I don’t think you rejoice in others sufferings but I believed your religious sect did because of these words:
[quote author=“surgikate”]What was worse was realizing that the members of my family were no different in their religious fervor, for they believe that God is going to kill a lot of children, and that it will be justified because their parents aren’t believers. Even though the faith they proclaim is supposedly non-violent, it does not promote love for one’s fellow man, except when that fellow man happens to share the same interpretation of their supposedly holy book.
DevsAdv, thanks for the info on Mia’s thread! I haven’t been here very long, but I have found it very comforting to not be alone any more.
I too, had sessions with a shrink, and took an antidepressant for years. When the thing that was causing my depression was removed (the religion), guess what? No more depression. No more antidepressant needed, even though it was horrible being amputated from my family.
My empathy for gay people increased a billion percent, because I felt like I had been “in the closet” for decades. It wasn’t about sexual orientation; it was about who I was at my core, and it wasn’t their kind of person, i.e., one who was a devout elder’s daughter. I am a healthcare professional, and I really care about my patients and people that I meet. I try to be a good person and help when I can. I’m not evil, but the way my parents and sister regard me, I might as well have 666 tattooed on my forehead.
Anyway, I’m going to visit Mia’s thread and thank you for sharing part of your story with me…believe me, it sounded very familiar!
It is wise to be cautious about a man who worships a cruel God, a god who prefers justice to mercy, a god who cannot take responsibility for his own errors. That worshipful man will practice cruelty in his God’s name and call it justice and faithfulness and obedience and following the divine example.
well said, ted…and this tends to support the theory that man created god in his image, not the reverse.
Can anyone tell me, from their perspective, why frank, TC, troublinka, and others continue to try sooooo hard in this forum?
Now, the Omniscient One must know the answer already, so maybe the question is a test, an exercise for the reader.
Why do the devout work so hard to recruit the rest of us, even those who are devout but in the “wrong” sect? The kindest speculative answer is that they sincerely believe that they have a precious gift—a ticket to eternal happiness called faith—and they wish to share it or at least their religion requires them to proselytize. For all I know, there really are some Moslems who truly fear that their children will go to Hell if the children learn anything other than Islam, something exposure to Western ways risks. The Catholics posting here may wish to contribute in some small way to a world in which their children are safer from non-Catholics (by containing fewer of us).
I speculate also that the devout have periods of doubt. (Don’t they sometimes pray “Oh, Lord, I believe; help Thou my unbelief.” ?) These episodes may bring them close to panic. “I’m going to Hell if I don’t believe correctly!” they say to themselves. They are at their most sane when they are doubting; they needn’t panic, not that my reassurances have any weight with them. The purpose in attempting to convince us that they are correct in their faith can conceal a deeper purpose: convincing themselves that they are correct to believe.
“Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.”—Mark Twain
. . . and this tends to support the theory that man created god in his image, not the reverse. . .
Thank you, Kate. I agree. Everyone I know is more moral than the Christian God or Moslem Allah who creates his “children” without their consent and then sends most of them to Hell for following the nature which he gave them. No one I know would intentionally (and with prior knowledge) bring into this world a child who would know only suffering here, maybe from a congenital defect. People may have attributed cruelty to their gods out of a confusion arising from nature’s indifference to human well-being.
Does anyone read Dante? So much energy is wasted on this site talking about Hell as if this was the center of Christian doctrine. Lets review some basic premises of Hell. We tend to put all the unfaithful in a fiery lake where many suffer for crimes they did not even know were crimes. Yet according to Christian doctrine this is not the case. Even Christ when speaking of the dead speaks of the different levels of hell. In the parable of Lazarus and the rich man we have the chasm that cannot be crossed between Lazarus (who is with Moses) and the rich man (who was wicked and cruel). Lazarus and Moses, who were both in hell seem quite comfortable. Hell (Sheol) was a place that all the dead went to. The wicked suffered for their wickedness and the kind and good did not suffer in the afterlife. Not everyone in hell is tormented. If you read Dante this is clear. Dante’s guide through the underworld is Vergil. Dante meets the great philosophers. They are not being tormented. It is only those that make the various sins their god that suffer torments.
Heaven on the other hand is for the faithful. This seems unfair to many, but who but the faithful would want to spend eternity contemplating the mystery of God. If you desire heaven it is there for the taking. The battle has been fought and the victory won with the cross and resurrection. It seems though you don’t want this and secondly you don’t want anyone else to have it either. I don’t know why. Even if you do not believe you may strive to love and be kind. A merciful and just God will deal with you in a merciful and just way. One cannot ask more from a judge than to be merciful and just.
If there is a God he will judge you knowing exactly what has been given to us and exactly what we did with it. I don’t find this a terrible doctrine but a loving one. I think we to often base the world to come on caricatures we learn from horror movies and Far Side cartoons. If God is as the Christians claim him to be then he is just and merciful. I don’t think that cruel.
Interesting post Frank, please could you cite some scripture to illustrate your descriptions of heaven and hell? Also, I haven’t read Dante in years, but I wasn’t aware that his view of heaven was a canon Catholic one.
[quote author=“Luke16:19-31”]“There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores. When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.
And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.’
Abraham replied, ‘My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.
Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.’
He said, ‘Then I beg you, father, send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.’
But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’
He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.’”
There is also the following quote in Mark
“I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?” He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly mistaken.” (Mark 12:26-27)
Now it would be certainly cruel for God to put his prophets in a lake of fire. They could not be heaven because Christ had yet to redeem them. Christ descends into hell on the third day.
As for Dante, he is not a theologian but the Divine Comedy is based on sound Thomistic Theology.
The fact that I annoy you inspires me to stay. Maybe I can annoy you out of your self worship. Take off your “look at me” sign stop stealing looks of yourself in the mirror and explain to me how I have backpedaled. When you use words it is best that they mean something.
If you’d be kind enough to indulge my curiosity Frank, what fate do you believe awaits me, a liberal atheistic humanist, after I die? I appreciate it might be hard to judge given you don’t know me personally, but I’d be genuinely interested in hearing your best guess, based on your beliefs and theological knowledge.
You might not admit to your self worship but it is evident that you bow down daily to the almighty “I”. I will translate every one of your posts for you. It is my gift to you. It is the first step to the socratic ideal of “know thyself”
Translation of god’s posts. “Look at me, look at me, I’m god. Aren’t I clever. Look at me I’m god. Hooray for me. Me me me me me. I am so clever. I am god.”
[quote author=“calmooney”]If you’d be kind enough to indulge my curiosity Frank, what fate do you believe awaits me, a liberal atheistic humanist, after I die? I appreciate it might be hard to judge given you don’t know me personally, but I’d be genuinely interested in hearing your best guess, based on your beliefs and theological knowledge.
I do not know. I do not even know my fate. We are a product of our choices. I would say the virtuous atheist does not share the same fate as the wicked man whether atheist or Christian. I hope in the mercy of God. Jesus says we will be judged by our love. I take him at his word.
[quote author=“calmooney”]If you’d be kind enough to indulge my curiosity Frank, what fate do you believe awaits me, a liberal atheistic humanist, after I die?
Cal, I think that you can probably slide by and avoid burning in hell because of your atheism and humanist beliefs…..........but that misguided liberal crap will get you into the left side of the inferno every time.