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  1. #1

    Default Hell and consequences

    This is kind of carried over from another thread but anyway.

    I've noticed a trend in people who can be broadly classified as believers or people who want to believe that they have a preference for faiths which have no concept of hell.

    Similarly there are wholesale condemnations of faiths or authorities because the "condemn people to hell", personally this is news to me, the best authorities in my own faith have concluded that if hell exists it is the abscence of God by the refusal of God, therefore the gates to hell are locked from the inside and the "condemned" hold the keys themselves.

    Anyway, I tend to think that this is contingent to another secular trend away from thinking consequentially or about choice and consequence. I've thought there was a crisis in personal responsibility for while but this is something greater than this I think its more of a whole sale maturational crisis.

    Consequential thinking develops around about 21yrs of age, at least in the western world, but that boundary is getting pushed back, back, back all the time.

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    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    This is a forum, not your blog.

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    So your thesis here is that the disappearance of Hell from the Judeo-Christian cultural mind is stemming mainly from some avoidance of personal responsibility?

    That seems a little bit... limiting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    So your thesis here is that the disappearance of Hell from the Judeo-Christian cultural mind is stemming mainly from some avoidance of personal responsibility?

    That seems a little bit... limiting.
    No, I think they are part of a trend abhoring consequences, people dont like the idea of hell anymore, not just Christians (a minority of Christians are still keen on the idea because they think it'll happen to other people).

    People dont like the idea of hell or personal responsibility because it implies choice, with a finality, once a choice is made its not easily unmade.

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    Similarly there are wholesale condemnations of faiths or authorities because the "condemn people to hell", personally this is news to me, the best authorities in my own faith have concluded that if hell exists it is the abscence of God by the refusal of God, therefore the gates to hell are locked from the inside and the "condemned" hold the keys themselves.
    You're trying to foist responsibility for your beliefs onto those who don't share them. If I don't believe in hell--if the place is not in any way real to me--then I can't be held accountable for anything that arises from a real hell, simply because no such hell exists for me. If at a later date that changes, then I can take responsibility for a real hell, but until that time, hell will be a fiction that I have as little to do with as you do with the teachings of Muhammad. Just as you're responsible for living your life as if those teachings are false, so am I responsible for living my life as though Christianity is false; neither of us, however, can take responsibility for damnation, for the simple reason that we haven't been damned and don't believe we will.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    No, I think they are part of a trend abhoring consequences, people dont like the idea of hell anymore, not just Christians (a minority of Christians are still keen on the idea because they think it'll happen to other people).

    People dont like the idea of hell or personal responsibility because it implies choice, with a finality, once a choice is made its not easily unmade.
    I think my point here is, why are you bringing it up as if anyone can clarify what the truth is? You have an opinion that can't be validated by anyone here; you're assuming motives for a large cultural trend, and there's no way for anyone to either challenge or refute it, and at the end you'll just keep believing it regardless of what gets said.

    So what exactly is your point in raising an unanswerable question, with your personal belief stated immediately in the OP? It's not even an open question, you already have selected an answer.

    Stuff phrased this way is really more of a "blog" style of posting, where you can soapbox on your own conclusions and perceptions.
    If you would like to instigate actual conversation, you could just bring up the topic without providing an answer, or saying, "Do you think it could be <this>? or what about <this>?" OPs would do better if they facilitated discussion rather than closing it down with the premise.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I think my point here is, why are you bringing it up as if anyone can clarify what the truth is? You have an opinion that can't be validated by anyone here; you're assuming motives for a large cultural trend, and there's no way for anyone to either challenge or refute it, and at the end you'll just keep believing it regardless of what gets said.

    So what exactly is your point in raising an unanswerable question, with your personal belief stated immediately in the OP? It's not even an open question, you already have selected an answer.

