Do I take it that you are willing to extend the same charitable interpretation of the Christian who sincerely believes they are doing you a favor?

I have mixed feelings about it, but generally I am more tolerant and respectful of Christians like yourself who are actually balls to the wall about it because you believe the stakes to be so high, as they should be if what you say is true.  I have often said if I was a believing Christian I would be an absolute fanatic; literally no worldly concern would matter to the desire to save myself and anyone and everyone else possible from a fate worse than death. 

I say "mixed feelings" because motivation is hard to tell, only the person fanatically preaching the gospel knows why they are doing it (true belief and merciful desire to spare atheists from eternal pain...or cuntish condescension, literally "holier than thou" and actually needs to buck up their own insecurities and feelings that they have wasted their lives believing fairy tales; lashing out at those that laugh at their childish beliefs in magic)

So in short, yes, I generally do extend that charitable interpretation if I think the messenger is sincere.
(05-23-2021, 03:28 AM)Dānu Wrote: [ -> ]A number of years back there was a challenge going around for atheists to commit the one unforgivable sin, denying the holy spirit.  Admittedly, the existence of the holy spirit is, intellectually, a non-starter for an atheist.  That doesn't mean it is emotionally neutral, however, and I found the prospect of taking the challenge decidedly unsettling.  I think the same can be true for hell.  Intellectually, you know you shouldn't care.  But that doesn't mean you don't.

I remember that.  You submitted your videos to some site that collected them all, etc.  I didn't bother because it seemed insanely pretentious and goofy, though I think these kinds of things are good for young atheists wanting to bust out of the closet in a way that connects them with others of similar circumstance (especially if their entire upbringing is cocooned in thick religiosity).  Good for solidarity and feeling like part of a larger group so you know you aren't just "the crazy one."  But I have absolutely zero intellectual or emotional problem saying I don't believe there is a holy spirit (or Holy Spirit?) and if there is he (she? it?) can go fuck itself.
(05-23-2021, 01:35 AM)Lion IRC Wrote: [ -> ]I think that if you're sure there's no afterlife, then I don't know why the mere mention of the word hell would bother you.

It doesn't.   Hell is a myth.
(05-22-2021, 06:37 PM)Cypher44 Wrote: [ -> ]Do I ever have doubts? Certainly from time to time.

Best argument against God - Probably uh, the fact that God seems to be incredibly violent in several instances in the Bible for example Ten Plagues of Egypt, particularly the death of the firstborn, one of the earliest doubts that plagued me was is it right to worship a divine being so immoral by human standards, if we look at his actions in a human context?, remember writing a Religious Studies essay on that question in, like Year 13 for A-level mocks heh. As for why I continue to worship, combination of factors, fear of Hell, at first, the fact that I’ve always been Christian, I guess, nowadays I tend to focus on the trying to follow the Ten Commandments as much as I can.

After we die? We might just be dead, no paradise no nothing, I like to hope there’s a paradise, but I think believing that when we die we die, it’s more useful, more uh, incentive if you will, to live fully ya know?
As for what happens to atheists, scriptures have been clear always, it’s damnation it’s Hell, but me personally, if there’s a Heaven, you probably get it if your deeds balance out (good outweighs bad) that kinda thing.

Belief in a god is a learned concept.   Because I grew up  in such an isolated area with no TV or radio and non religious parents I had no god concept at all.    

One has to be taught that Zeus is the father of all gods and men in order to believe that Zeus is the father of all gods and men.
(05-23-2021, 02:58 AM)Lion IRC Wrote: [ -> ]The point I was making is that if I were as committed to atheism as some adult atheists here seem to be, I wouldn't feel violated or psychologically abused just because someone I thought was deluded, told me they believed in a (non-existent) place called hell and that a non-existent entity was absolutely positively going to send me to this non-existent realm when I die.

If that belief triggers some atheists, then you would presumably have to accept that @Bucky Ball et al telling insecure Christians that their cherished afterlife paradise isn't real is ALSO psychological abuse of the exact same type. Is it? 

