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Religion — Page 84

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Mrebo said:

moviefreakedmind said:

Mrebo said:

moviefreakedmind said:

Even if you don’t believe that it is literally fire, the point is obvious that Jesus Christ meant that hell is a place of unimaginable torture.

As for chyron’s point about “our perceptions” coloring things, I think it’s fair to judge God by the standards that the Bible claims he judges us. We’re supposed to love our enemies, God tortures his enemies for eternity. I’d imagine that if I personally kidnapped a nonbeliever and tortured them myself because they weren’t Christian, I’d be rightfully labelled an evil maniac. But that’s what Jesus Christ proudly proclaimed he does. Saying that a character that does such a thing is loathsome is not unfair at all.

Isn’t it a basic tenet that only God can judge? I see CatBus’a last paragraph as a plausible scenario. It’s an idea I entertain.

He doesn’t live up to his own standards based on his behavior in the Bible.

I think Jesus changed all that. As I understand it most Jews don’t believe in eternal suffering. I don’t know how Jews square their modern beliefs with the Old Testament.

The Old Testament makes no mention of Heaven or Hell in terms of everlasting paradise and everlasting damnation.

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ZigZig said:

moviefreakedmind said:

ZigZig said:

moviefreakedmind said:

Revelation says that the people who take the mark of the beast will be tortured forever in the presence of Jesus Christ (which paints a pretty demented picture of the Prince of Peace if you ask me). In the English language, which I guarantee is what Chyron reads, the Bible clearly and obviously depicts hell as a torturous place of eternal punishment where the wicked have no rest day or night and the smoke of their torment ascendeth forever and ever.

I agree about Revelation, the Bible, the Old Testament and the Acts of the Apostles.
But not the Gospels. AFAIK, Jesus himself never said that Gehenna is a place of Eternal Torment for unsaved people.

Lazarus and the rich man is a story of the eternality of hell.

it is a parable presented in a series of 5 parables : a deliberately short and fictional story that Jesus uses to illustrate a teaching.
Taking it in the first degree as a fact is deliberately ignoring the will of a symbolic story that Jesus clearly shows here.

I’m not taking it in the first degree of fact. If I said that Jesus was telling a story about the factual dialogue between two men in the afterlife I’d be taking it in the first degree of fact. I’m taking the obvious point that he made in his symbolic story, which was that the damned suffer in the afterlife while the saved do not.

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 (Edited)

ZigZig said:

moviefreakedmind said:

ZigZig said:

moviefreakedmind said:

ZigZig said:

moviefreakedmind said:

those are his exact words.

moviefreakedmind said:

I said “eternal fire” and “torment” are his descriptions of hell. Exact words are different

OK.

I guess exact words was inappropriate phrasing on my part, but Jesus Christ does throw around words like that all the time. I’m sure those exact phrases are in certain popular translations, I’d bet my life on it. He obviously condemns people to eternal torment in the afterlife. The reason I’m such a huge fan of the Bible’s words on hell and judgement is because I think it exposes how dark and grim the mythology really is. It makes for a much better narrative within the Bible itself (and I really enjoy the stories and mythology of the Bible), but it makes for a more difficult-to-believe-in religion in the modern age.

I agree with you : the Bible contains maybe the most beautiful texts of antiquity, whatever we believe in it or not.
Showing respect to these texts is also not pretending that Jesus “exactly” said something that he didn’t.

Jesus did “exactly” say that hell was a place of torture, fire, sorrow, and it’s at the very least heavily implied to be eternal.

Again, citation needed.

My citation is the goddamned bible. Jesus Christ talked about Hell more than anyone. In fact, it’s one of the main focuses of the gospels.

Matthew 13:49-50 - So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 25:41 - Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels

Matthew 25:46 - And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Mark 9:43 - And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

Matthew 10:28 - And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

John 3:36 - He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

John 5:29 - And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

Mark 9:48 - Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

Also, here’s a verse for those that say Christ didn’t damn the religions that don’t revolve around him:
John 14:6 - Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

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moviefreakedmind said:

Mrebo said:

moviefreakedmind said:

Mrebo said:

moviefreakedmind said:

Even if you don’t believe that it is literally fire, the point is obvious that Jesus Christ meant that hell is a place of unimaginable torture.

As for chyron’s point about “our perceptions” coloring things, I think it’s fair to judge God by the standards that the Bible claims he judges us. We’re supposed to love our enemies, God tortures his enemies for eternity. I’d imagine that if I personally kidnapped a nonbeliever and tortured them myself because they weren’t Christian, I’d be rightfully labelled an evil maniac. But that’s what Jesus Christ proudly proclaimed he does. Saying that a character that does such a thing is loathsome is not unfair at all.

Isn’t it a basic tenet that only God can judge? I see CatBus’a last paragraph as a plausible scenario. It’s an idea I entertain.

He doesn’t live up to his own standards based on his behavior in the Bible.

I think Jesus changed all that. As I understand it most Jews don’t believe in eternal suffering. I don’t know how Jews square their modern beliefs with the Old Testament.

The Old Testament makes no mention of Heaven or Hell in terms of everlasting paradise and everlasting damnation.

Maybe not but God was awfully vengeful in those days.

The blue elephant in the room.

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Mrebo said:

moviefreakedmind said:

Mrebo said:

moviefreakedmind said:

Mrebo said:

moviefreakedmind said:

Even if you don’t believe that it is literally fire, the point is obvious that Jesus Christ meant that hell is a place of unimaginable torture.

