Posts Tagged hell

Quote of the Day

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I have always said that the concept of eternal heaven, or anything without parole and a way out, really, whereby one spends eternity just being happy with ones loved ones – no drive, no seeking out truth or knowledge, wonder or laughter, no challenges to the way we view the world and ourselves – just being happy forever and ever with loved ones, seems more like hell and punishment than bliss. Who wants that?

Who wants to spend eternity like that? It sounds boring to me and lazy and simple-minded and as I would imagine hell, actually, not a state of contentedness.

Existing in absolute bliss with everyone for eternity while being forced to worship a narcissistic egotist that creates you one way and sets the rules at the exact opposite to see if you fuck up so he can punish you,  is not enticing

In fact, anything that involves eternal anything without parole or a way out seems more like hell – metaphorically speaking – than a blissful paradise.

Taking away someone’s choice and with it autonomy is just about the worst thing that can happen to anyone as it is just another form of control, in which case, then, heaven becomes nothing but a gilded cage.

Most importantly, however, the concept of a paradise – as pertaining to human existence – seems unreal.  The good cannot exist without the bad. In fact, goodness or heaven or bliss do not make much sense without their counterparts.

In paradise, there is no passion, no drive, no ambition, no hope, no imagination, no creativity…because those things are borne not out of paradise and bliss, but out of the growing pains of existence. There is no passion, hope or imagination in paradise  because  there doesn’t have to be. All is good – there is no reason to invoke anything else or strive for anything else. It is like having everything in life and nothing left to hope for or strive for. That seems like a pretty boring, if not torturous, existence to me.

Not that i wish for evil to happen but human existence or existence itself is tragic. Death and the end of all things conditioned (at least by what we understand as existence to mean) play a powerful role in that. Imagine how fundamentally different our existence would be if there was no death.

Furthermore, the concept of heaven and earth – much like good and evil, light and dark  – seems too simplistic. Like Star Wars, where everyone – with the exception of Han Solo – is an archetype of some sort: a guru, a princess, a chosen one, an evil emperor, or a woolly mammoth.

Real people, however,  and their lives have trajectories, a motivation which grows and shifts over time, realistic interests and ambitions, a satisfying or dissatisfying growth and so on. Real people have real flaws, hopes, dreams, setbacks, and strengths. People in a perfect heaven don’t.

The concept of heaven and earth is very childlike and simplistic. Everything is expressed, assessed and viewed in very simple, child-like terms: good guy versus bad guy, good cop vs bad cop, light versus dark…heaven and cotton candy and bliss versus the dark underground, fire and burning in hell. It is just too easy.

Eternal bliss is one of things people always dream of or think they want, but if you really think about it, it is just boring. It doesn’t feed the soul or imagination. On the contrary, it leads to its degeneration.

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This Is a Real Thing In The World

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I imagine it goes something like this:

Page 1: Stand on railorad tracks

Page 2: Be born to a family in Tanzania

 

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Quote of the Day

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If you happen to be with an atheist who tells you that he does not believe in God, you can read him the whole library, where it says that God exists, and where it is proven that God exists, and he will not believe. [However] if in the presence of this same atheist you witness to a consistent, Christian life, something will begin to work in his heart [and] it will be your witness that brings him the restlessness on which the Holy Spirit works”. –Pope Francis

First of all, I like the, unrelated to this quote may I add, image Lighthouse Catholic Media is using for their post as it is pure PR. By showing the Pope condescend to touch a man disfigured by facial tumors as a result of his neurofibromatosis, the church crafts his image as the benevolent leader and compassionate man who does not shy away from touching a man afflicted with a disfiguring  disease. Like Jesus.

Call me naive, but it is my estimation that not treating someone with a disease or disfigurement like a monster is the most basic sort of human decency, not particularly warranting special accolades, especially not for a man of the cloth who claims to be all about love, acceptance and divine compassion.

Now I do not want to diss the Pope for having done something nice and then be accused of not being able to see the good things people do blah blah yawn, but I want to point out that the accolades the Pope received, both for touching a disfigured man as well as stating that atheists aren’t undiluted evil (a comment which was quietly reversed almost immediately) is emblematic of a larger narrative around Pope Francis that I find deeply objectionable; a narrative that basically says that since Pope Francis is not as overtly heinous as most popes, he is amazing, so let’s make him Time’s Person of the Year and celebrate him as a really amazing human being.

Manipulating people has never been easier.

Never mind that the Pope and the institution he represents neither have changed, nor have any intention to change any of the Catholic Church’s harmful doctrines – from homophobia to misogyny –  let’s give the man a pass and call him a great Pope and person for at least not having said gay people will go to hell. Is this the standard now?

When Pope Francis says that “even the atheists have capacity for good” and thus aren’t evil monsters condemned to hell,  he’s heralded as some sort of beacon of tolerance, even though it’s the bare minimum of decency to say that atheists have the capacity for goodness and doing good (although I would say that the Pope and I have very different ideas of what constitutes “doing good”).

Remember that despite all attempts at image control,  the Pope is still the figurehead and leader of a wealthy international organization that is profoundly and institutionally misogynistic, anti-choice and homophobic and the Pope himself  oversees the most powerfully influential lobby to deny women access to reproductive healthcare and  bodily autonomy.

This is an organization that, between 2005 and 2012, has spent $6.5 million on campaigns against same-sex marriage and thus hate. Also note that neither the Pope’s nor the Catholic church’s positions have changed with regard to any of these issues.

It is just that now the Catholic Church, under the direction of Pope Francis, has decided to merely change the rhetoric, basically, with respect to how the church outwardly handles and talks about these issues without having any intention to actually change the harmful policies the church subscribes to and advocates. In the corporate world that is called white-washing.