    Stuff phrased this way is really more of a "blog" style of posting, where you can soapbox on your own conclusions and perceptions.
    If you would like to instigate actual conversation, you could just bring up the topic without providing an answer, or saying, "Do you think it could be <this>? or what about <this>?" OPs would do better if they facilitated discussion rather than closing it down with the premise.
    My point was to make conversation. I didnt know there was a big problem with how I'd phrased it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    No, I think they are part of a trend abhoring consequences, people dont like the idea of hell anymore, not just Christians (a minority of Christians are still keen on the idea because they think it'll happen to other people).

    People dont like the idea of hell or personal responsibility because it implies choice, with a finality, once a choice is made its not easily unmade.
    I think that many find the notion of Hell contrary to the notion that the entity who arbitrates your destiny there is "loving". Why is this so stigmatized? Well, because Hell has many descriptors in the Bible like:

    And they built the high places of the Ba‘al, which are in the valley of Ben-hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech; which I did not command them, nor did it come into my mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin. Jeremiah 32:35

    And he defiled the Tophet, which is in the valley of Ben-hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter pass through the fire to Molech. 2 Kings 23:10

    other passages mention darkness and "weeping and gnashing of teeth" (e.g. Matthew 8:12; 22:13).

    other parts of the NT when the term gehenna (translated as Hell in all English translations of the bible) is not used. The Johannine writings refer to the destiny of the wicked in terms of "perishing", "death" and "condemnation" or "judgment". St. Paul speaks of "wrath" and "everlasting destruction" (cf. Romans 2:7-9; 2 Thessalonians 1:9), while the general epistles use a range of terms and images including "raging fire" (Hebrews 10:27), "destruction" (2 Peter 3:7), "eternal fire" (Jude 7) and "blackest darkness" (Jude 13). Most biblical scholars believe this to be a symbol of eternal separation from God and God's presence. The book of Revelation contains the image of a "lake of fire" and "burning sulphur" where "the devil, the beast, and false prophets" will be "tormented day and night for ever and ever" (Revelation 20:10) along with those who worship the beast or receive its mark (Revelation 14:11).[11]

    The New Testament also uses the Greek word hades, usually to refer to the temporary abode of the dead (e.g. Acts 2:31; Revelation 20:13).[6] Only one passage describes hades as a place of torment, the parable of Lazarus and Dives (Luke 16:19-31). Jesus here depicts a wicked man suffering fiery torment in hades, which is contrasted with the bosom of Abraham, and explains that it is impossible to cross over from one location to the other. Some scholars believe that this parable reflects the intertestamental Jewish view of hades (or sheol) as containing separate divisions for the wicked and righteous.[6][11] In Revelation 20:13-14 hades is itself thrown into the "lake of fire" after being emptied of the dead.



    This is just simply the absence of God. This sounds brutal. Now, you may say that your officials deem Hell to be the absence of God, but at that point, it is merely a conjecture that holds just as much worth as Dante's Inferno from the Divine Comedy.

    However, many liberal Christians will dilute it and say that no one goes to Hell, or that it's just a matter of poetry.

  9. #9
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    Hell and Child Abuse

    Hell was used by the Redemptorist Fathers to frighten me as a little boy. They were extremely graphic and I was frightened enough to believe I would go to Hell for dreaming about naked women as I fell asleep.

    I now believe that the frightening of little boys and girls is a form of child abuse. So I rang the Redemptorists and asked for an apology.

    But they refused, preferring to protect the assets and reputation of the Church rather than protecting little boys and little girls.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    if hell exists it is the abscence of God by the refusal of God, therefore the gates to hell are locked from the inside and the "condemned" hold the keys themselves.
    An interesting concept, to be sure. I'm not sure where I stand on afterlife, but I do believe we can create the condition of "hell" in our own lives by simple cause and effect of many of our decisions, by not dealing with our problems and the mess inside of ourselves, by shutting ourselves off to growth...

    When you refer to hell, do you refer to it as a literal sort of fire and brimstone place or more of a state of mind/being?
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