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    Thread: Heaven/Hell for eternity?

    1. #1
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      Heaven/Hell for eternity?

      I know this topic circulates the internet constantly but I still find it interesting to think about. Btw I'm athiest an have no belief in god.
      How do you treat someone who has done something morally wrong? I would say let them go through something equally bad (eye for an eye), but we are not meant to judge, god is.
      So if god must punish this individual what use would it have sending him to an infinite hell. He will never learn of his mistakes. All this goes for heaven too, rewarding someone for eternity.
      However if we were to say that depending on the moral crimes you commited you would be punished with an equivalant time in hell. The system would make a lot more sense but it would also bring the need for some reincarnation system, but if that was so everyone would eventually become good hearted. I can't get my head around how incositent the whole story is.

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      Hell and heaven don't make any sense? Who would've thought.

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      Lost count of how many lucid dreams I've had
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    3. #3
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      I don't believe in punishment for the sake of punishment. I don't think that a person who does something morally wrong needs to be made to suffer. All people who do 'bad' things do it because they have some problem or issue. The preferable way to deal with someone is to remove all the problems and issues that person is having, so that they do not do 'bad' things any more.

      Really the heaven/hell idea is based on barbaric practices from long ago, where people did things out of revenge and anger. Today we are far more enlightened, though we still have many things we need to resolve still. Eventually I hope we end up to an even more enlightened society where punishment is no longer used at all.
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      I can't think of a specific passage where people are sent to hell as "punishment by God" but I could be wrong, maybe it does phrase it that way.

      I always thought the bible pointed it as "heaven is the place of God", therefore you must accept God to enter it. Its not about God hating you and sending you to hell, as much as it was the "biblical physics". Heaven = God. You can't accept God then you dont get heaven. Of course theres always a catch. Hell is unconditionally pictured as a place of misery and suffering, not a fun sexy party.

      Now the whole hell = eternity is really confusing and problematic. I know there are phrases in the bible that suggest those who go to hell suffer for eternity. But then there are two instances in the bible that completely ignore this. 1. When Jesus goes to hell to save souls, therefore they weren't there forever. 2. At the end of days when hell will be unlocked so all souls can have a second chance. So is it eternal or not? The bible doesn't make a whole lot of sense in that instant.

      Jesus offers introduces new ideas about heaven. "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.". Does it seem fair that man who worked hard to be rich should burn in hell forever? I think this is evidence that Jesus had eastern influences. It sounds like Jesus is saying you have to let go of all earthly attachments to enter heaven.

      Some have even interpreted this way. Its IMPOSSIBLE for a camel to go through the eye needle, therefore it is IMPOSSIBLE for any man to ENTER heaven. In other words, Jesus was saying heaven isn't a "place" you "enter"

      Anyways, I think the common christian understanding of heaven and hell is really old school. And its horrible that christians would use it to justify treating others as trash because they are "hell bound"

      But my favorite catholic teaching was this little necklace I got at first communion. I dont know what its called, but its the one with the picture of Mother Mary. The necklace has a promise attached to it - you wear it you go to heaven no questions asked. When I was little I took it literally and I was always too afraid to take it off. But then I understood Mother Marys message, heaven is as simple as unconditionally accepting you're going to heaven, we didn't need to make it more complicated than that.

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      Consciousness in the Void Universal Mind's Avatar
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      There is no such thing as Hell. It is an irrational and asinine idea. A lot of con organizations use hope and fear to suck people in, and that is what Christianity did. They promised the ultimate awesomeness for going along with them and the worst punishment imaginable for not going along with them. It's like when street gangs threaten to kill people for not joining but promise to give great rewards for joining. Mafia coercion involves the same principle. "You get $10 thousand if you do it, but you get killed if you don't." Christianity didn't have to work within the confines of reality to make their offer and threat. They got to use fiction, and they went all the way with it. It's a scam.

      Eternal torture for not being a Christian? Absurd.

      An Atheist Meets God - YouTube
      Quote Originally Posted by really View Post
      God cannot destroy himself because He is Omnipotent.


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      D.V. Editor-in-Chief Original Poster's Avatar
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      You've obviously never been to Jackson, Mississippi

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    7. #7
      Consciousness in the Void Universal Mind's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Original Poster View Post
      You've obviously never been to Jackson, Mississippi
      This swampy urban forest is beautiful. It just has a lot of dumb ass creatures living in it. There are a lot of genius thinkers and artists here too, but movies about them don't tend to get made.
      Quote Originally Posted by really View Post
      God cannot destroy himself because He is Omnipotent.


    8. #8
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      Heaven and hell aside for a moment, I absolutely have to address this:

      Quote Originally Posted by Alric View Post
      I don't believe in punishment for the sake of punishment. I don't think that a person who does something morally wrong needs to be made to suffer.
      What if the punishment is the only way to prevent that person from repeating their wrongdoings? Would you not put a rapist in prison?