And what about all those child abuse cases by the church and the cardinals that cover them up? He hasn’t done anything in that regard either. But hey, at least he doesn’t abuse children himself, so let’s celebrate him as an amazing man taking the catholic church in a new direction.

Feeding hungry people does not make Francis a great or exceptional pope. Frankly, it is his job. It is what Jesus taught. Francis doesn’t get a pat in the back for doing something that he’s known he needs to do since he signed up for this whole Pope thing. The pope is still against same sex marriage, he is still against contraception, he is still against abortion. Outwardly he is preaching about doing good but actually he stands for evil things – no matter how politely he talks about them.

Remember that many religious people help feed the hungry but still think gays are evil and abortion murder etc. Feeding the poor is not the litmus test of goodness or change.

As to the quote itself, all I can say is, what a load of unfounded, patronizing garbage.

The catholic church has been spending millions of their (tax exempt) dollars on hate and denying women access to reproductive care; money they could have used to feed and care for the needy, they have instead chosen to use to deny other people their rights and quash their autonomy.  And now this charlatan Pope Francis actually has the nerve to question the morality of atheists – trying to teach us about love, caring and Christian values? What a colossal asshole.

(By the way, what and where are all those libraries filled with evidence of a god? I thought the only “proof “this schmuck and his feeble-minded followers had for the existence of god was the pesky Bible and wishful thinking, also known as faith.  – Boy, when religious people pile it on, they sure pile it on high).

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Atheist FAQ: What if There Is a Heaven and Hell?

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The idea of infinite torture for any trespass on earth just does not seem very wise, benevolent and god like to me (if one were to, in fact, imagine god to be an inherently good god as there is the possibility that there may be a god or gods who are not inherently benevolent. It is interesting to note that most people  if not all, start from the assumption that this god or whatever it is that is the higher power allegedly is automatically a benevolent god. But that is another discussion).

The idea of heaven – as imagined and depicted in Christianity, for example, does not seem very appealing. Flying around without a corporeal body sitting on fluffy clouds with milk and honey flowing around for eternity is just not appealing. Any version of it, including all the dead waking up, is not appealing. Not to me.

Existing in absolute bliss with everyone for eternity is also not enticing  In fact, anything that involves eternal anything without parole or a way out seems more like hell – metaphorically speaking – than a blissful paradise.

In that case, being in heaven seems like some kind of an endpoint from which there is no escape because once you land in heaven, you’ll be there forever.

Taking away someone’s choice and with it autonomy is just about the worst thing that can happen to anyone as it is just another form of control, in which case, then, heaven becomes nothing but a gilded cage.

Most importantly, however, the concept of a paradise – as pertaining to human existence – seems unreal.  The good cannot exist without the bad. In fact, goodness or heaven or bliss do not make much sense without their counterparts. In paradise, there is no passion, no drive, no ambition, no hope, no imagination, no creativity…because those things are born not out of paradise but out of the growing pains of existence. There is no passion, hope or imagination in paradise  because  there doesn’t have to be. All is good – there is no reason to invoke anything else or strive for anything else. It is like having everything in life and nothing left to hope for or strive for. That seems like a pretty boring, if not torturous, existence to me.

Not that i wish for evil to happen but human existence or existence itself is tragic. Death and the end of all things conditioned (at least by what we understand as existence to mean) play a powerful role in that. Imagine how fundamentally different our existence would be if there was no death.

Furthermore, the concept of heaven and earth – much like good and evil, light and dark seems too simplistic. Like Star Wars, where everyone – with the exception of Han Solo. was an archetype: a guru, a princess, a chosen one, an evil emperor, or a woolly mammoth.

Real people have a story arc, a motivation which grows and shifts over time, realistic interests and ambitions, a satisfying or dissatisfying growth and so on. Real people have Real flaws, hopes, dreams, setbacks, and strengths. People in a perfect heaven don’t. And that is boring, bordering at mythical. To be clear, I love Star Wars,  but it is fantasy. Life is not fantasy.

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The concept of heaven and earth, therefore, is very childlike and simplistic where things are – through and through  – expressed in very simple, child-like terms: good guy versus bad guy, light versus dark…heaven and cotton candy and bliss versus the dark underground, fire and burning in hell. It is just too easy.

Real life doesn’t work that way because real life and real people are more complex. I would hate to spend eternity where things did, in fact, worked that way. Again, imagine if life was as paradise is depicted: we wouldn’t have great literature and paintings, sonatas and monuments born out of discontent, tragic and the yearning for all things passed.

Eternal bliss is one of things people always dream of or think they want, but if you really think about it, it is just boring. It doesn’t feed the soul or imagination.

Finally, when it comes to the question of a rewarding heaven and a torturous hell, one has to ask what sadistic being creates humans one way, sets the rules at the exact opposite and then waits for them to break it so that they then can be punished for fucking eternity? Who is this excellent decision maker and why should anyone sign up? I don’t want to honor someone like that, no one should. That is just fucked up.

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If god is beyond all petty earthly human things, then why does he have an ego the size of cathedrals? Why be petty? Why punish someone for the sole reason of inflicting pain as opposed to punishment in order to teach a lesson? Why does he want to be worshiped, honored, loved in the first place?

Allegiance under blackmail and fear is not love. And that is what heaven and hell really tell you: do this or that or else…it’s like kissing your boss’s ass because you are afraid of him or obeying your parents because disobedience would land you in the basement forever.

Bottom Line: the existence of heaven and hell, other than the heaven and hell we create for ourselves,  is logically flawed and for an atheist just as plausible as the existence of the Easter bunny, Santi Clause, the Loch Ness monster or pink flying saucers orbiting Earth,

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