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    Thread: I need help letting go of the idea of hell

    1. #1
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      I need help letting go of the idea of hell

      Hi, I have recently become an Atheist. But I have a problem that I need some help with.

      I am really struggling to let go of the idea of hell. I was raised as a christian and was one for about 14 yrs and I just now have become an Atheist. But since this thought has been imprinted into my brain, I am having serious trouble letting go of it.

      If anyone has any points that would convince me to forget the idea of hell that would be awesome.


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      Well, if the idea of hell is imprinted into your mind, heaven must also be imprinted into your mind. As well as God, and whatever Christians believe in. Why can't you forget about hell, but you can forget about god and everything else?

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      Theres no more reason to believe in hell than there is Mordor. Do you believe in Mordor? If not, why not? Seems like a silly question, but it applies identically to hell.

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      What about it are you having trouble letting go of? The fear of it? How confident are you in it's non-existence? When I stopped believing in God I realized that even if a God does exist he certainly doesn't torture people for eternity just for not believing in him. It's such a ridiculous notion.

      I would just recommend spending time thinking about it. Find what it is that makes you afraid of it and go into it. It irrational so don't worry, finding the truth about it will only make you feel better.

      I would suggest not trying to forget about it, but seeing the truth about it, that it isn't real. Look into the psychology behind using ideas like hell. It's a trick to make people afraid which makes them more easily manipulated.
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      you have no problem labeling yourself an atheist, which by its very definition means no belief in god, yet you can't let go of the concept of hell?

      you're not an atheist

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      Quote Originally Posted by greenhavoc View Post
      you have no problem labeling yourself an atheist, which by its very definition means no belief in god, yet you can't let go of the concept of hell?

      you're not an atheist
      Not true. I'm a total atheist, however I believe in hell. Just not the devil, or God, or heaven.

      Tis a grim lot in life.

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      Hell is a concept meant for minds that for whatever reason feel it's necessary for morality to be dictated from without. For you to get over hell, you first have to ask yourself what morality means to you. Without hell, what purpose does it still serve?

      I believe you are still attached to the idea of hell because there is a slice of doubt in your mind and the possible risk opened by this doubt is monumental. To overcome it, you must develop a sense of integrity based on a real foundation. This foundation must feel so solid that you'd prefer to face hell with your honor intact rather than give in to whatever omnipotent being is judging you.

      Most atheists (or at least I) hit a phase where they think something like, "Okay, I'm not sure whether or not God etc. exists but I am a being of my nature and my nature dictates that I should act based on my experiential reality rather than some unreliable information." Accepting your nature enables you to accept any possible consequence. It is better to do your job badly than do someone else's very well.
      Last edited by Omnis Dei; 01-06-2012 at 07:42 AM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Car˘usoul View Post
      Not true. I'm a total atheist, however I believe in hell. Just not the devil, or God, or heaven.
      I have a hard time believing this statement to be true. If it is, though, how about this: You were a christian, and then through some mental process (likely some form of critical reasoning), you came to the conclusion that it's time to grow up, or move on. Why not apply that same type of critical reasoning to hell?

      But like I said, I don't think your description is accurate. If I may, I think what you're describing is a knee-jerk reaction. Kind of like how someone who was beaten a lot when young can become withdrawn and submissive. Old behaviours and emotions that are no longer useful, but that were created from the beliefs you once held.

      Or, in techie terms: Your cache is stale, and just needs to be refreshed.

    9. #9
      Xei
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      Like others have said, I think you need to give more of an input... what do you mean by letting go of the idea? Do you still think it might exist; or is you still cautious about acting in certain ways out of a reflex; or what?

      If it's ontological issues you're having, just remember that there's no evidence at all for it, on top of it being a very obviously superstitious and ridiculous idea.

    10. #10
      Xei
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      Kona: you know why you came to your conclusion, and you know that the path that took you there was not malicious or evil. You know that you haven't acted immorally. If your child did something wrong, would you ever deem it right to lock your child in a furnace forever as a punishment? Of course not. And yet this God guy, who is supposedly wise, is going to do the same thing to you, for not even doing anything wrong; for just believing what your honest inquiry led you to. And the guy who's going to do this is also infinitely just and loving?? The idea is so blatantly a disgusting and nonsensical piece of propaganda, it really doesn't merit spending any time thinking about it.