#goose_gander

By and large, we're not bothered by shit you christer chuckle-fucks have to say. We're bothered that we have to deal with shit from you holier-that-thou twat-waffles all the fucking time. At work, on the road, in the cinemas at home watching TV. Your bullshit is so baked into your culture that we wind up being treated as outsiders, even being told that America is a christer country and we should get with the program or get the fuck out. Show me one person practicing what your jeebus allegedly taught about loving thy neighbor, and I'll show you 100 who are ignoring it completely, including you and your asshole buddy Percie.

Pardon us for being sick to fucking death of your hypocrisy and your bullshit.
How old were you when you recognized the world does not operate according to how you thought it should, let alone operates in accord with how you would have designed it?  5?  6?  In a functioning mind the realization occurs early because hard disappointments trip you face first into the dirt early, as do betrayals.  We spend most of our lives navigating an unfair, confusing world where we endeavor to make the compensations more than offset the inescapable bruises and lacerations of just living, but at times it's a damn trial.

Now, if you believe in an afterlife, how many believe they're headed to some kind of hell?  Practically no one.  No one could sleep at night if they thought, truly thought, their fate was an existence of extreme discomfort.  So, we're all going to paradise.  Some of you are pretty sure Joe over there won't, but Joe disagrees.  What's this paradise like?  Whatever you think it's like, what percent do you think your vision of it will match it?  70%?  50%?  90%?  I assume no one is so deluded as to think their vision would match paradise 100%.

Funny thing:  no two visions are the same.  But they all share one absolute consistency:  they envision a paradise that more or less matches they way they would have designed it.  This despite living a lifetime where from a very early age the overwhelming lesson of experience is that existence DOESN'T match the way you would have arranged it.

It's hard to imagine anything more infantile or pathetic than to cling to an absurdity like afterlife paradise - but then many people are inexpert at distinguishing desire from knowledge.
(05-23-2021, 02:58 AM)Lion IRC Wrote: [ -> ]The point I was making is that if I were as committed to atheism as some adult atheists here seem to be, I wouldn't feel violated or psychologically abused just because someone I thought was deluded, told me they believed in a (non-existent) place called hell and that a non-existent entity was absolutely positively going to send me to this non-existent realm when I die.

It's still a threat.  My current stance is to make the person uttering the threat 100% responsible for the words that they have spoken, even if they claim to be speaking on behalf of their god.  Although they themselves may have been psychologically damaged by someone else threatening them, I refuse to cut them any slack because of the high probability that they are also in the habit of terrifying small children with that disgusting mythology.

And I wish no good whatsoever upon anyone who threatens a child with hellfire, as that's the kind of unforgivable shit that allows daft religions to contaminate future generations.  No. Fucking. Mercy.
(05-23-2021, 02:58 AM)Lion IRC Wrote: [ -> ]The point I was making is that if I were as committed to atheism as some adult atheists here seem to be, I wouldn't feel violated or psychologically abused just because someone I thought was deluded, told me they believed in a (non-existent) place called hell and that a non-existent entity was absolutely positively going to send me to this non-existent realm when I die.


Are you *at all* capable of at least *some* semblance of thought? Oh, but look who I’m asking. Deadpan Coffee Drinker

What “committed” atheists – and anyone who is not utterly mentally and morally deficient (which obviously excludes you right from the start) – object to is the idea that so many are perfectly ok with (and often even happy about) the thought that a huge part of their fellow* human beings are going to be tortured for eternity. And are even capable of claiming that the made-up father-figure who's responsible for the torture is “all-loving”.

It is not all those non-existent things themselves that bother us (hell, god, Virgin Mary and her loving son, who watch over you *personally* because you're so damn special and important), it’s what they are of sign of (a truly twisted, sick, tribal, primitive mind) and what effect they and those who wield them like a weapon, have on the *real* world.

And, the word you're looking for isn't "violated". It's utter revulsion at total moral (and, in this case, intellectual) vacuums like you Deadpan Coffee Drinker

*And I understand that for someone like you (and quite a few religious people), "fellow" human being only means someone who thinks and believes exactly like I do.
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