      He is punished by being sent to prison, where he will suffer. What do you think would be a better alternative for society?

      All people who do 'bad' things do it because they have some problem or issue.
      Anders Breivik had an "issue" with 77 people. Hitler had an "issue" with an entire race, which consequently caused the holocaust.

      I just don't understand your point.

      The preferable way to deal with someone is to remove all the problems and issues that person is having, so that they do not do 'bad' things any more.
      Do you really think this is possible? I mean, really? What, do you want to eliminate prisons and mental institutions now?

      Really the heaven/hell idea is based on barbaric practices from long ago, where people did things out of revenge and anger. Today we are far more enlightened, though we still have many things we need to resolve still. Eventually I hope we end up to an even more enlightened society where punishment is no longer used at all.
      I would prefer a society with an extremely low, almost non-existent crime rate, rather than a society with today's crime rate but where criminals are not being "punished."
      Last edited by Yakuza; 08-15-2012 at 05:31 PM.

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      You are assuming that punishment is the only way to stop someone from doing something, and there is no evidence that is true. If a person is a rapist because they have some mental condition and can't feel empathy for other humans, then putting them in jail for punishment isn't likely to actually correct their behavior. However there might be medicine or treatment that can repair or fix the area of the brain that is the cause of their lack of empathy, or it might be possible to resolve the issue through counseling or something. In which case, if you remove that core issue, they will not continue to try and rape people.

      Punishment really doesn't work, and that is why we have such a high crime rate despite having the largest population of people in prison in the entire world. Obviously putting everyone into jail doesn't really solve any of the core issues, which is why they are still there. For example we lock up tons of people who are mentally ill and put them in jail, most of them could probably be treated and released to live normal lives but instead are locked away and forgotten about. Since their mental illness is never treated, when they are release nothing has been solved. Which is why its very important to treat the real issues.

      I really do think it is possible to solve every single issue, so that no one commits any crime, all without punishment. I understand it is a difficult task, but I believe it could be done. A lot of things would need to be changed however. In the mean time, jail should be a place to keep dangerous people away from victims, not a place to punish people.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Alric View Post
      You are assuming that punishment is the only way to stop someone from doing something, and there is no evidence that is true.
      Where did I say that I assume punishment is the only way to stop someone from doing something?

      If a person is a rapist because they have some mental condition and can't feel empathy for other humans, then putting them in jail for punishment isn't likely to actually correct their behavior. However there might be medicine or treatment that can repair or fix the area of the brain that is the cause of their lack of empathy, or it might be possible to resolve the issue through counseling or something. In which case, if you remove that core issue, they will not continue to try and rape people.
      But until we find "that something" which would repair/fix that problem, do you propose setting him free?

      Punishment really doesn't work, and that is why we have such a high crime rate despite having the largest population of people in prison in the entire world. Obviously putting everyone into jail doesn't really solve any of the core issues, which is why they are still there. For example we lock up tons of people who are mentally ill and put them in jail, most of them could probably be treated and released to live normal lives but instead are locked away and forgotten about. Since their mental illness is never treated, when they are release nothing has been solved. Which is why its very important to treat the real issues.
      Now you are talking about something else. Mentally ill people who are incorrectly thrown in prisons instead of mental institutions is a separate debate for itself.

      I really do think it is possible to solve every single issue, so that no one commits any crime, all without punishment. I understand it is a difficult task, but I believe it could be done. A lot of things would need to be changed however.
      It is good to be optimistic, but I believe it is highly unrealistic to believe we can solve every single issue so that no one commits any crime. And on top of that, all without any kind of punishment whatsoever.

      In the mean time, jail should be a place to keep dangerous people away from victims, not a place to punish people.
      But by placing them away from potential victims, are you not punishing them at the same time?

      Their punishment = not being free.

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      The mind is the only prison.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      Them not having freedom is a side effect of us having to keep them away from potential victims. It isn't the sole goal. Which is why we generally don't condone things like torture and stuff, since that would be punishment for punishments own sake.

      I really do think we can solve everything issue, but my main concern is that we basically don't try to help anyone, with anything. Heck we even punish people who never even hurt anyone, like all those people who do drugs. What does any of that solve?

      The idea that we need punishment to stop crime is silly. Jail doesn't work as a deterrent. If using punishment worked as a deterrent we wouldn't have the largest prison in the world, and still have one of the highest crime rates in the world. In fact all the studies have shown jail doesn't work as a deterrent at all, so it is utterly pointless. Telling people they will go to hell doesn't work as a deterrent either. The moment people leave the church they go about their business and continue to break any rules they don't agree with.

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      You haven't answered any of my questions. I always respond to you with specific replies to your statements, and then you post a general response.

      Oh well.

    14. #14
      Consciousness in the Void Universal Mind's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Alric View Post
      Them not having freedom is a side effect of us having to keep them away from potential victims. It isn't the sole goal. Which is why we generally don't condone things like torture and stuff, since that would be punishment for punishments own sake.

