Re: A serious question regarding hell for all (or most) theists
(Original post by Pzychotic)
You're probably right there. But I know such people do exist. Rightly or wrongly, they have interpreted their religious texts such that I, if I die as I am now with my atheism, will suffer forever. If you've ever had the delight of watching the public access show "The Atheist Experience" which is hosted by the Athiest Community of Austin in Texas where they take a number of calls from devout Christians each week and answer any questions or arguments they may have; there are a number of examples from this that I can link to on youtube, in which Christians are claiming this very thing.
Such devout people - particularly in the Bible belt - tend to lean towards the side of fundamentalism which isn't really representative of the norm
I'm not entirely decided on Hell and whether it still is an issue for us, following Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross. I mostly believe in Hell but not a strict definition of it. I believe in a more subjective view of Hell: that Hell for some people, myself included, maybe be this life, not necessarily in its entirety but for specific durations at least; for others, it might be the afterlife. I believe you have to do something seriously, seriously bad to go to Hell and not repent at all for it in a sincere fashion. I believe God doesn't condemn people to Hell: that they condemn themselves and that God tries desperately to make sure that no one - if anyone - goes to Hell. I personally don't believe that not believing in the Christian God in itself condemns you to Hell
A Catholic priest actually emailed me today on the subject of Hell, since I'd expressed concern that certain priests might tell me I'm going to burn for eternity in Hell (I think very few priests would actually do this, but it's always a possibility within the Church). He said, of Hell:
"I would suggest that your question about being a heretic and burning in hell does not come from the Good Spirit - because the Good Spirit is marked by gentleness, invitation - and challenge, yes - and compassion. There is no violence in God, and if anyone really wants to burn in hell there are quite a few things that they must do to in order for this to happen. from what you say, that sounds like the Bad Spirit to me."
I don't do religious debates since I've little interest in battling militants on either side of the fence and am very ill at the mo, so I am not going to engage in the discussion further. I hang round in the 'Religion' subforum for more peaceful, happier things That said, I hope this shows you a more moderate side of Christian views of Hell that I imagine would be more representative of the masses