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If there was no concept of hell in your religion would you still be religious?

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    As an atheist who used to be a *bit* religious I know that the idea of afterlife is extremely compelling to make you religious. So to all of you who are still religious, I am very interested to find out: would you honestly still be religious (that includes going to worship, learning, traditions, doing things that are moral in the standards of your religion etc) if there was no concept of heaven/hell in your religion. Or if everyone went to heaven no matter what they did. Essentially, are you religious out of fear? Or, would you do some things (nice traditions) and not others (praying etc)?
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    (Original post by Guybrush Sheepgood)
    As an atheist who used to be a *bit* religious I know that the idea of afterlife is extremely compelling to make you religious. So to all of you who are still religious, I am very interested to find out: would you honestly still be religious (that includes going to worship, learning, traditions, doing things that are moral in the standards of your religion etc) if there was no concept of heaven/hell in your religion. Or if everyone went to heaven no matter what they did. Essentially, are you religious out of fear? Or, would you do some things (nice traditions) and not others (praying etc)?
    The whole idea of an afterlife in religion is to give meaning to the life we have right now. Therefore it is anm intrinsic belief. If you don't believe in a afterlife then you cannot be ''religious'' because it gives the current life no meaning - you cannot work towards anything higher or lower.
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    The whole idea of an afterlife in religion is to give meaning to the life we have right now. Therefore it is anm intrinsic belief.
    I hear Christians on campus telling me all the time that they 'love god' because he created them. If you loved god, surely you'd be religious regardless of your reward, just to thank him? Also, miracles and divine intervention is a concept in many religions so I thought people are religious for those reasons.

    If you don't believe in a afterlife...it gives the current life no meaning.
    I pity you.
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    I'd still be religious. I'm not particularly in this for a nice afterlife, though that of course would be a nice bonus :nah:
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    It doesn't make sense to not have hell, religion is based on rewarding and punishing. Why should rapists and thieves etc. go to heaven? Not a great question :facepalm2:
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    I'd still be religious but I reckon I'd be more prone to sin(than usual) Sounds wild.
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    (Original post by A level Az)
    It doesn't make sense to not have hell, religion is based on rewarding and punishing. Why should rapists and thieves etc. go to heaven? Not a great question :facepalm2:
    Thank you for your intellectually enlightening response.

    (I believe) Religion is based on what people have constructed it to be based on. One respondent has said she would be religious regardless and the other that he would be religious but would be more prone to sin if there was no sense of punishment. So I think it was a good question.

    As for religion being based on rewarding and punishing, you are completely missing the point. Religion is based on gratitude, community, tradition and a sense of morality.
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    But I think that the majority of Christians believe this since they think that they're all forgiven by the blood of Prophet Jesus on the cross. So my question to them is, why bother with doing good deeds and going to church every Sunday when you're going heaven anyway?
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    I think more people would be apathetic towards religion. Nor do I think religion would have spread as far (through the fear of hell not the reward of heaven.)

    People would still be religious but I think a lot of people find it nice they might chill with their loved ones in heaven after they die. Thinking you aren't going to see someone ever again, does sadden a lot of people.
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    Although I'm an atheist myself, I think that for most religious people the answer would be yes.

    Religious belief is real. It isn't always about reward and punishment. It can be a simple friendship with god, a companionship, an idea in your mind that makes you feel better.

    Of course for many religious people there's a strong motivator of fear of hell, but for them to be as terrified of hell as they are they absolutely have to have a real belief in the god that administers the punishments.
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    (Original post by Dragonfly07)
    It can be a simple friendship with god, a companionship, an idea in your mind that makes you feel better. Of course for many religious people there's a strong motivator of fear of hell, but for them to be as terrified of hell as they are they absolutely have to have a real belief in the god that administers the punishments.
    But they are 'terrified' of hell. They are hence terrified of God. How can you be terrified of someone you find to be a loving companion? It doesn't make sense to me. Additionally, how can anyone find God to be a loving companion since there is no observable correlation between anything you do and anything he supposedly does? I say no correlation because although god provides food, the ability to produce etc to certain people, he doesn't to others, regardless of whether they pray and are observant or not.
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    (Original post by Guybrush Sheepgood)
    But they are 'terrified' of hell. They are hence terrified of God. How can you be terrified of someone you find to be a loving companion? It doesn't make sense to me. Additionally, how can anyone find God to be a loving companion since there is no observable correlation between anything you do and anything he supposedly does? I say no correlation because although god provides food, the ability to produce etc to certain people, he doesn't to others, regardless of whether they pray and are observant or not.
    There's more than just one religion out there, but there are only two motives to believe in a religion:

    1) Fear
    2) Comfort

    It's difficult to see the two of those coming hand in hand.