      I really do think we can solve everything issue, but my main concern is that we basically don't try to help anyone, with anything. Heck we even punish people who never even hurt anyone, like all those people who do drugs. What does any of that solve?

      The idea that we need punishment to stop crime is silly. Jail doesn't work as a deterrent. If using punishment worked as a deterrent we wouldn't have the largest prison in the world, and still have one of the highest crime rates in the world. In fact all the studies have shown jail doesn't work as a deterrent at all, so it is utterly pointless. Telling people they will go to hell doesn't work as a deterrent either. The moment people leave the church they go about their business and continue to break any rules they don't agree with.
      I agree that eternal punishment would be pointless and ridiculous, but I do not agree that the threat of punishment doesn't work as a deterrent. Try teaching at a school where the kids know there are no consequences for disrespect or disruption, and you will see that the threat of punishment is extremely necessary. Why does armed robbery work? Because victims don't want to be hurt or killed. Why don't I smoke pot in public? Because I don't want to go to jail. Why do countries surrender in wars? Because they don't want more damage. Why do rattle snakes rattle, lizards blow up their necks, and cats hiss? They are warnings of punishment, and they help avoid a lot of confrontations. Why do people show up at work on time and follow instructions? Because they don't want to lose their jobs. Why do kids keep secrets of wrong doing from their parents? To avoid punishment. It works. The threat of punishment has a minimal effect on the worst people in society, but you can't use them as the litmus test for the rest of society. Have you ever slowed down because you saw a cop? I have. Why do people run from cops?

      The threat of Hell is what had me praying daily for years as a kid. It is what makes some people diagnosably obsessive hand washers. It is what helped make Christianity so popular. When the movie The Exorcist came out, church attendance went way up. The threat of Hell is one of the most brilliant cons of all time.
      Last edited by Universal Mind; 08-15-2012 at 11:07 PM.
      Quote Originally Posted by really View Post
      God cannot destroy himself because He is Omnipotent.


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      I did reply to all your questions Gills, and answered them all directly. I am not sure, what question you have that I did not answer.

      As for the deterrent problem Universal Mind, there is two separate issues here. All the examples you gave are of imminent threats(except for the pot one, which I noticed you said you don't smoke in public not that you never smoke at all), while the threat of jail and prison are long term ones that are not imminent or even sure. The deterrents do work on the short term scale but there is no evidence that they work long term. If a gun is pointed to your face you most definitely start thinking about that gun. However, if you do not see the gun the threat is a lot less obvious and a lot more meaningless.

      Which is why I say while in church people are good Christians but shortly after walking out the door it fades away and people go back to whatever it is they usually do. I mean if you want to start publicly executing everyone so that everyone can see it up in their face all the time, it might work but most people don't really consider that humane.

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      I agree regarding addiction, negative reinforcement doesn't work, but it takes some understanding of neuroscience to see why.

      The idea of a "sin" just seems too ridiculous to even include in this discussion, but assuming something like an afterlife exists, I can understand where addiction/fixation could lead one into some sort of hell, which would last indefinitely until the addiction/fixation subsides, just like it does in the "living world." In fact I doubt hell would be any worse than the hell we give ourselves while alive, and would only vary as much as our self-punishment varies.

      You can use negative reinforcement to stop a behavior from occurring once, but if you want the person to improve their habits, you must provide positive reinforcement. This is evident at the humane society, where dogs which have been ruled by negative reinforcement are much more difficult to handle than ones who have been trained by positive reinforcement and actually want to be good for you rather than simply avoid punishment. Likewise trying to frighten someone away from committing a sin, you may be able to put the fear of god in them if they're generally an agreeable person. But when you're talking about someone brought up in circumstances that lead them to have dangerous/unhealthy fixations, the fear of hell would have no effect.

      I suppose Jeffry Dahmer would disagree, recalling his interview with NBC way back when, when he said that religion was good because people needed to feel accountable for their actions. Speaking from my own experience as a serial murderer though (joke), I feel like backwards rationalization can enable you to commit any atrocity if you will to do so, and it takes something you actually want to accomplish (positive reinforcement) for you to work on the fixation itself. Change comes from within, or some bullshit, and positive reinforcement coincides with your inner desires while negative reinforcement conforms you to others expectations.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    17. #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by dutchraptor View Post
      However if we were to say that depending on the moral crimes you commited you would be punished with an equivalant time in hell. The system would make a lot more sense but it would also bring the need for some reincarnation system, but if that was so everyone would eventually become good hearted. I can't get my head around how incositent the whole story is.
      If those who become good hearted enough eventually ascend to some next stage, why would it be inconsistent? It's only inconsistent if you assume they keep getting reincarnated here in this stage. Perhaps that's the point of this stage. To teach you to be good in preparation for what's next?
      "Less of a young professional, more of an ancient amateur."

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