      Don't worry about the '23 minutes of hell' recording, it's an exposed hoax. People like the disgusting poster above are fine with using complete lies to psychologically manipulate you.
      Last edited by nina; 01-07-2012 at 02:37 AM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Kona View Post
      I was raised as a christian and was one for about 14 yrs and I just now have become an Atheist.
      So.. are you 14?

      If so, I wouldn't worry about it. It's the raging hormones making you think too much.. happens to most young males at around that age.

    12. #12
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      I'm watching the vid right now Ne-Yo and it brings up a very good point

      "The only surefire barrier to truth is to assume you already have it." Chuck Misler

      We're not shooting the messenger, we're telling you the message is a load of crap.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    13. #13
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      The worst thing you could do right now is to restrain your curiosity and thirst for knowledge, because you might feel ashamed and doubtful about your disbelief. People tend to do this, so they get stuck in this unsure state of mind. My suggestion is, keep yourself curious and brave; embrace the idea of your own personal progress and surround yourself with scientific books, humorous materials and people who trigger insightful and meaningful questions.

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      Wouldn't an interest in the causal functions of reality be the ultimate praise of God's creation?

      God gives us free will and the only pardonable way to exercise it is by tossing it aside?
      Last edited by Omnis Dei; 01-06-2012 at 07:19 PM.
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      Yes, you have free will to choose God or not. What choice did you make Omnis Dei? Are you with me or not?

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      Quote Originally Posted by Ne-yo View Post
      Yes, you have free will to choose God or not. What choice did you make Omnis Dei? Are you with me or not?
      I am certainly not going to follow you, if that's your proposition.

      Why would god give us the free will and only reward people who throw it away for the sake of blind, fear-based faith?

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      SUP NE-YO! Long time, no talkie. How you been? Since we're scaring the new Atheist with Hell to try to bring him/her back to the fold, I thought I'd jump in with the Buddhist model. Should we be making bets or something over which one of us nails the conversion?

      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Begin Conversion Attempt
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      I'm using the common broad definition of atheism rather than the specific meaning of not believing in god.

      As a former atheist I can say that athiesm is a metaphysical system just like any other. I wouldn't get trapped in it and would recommend attempting to get past the need for (always illusory) fixed frames of reference. The western 'zen' is a good tool for this. This doesn't mean any need to abandon science or any of the other trappings of the 'atheist' view. It's a very powerful tool in many situations and it would be stupid to drop it. The idea is just to be the master of your ideas instead of letting your ideas be the master of you. Put on the atheist hat when that's useful but don't be an athiest. Just be in the moment.

      As far as hell goes, I would investigate the history of Jesus:

      The relevant part starts around minute 25. Jesus was a Buddhist missionary and so we can gain great insight into his teachings by examining Buddhist scriptures. Jesus was only able to teach for three years. That's enough time to advance some disciples but maybe not long enough to train solid teachers. So the people that wrote the stuff down were viewing his teachings through the lens of a fairly savage substrate religion (the Judaism of the old testament) and a few generations of probably increasingly unskilled teachers. Things get distorted this way.

      There is a hell in Buddhism so Jesus probably did talk about hell. However it works very differently. It is a place where you are reborn, live and eventually die. You can be reborn someplace else afterwords. It is not eternal. You do not have to believe in anything to avoid it. All you have to do is not go around murdering, raping, or practicing other forms of extreme violence. It is much more likely to be reborn as a 'common animal'. While this results in you wasting your precious human birth, you will have another one. It just may take a long time. It's worth being a good person.

      That's the traditional, 'hell is another realm' view of the Buddhist (and hence Christian) hell. It's not nearly as bad as that which has been constructed in the intervening two thousand years.

      Another view is that hell is a state of mind which can be arrived at in this life. This results from being caught up in anger, fear and hatred. It makes life a punishment. There's something to fear or hate around every corner and under every stone. These emotions interfere with happiness and contentment. Every little thing is reason for a fight or self-pity. Everything leads to pain. This hell is arrived at by letting these emotions take seed and develop in you.