    Indeed when it comes to Abrahamic religions (Chrisianity, Islam and Judaism), there seem to be two main type of people:

    1) The most common type preaches the goodness of god and emphasises the appeal in having a friend, a companion and a "reward" - heaven. They're the ones who become religious in order to draw comfort from it. They ignore all the bad things in the religion.
    2) The other type is the type you see less often whose reasons for belief lie mainly in fear. They are usually the more extreme type of religious people. They come in two forms:
    -One is a crazy form that preaches crazily in the streets about "convert or rot in hell".
    -The other comes in the form of an individual person. They're normally quiet in their belief, they try to follow it to the last detail. They're terrified of anything they might have missed and often they'll tell you they had nightmares about god or hell

    I personally believe that type 2 people did not choose their religion of their own accord. They would have to be brainwashed for a long time, usually from birth, in order to have developed such a harmful fear of something they don't know exist for sure. However, once the belief is there I believe it's very difficult to remove. You'll still feel guilt at having done something that your god forbade, even if your brain tells you logically that it might not be true. The fear of punishment far outweighs any logical thought you may have. The belief stays very much real for them.

    There is actually a third type of people who follow religion out of no motivator other than pure belief in god. I believe that those people have to be insane to a certain degree. Basing your belief on a completely invisible individual without any motivator whatsoever has got to be a product of insanity, nothing else. If any individual person came up to you and told you they have an imaginary friend without having a religious explanation, you'd immediately think they came out of a mental institute or that they should go there. I see no reason why religion is essentially any different than that.

    Up until now I only talked about Abrahamic religions.

    Other religions may not have a god at all.

    They may thrive on the pure belief of reincarnation - that's religion for the purpose of comfort.

    They may thrive on the simple belief that the universe is god and you're part of it. i.e. you are god. This is comforting too - everyone cares for everyone because everyone is everyone.

    I can't think of many other religions that thrive off fear that aren't Abrahamic. Maybe fear really is the best motivator.
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    Yup. The foundation of my faith is my relationship with God; everything else comes after.
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    Well if there was no heaven/hell then what would be the point in defining between minor sins (such as sex before marriage, alcohol or pork, depending on your religion) and good actions if they both resulted in the same thing . . . you'd only probably be compelled to do the actions that benefit you most as people would probably be more self-fish if this was the only life we got. This wouldn't apply to budhists though as they don't have a heaven or hell . . . And doesn't include things that are actuall evil and illegal.
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    I would; out of gratitude and love to my God and Creator.
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    (Original post by Clare~Bear)
    Well if there was no heaven/hell then what would be the point in defining between sins and good actions if they both resulted in the same thing
    I feel sorry for you. You are missing the point entirely. How do 'sins' and 'good actions' both result in the same thing? One leads to people suffering. The other leads to people being happy and making the world a better place.

    Essentially you're saying that good deeds are meaningless without reward in the afterlife. I find that pathetic to be honest.

    you'd only probably be compelled to do the actions that benefit you most as people would probably be more self-fish if this was the only life we got
    I don't believe in heaven but I volunteer, as do many other people I know. So that puts paid to your argument.

    This wouldn't apply to budhists though as they don't have a heaven or hell . . .
    And you contradict yourself here... Clearly religion doesn't need a heaven or hell... you just said so.
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    (Original post by Dragonfly07)
    There's more than just one religion out there, but there are only two motives to believe in a religion:

    1) Fear
    2) Comfort

    It's difficult to see the two of those coming hand in hand.
    Although I gave you thumbs up, I disagree about you can't see these two motives together. The fact is, I see it all the time. It defies common sense of course. It defies logical thinking. But nevertheless, I see people who find comfort and love god, but are afraid of going to hell at the same time.

    Maybe fear really is the best motivator.
    I agree.
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    (Original post by Guybrush Sheepgood)
    I feel sorry for you. You are missing the point entirely. How do 'sins' and 'good actions' both result in the same thing? One leads to people suffering. The other leads to people being happy and making the world a better place.
    I said that if there wasn't any afterlife it wouldn't make any difference. And I'm not including illegal stuff i'm talking about say drinking alcohol or eating pork for certain religions.


    Essentially you're saying that good deeds are meaningless without reward in the afterlife. I find that pathetic to be honest.
    How you didn't read my post properly and understand it is pathetic.


    I don't believe in heaven but I volunteer, as do many other people I know. So that puts paid to your argument.
    I do good things, but like I said I only referred to things that religions are agaisnt that might not be evil. There is a difference between sinning like drinking alcohol or whatever and doing something that's compeltely evil like murder.



    And you contradict yourself here... Clearly religion doesn't need a heaven or hell... you just said so
    How do I? Buddhists do good because it helps them to reach nirvana, which is different to heaven.
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    (Original post by Clare~Bear)
    I said that if there wasn't any afterlife it wouldn't make any difference.
    That is not what you said. You said it WOULD make a difference and that people would sin more.

    And I'm not including illegal stuff i'm talking about say drinking alcohol or eating pork for certain religions.
    Sorry. Misunderstanding here. I'm just talking about stuff society considers evil.
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    (Original post by Guybrush Sheepgood)
    That is not what you said. You said it WOULD make a difference and that people would sin more.



    Sorry. Misunderstanding here. I'm just talking about stuff society considers evil.

    My post quite clearly begins
    Well if there was no heaven/hell then . . .
    Because there's no way to conclusively prove that there is or isn't a heaven/hell afterlife.

    Ok, no problem

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