Atheism and me: You’re going to hell!


I admit it- this one doesn’t happen very often. Like I’ve said before, I do live in a place where people are (mostly) polite about religion or the lack of it, at least in our everyday lives. But there have been times when I have been informed that because of my lack of belief in deities, I’m on a one-way trip to somewhere particularly flamey and infinite. And the only way to avoid the infinity of flameyness is to accept whichever particular brand of belief the person in question is brandishing professing, and start getting with the worship.

Charming.

Let’s assume for argument’s sake that there is a god. Or gods. Let’s also assume that this particular all-powerful being is the kind of entity who is willing to torture uncounted numbers of people forever because they came to a genuine, good-faith conclusion about the nature of the world around them.

These people are trying to convince me (and you!) to worship this guy. Not obey him out of sheer terror, by the way. Actual worship. Adoration.

Can you imagine respecting anyone this vindictive, self-obsessed and power-hungry? Going further than that, can you imagine worshipping them?

Any god worth their salt- any god worthy of respect- would by definition be an individual capable of proportionate responses to events. A god worth worshipping wouldn’t punish good people eternally for reasonable conclusions based on solid evidence.

So no, I don’t worry about burning in hell. If there is a god, and that god is the kind of individual who’d send me to hell for nonbelief, I wouldn’t stay out of the place long anyway- can’t imagine managing to keep that guy placated for all eternity.

(Not that there’s a shred of evidence for his existence anyway.)

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3 thoughts on “Atheism and me: You’re going to hell!

  1. BELIEVE THAT YOU WILL BE PUNISHED OR ELSE YOU WILL BE PUNISHED.

    Somehow, the logic just doesn’t follow through…

    What’s frustrating and saddening, of course, is how people who are insecure in what they do (and do not) believe can, of course, internalize and be negatively affected when they hear messages like this from their loved ones and role models, as silly as this sentiment seems to me now that I know I don’t believe it. I have known people, certain atheists now, who in their childhood and adolescence genuinely feared going to hell because of their inability to truly believe God (and subsequently hell itself) existed.

    • I used to be the same way. I feared Hell. I didn’t want to be separated from my family. I feared being alone and being punished. It’s a legitimate fear to have. But it is sad. I recently read an article on PsychologyToday.com that talked about an article which showed that Atheists had a higher IQ than Christians by about 7 points.

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