      The same meditation that you use to free yourself from dependency on metaphysical models (Christianity, Athiesm, Buddhism, etc) will also help with keeping the "hell" emotions from taking over. Since these are the emotions that create hell in this life and will lead to hell in the next life (according to those that believe in that hell), it will hence literally save you from hell.

      So, if you do good things and don't to bad things you should be fine. There's nothing to worry about from Hell. Over time as you stop feeding into the fear of it, your belief in it will dry up, crumble to powder and be blown away in the winds.


      ----------------------------------------------------------
      End Conversion Attempt
      ----------------------------------------------------------

      So whatchya think ne-yo? Did I do a good enough job scaring him? I hope he can't sleep tonight! Nothing gives me more pleasure than using fear to make people believe just like I do! I hope it works!
      Last edited by PhilosopherStoned; 01-06-2012 at 10:10 PM.
      Previously PhilosopherStoned

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      Removed comments that directly go against the stated intention in the OP. Any further such trolling will result in infraction.

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      Holy crap I didn't expect that many replies. Thanks for all the help guys, it means a lot that so many of you would reply to this. All your suggestions and stuff are really helping me let go.

      Thanks again for all the replies!!!


      Pm me about any lucid dreaming related questions you have!

      Adopted: Zalak123, Bleant, Fengo, SuperDub49, olo12

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      Deleted personal attacks and off topic trollish crap. Everyone is welcome to express their opinions, please do so in a more respectful manner.

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      Xei
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      Quote Originally Posted by nina View Post
      Everyone is welcome to express their opinions, please do so in a more respectful manner.
      How exactly does one respectfully frame the opinion 'you are going to be tortured forever and you deserve it'?

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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      How exactly does one respectfully frame the opinion 'you are going to be tortured forever and you deserve it'?
      Pose as a saviour or father-figure.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      How exactly does one respectfully frame the opinion 'you are going to be tortured forever and you deserve it'?
      Report the post?

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      Quote Originally Posted by nina View Post
      Deleted personal attacks and off topic trollish crap. Everyone is welcome to express their opinions, please do so in a more respectful manner.
      Thanks Nina!


      Pm me about any lucid dreaming related questions you have!

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      Hey Kona, I was in the same boat as you. My parents are protestant, and I was raised protestant. Up until I was like 11ish, I didn't question whether or not God was real--more out of fear than anything. Then, I started to form my own ideas about the world rather rely on my parents', I began to branch out. I began to realize that what I was taught didn't make much sense, the first seeds of doubt were sown. When I was more about your age (assuming you're 14) I made the step to full blown atheism, though not with baggage many atheists carry (nihilism, materialism, etc.). I simply chose not to believe that a god existed for reasons that, since I first started doubting that God was real, had compounded until it eventually reached a threshold--after this point I saw no more reason in calling myself a christian. First I saw that I had been lied to by every sense in the word. Not everyone lying to me knew that they were lying, but at some point down the line, lying had occurred. The Bible had stories that were specifically picked, Hell as a concept in the Bible didn't really show up until the Middle Ages, the inconsistency with which God acted and reacted, the violence carried out in God's name, the fact that there were other religions that were fundamentally the same but were totally rejected under the guise that they were "wrong", the confidence in knowing Christianity was the right religion (though the penalty for choosing incorrectly is eternal damnation), the inconsistency of religion in general, how much money was being made by the church, the list could literally go on and be quadrupled in length--just to list a few of my grievances. And to those that said to me, "why not believe? Even if you have a hard time believing, all God asks is that you believe, so the chance that you may make it into heaven just for believing is worth it," I kind of just shrugged it off without trying to be offensive. If I wanted to believe in God, I wanted to believe in God--not pretend to believe in him, like some kind of coward, just so I could make it into heaven. Besides, if they even read the Bible, they'd know God is omniscient. If you only believed to make it into heaven, God would know, and I doubt he would be pleased. It seems like it sort of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?

      I let go of the concept of a hell before I let go of the concept of a god, so I wasn't quite in the position you're in now, but I understand the feeling. I can assure you that as time goes on, and you continually form more and more ideas of the world, the feeling will go away. I much prefer the feeling of doing good things of my own free will, instead of it being forced and therefore fake. Imagine it, sincerity of action. It feels damned good, and, in my opinion, is the most rewarding reminder that I made the right choice.

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