How can it be comforting to think people you loved and miss may be undergoing some kind of judgement? COMFORTING? I become more convinced everyday that religion makes people unloving. To be comforted that those we love are suffering is just perplexing. I don't think the bible is a very nice place.
Atheists going to hell...who said this was true?
The soul (your mind) continues to function after the death of the body, that is the way it was constructed. This is what the bible teaches in Revelation 6: 9-11; it continues to interact with others. I myself have experienced the separation of my conscious soul (or spirit) from my body. Lots of other people have reported this amazing experience, both believer and non-believer. During such an event while alive, your mind functions perfectly normal while in two separate places at the same time. After death, it is just the one. I understand that naturalism rejects this reality, but it is true just the same.
So if this is true, it is comforting to me that Osama bin Laden, who destroyed so many innocent lives in this life will be judged in the next. Otherwise, what would prevent those like him from bringing their hate with them? Only a very cruel God would withhold righteous judgment, which would make him neither good nor righteous.
osama bin laden already has been judged, by a few bullets in the head. not sure if god was involved though, we never get to hear all the details.
Atheists going to hell...who said this was true?
Not the WBT$ as they don't believe in hell (hell is being a JW).
Not me. (Hell is being me).
Atheists in my view are very sensible and cautious people who simply require 'evidence' not just fairy tales and myths to make them believe a thing. So if I were a loving god I'd let them off!
But for myself, if I think someone I loved may be suffering, I am the opposite of comforted. I know you keep using Osama as your example, but I assume like most bible believers, you don't think one must be as evil as Osama to meet that negative judgement. So this means you may know people who have died that you believe are suffering in some way. And that comforts you. I'm disturbed that there is such a disconnect. I take comfort in knowing that no one I love is suffering in some spiritual chamber of judgement.
When I used to believe such nonsense, my days were never fully happy. People I loved had died, and the thought of them hurting while I was enjoying something was like a cloud over all. I guess I'm much too sensitive and compassionate to believe in a god. I simply can't find comfort in such a notion. No, no comfort there.
What does it take to override normal human compassion? What does it take to find comfort in someone else's suffering? Osama took comfort in other people's suffering. We called him terrible things. Sociopaths can't feel empathy, so suffering does not affect them. Normal people can get caught up in an ideology, where they dehumanize others, and they can be immune to suffering. Think Nazi Germany.
I think when you say you take comfort in other people's suffering, you are not recommending your god or your bible to anyone. Many of us are shocked at such an idea.
OK. I go to Church and call myself a Christian and I don't believe the whole 'Hellfire' 'torment forever' stuff. Life on the Earth is bad enough as it is without having an eternity of pain and suffering.
To me that's like Dad telling a child that has no legs to walk and then throw acid on them in punishment for not walking.
Perhaps I'm more atheistic than Christian.........but hey, I'm happy with that! It's better than being a 'mind cleansed' JW. I'll take the risk of being killed with 'anti-matter' from a God that lives in 'pleiades' after they stop 'overlapping' than living 'forever' with a pet panda and being judged by 144k delusional weirdos upstairs anyday!
Punkoface---I think I'm a lot like you, although I don't identify myself as a Christian. I'm mostly atheist, but I go to a Unitarin Universalist church because it's okay with them that most days I'm an atheist and they are good people. They don't have any creed, but their understanding of the bible (not all of them use it) is that there is no hellfire. I became a JW because of my fear of such. My grandmother and grandfather had died, and I don't think they reached the criteria that many chrisitans think are necessary for heaven, so that left hell. I thought about it all the time. I mean I still functioned and had a life, but it was always there in the back of my head.
I would think about myself and my child and all the people I loved, and the thought of ANY of them going to hell upset me a great deal. I just don't know how people that believe such things feel comforted or ever have peace---unless they believe they have their ticket to heaven and that's good enough. When I read a comment like Perry's, I just have to ask questions. I don't believe Perry is heartless---most people aren't---but how does a normal person deal with such a nightmarish belief? How does that happy? I couldn't deal with it.
I find a great deal of comfort in knowing that NO ONE is suffering. I totatally get that we have Osamas and Hitlers, and it MAY comfort survivors to believe that they are suffering. I get that. But what about grandma? Or even the abusive alcoholic father that you hated, but he was still your father? I mean, are they really thinking this through? I don't believe they are.
And I can never let go of the fact that fear of hell slingshotted me into the arms of the WT! The belief was destructive, and I lost 20 years to embracing a religion that put my mind at ease. It didn't occur to me 20 years ago to simply question the god thing and such horrible notions.
NewChapter - I get it! I get You!
My take is that so many atrocities and hardships happen to people on Earth, why make it worse by torturing them forever? Haven't we all had enough pain?
Maybe it is an honest mistake, but just for the record - neither I not Christians, nor God delights in the suffering of the wicked dead.
However, like I indicated - if an omnibenevelent God refused to judge heinous crimes, that would make him an enabler of wickedness would it not?
I'm sure that you would be critical of say the WT for not separating people with a child-molesting bkg. from children. So your position seems like a double standard to me. (not being personally critical here)
The essential question is for me; how can God be good and NOT judge?
That's all that judgment is - a separating out. Since God embodies ALL that is possibly good, and he shares a portion of that goodness with all whether they believe in him or not, the total separation from him in judgment will by default, allow the experience of all that is possibly bad.
No sunshine, no rain, no water, no friendship, no love, no growth, no learning, no work, no reward, no nothing for eternity in "outer darkness" or worse.