As for chyron’s point about “our perceptions” coloring things, I think it’s fair to judge God by the standards that the Bible claims he judges us. We’re supposed to love our enemies, God tortures his enemies for eternity. I’d imagine that if I personally kidnapped a nonbeliever and tortured them myself because they weren’t Christian, I’d be rightfully labelled an evil maniac. But that’s what Jesus Christ proudly proclaimed he does. Saying that a character that does such a thing is loathsome is not unfair at all.

Isn’t it a basic tenet that only God can judge? I see CatBus’a last paragraph as a plausible scenario. It’s an idea I entertain.

He doesn’t live up to his own standards based on his behavior in the Bible.

I think Jesus changed all that. As I understand it most Jews don’t believe in eternal suffering. I don’t know how Jews square their modern beliefs with the Old Testament.

The Old Testament makes no mention of Heaven or Hell in terms of everlasting paradise and everlasting damnation.

Maybe not but God was awfully vengeful in those days.

Yeah he could get real jelly sometimes.

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Possessed said:

Mrebo said:

moviefreakedmind said:

Mrebo said:

moviefreakedmind said:

Mrebo said:

moviefreakedmind said:

Even if you don’t believe that it is literally fire, the point is obvious that Jesus Christ meant that hell is a place of unimaginable torture.

As for chyron’s point about “our perceptions” coloring things, I think it’s fair to judge God by the standards that the Bible claims he judges us. We’re supposed to love our enemies, God tortures his enemies for eternity. I’d imagine that if I personally kidnapped a nonbeliever and tortured them myself because they weren’t Christian, I’d be rightfully labelled an evil maniac. But that’s what Jesus Christ proudly proclaimed he does. Saying that a character that does such a thing is loathsome is not unfair at all.

Isn’t it a basic tenet that only God can judge? I see CatBus’a last paragraph as a plausible scenario. It’s an idea I entertain.

He doesn’t live up to his own standards based on his behavior in the Bible.

I think Jesus changed all that. As I understand it most Jews don’t believe in eternal suffering. I don’t know how Jews square their modern beliefs with the Old Testament.

The Old Testament makes no mention of Heaven or Hell in terms of everlasting paradise and everlasting damnation.

Maybe not but God was awfully vengeful in those days.

Yeah he could get real jelly sometimes.

Well the people put him in a jam.

The blue elephant in the room.

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chyron8472 said:

It is difficult to explain Hell when one can not accept the concept that we do not deserve Heaven, nor can we by anything of our own doing. Because we ourselves are corrupt and sinful, we do not deserve to behold God’s glory or to be in His presence whatsoever. That is, separation from God is a default. But because Christ personally intercedes for us, we are forgiven. But we also need to accept that forgiveness.

I should say that I at one point was an extremely devout Christian type. and I know the whole spiel by heart because I had memorized it when I was in that mindset. There are even posts of mine where I’m making similar arguments as yours, potentially in this very thread.

I should also say that I don’t want heaven, and I don’t think that the heaven of the Bible is something that most people can say that they honestly want. I think of the prospect of an eternity with God while everyone else is burning away as completely exhausting and undesirable. Yes, heaven is undesirable. I’d rather cease to exist. I also would probably rather be in hell with all the rockin’ bands and my actual father and mother and brothers and sisters (because that’s where God will condemn them since I don’t believe that they would be “saved”) than up in heaven. It’d be hot and miserable down in hell, but God strikes me as rather unpleasant and conceited. I don’t think I’d enjoy his company. I also don’t care much about his forgiveness. I care more about the forgiveness of the people that I’ve actually wronged in my life than the forgiveness of a supposedly all-knowing deity.

In other words, we of ourselves decide to take our inheritance and go our own way, and it is up to each of us to decide to go back home to our father. Surely, once he sees us on the road back from far away, he will run to us and embrace us and throw a party. But we are also free to be able to make the decision to be apostate. It’s our choice.

Not really. Not if you were born into a society with no exposure to the strand of Christianity that would redeem you in God’s eyes.

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TV’s Frink said:

I don’t know much about the Bible but it strikes me as a pretty poor citation for anything.

It’s a great citation for what Jesus Christ was credited as saying in the Bible.

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TV’s Frink said:

I don’t know much about the Bible but it strikes me as a pretty poor citation for anything.

It’s not even peer-reviewed!

Ceci n’est pas une signature.

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 (Edited)

TV’s Frink said:

moviefreakedmind said:

TV’s Frink said:

I don’t know much about the Bible but it strikes me as a pretty poor citation for anything.

It’s a great citation for what Jesus Christ was credited as saying in the Bible.

“Was credited as saying.”

Indeed.

Yeah, but the Bible is the Christian holy book, so when talking about what Christians believe that Jesus said, it’s a great citation.

JEDIT: Also, I said “was credited as saying in the Bible.” Meaning that the Bible is a great citation for what Jesus christ was credited as saying in the Bible.

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moviefreakedmind said:

TV’s Frink said:

moviefreakedmind said:

TV’s Frink said:

I don’t know much about the Bible but it strikes me as a pretty poor citation for anything.

It’s a great citation for what Jesus Christ was credited as saying in the Bible.

“Was credited as saying.”

Indeed.

Yeah, but the Bible is the Christian holy book, so when talking about what Christians believe that Jesus said, it’s a great citation.

For those that read it, you’re probably right.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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TV’s Frink said:

From that perspective I suppose so.

“JEDIT: Also, I said “was credited as saying in the Bible.” Meaning that the Bible is a great citation for what Jesus christ was credited as saying in the Bible.”

It’s an accurate statement in the very literal sense that the Bible is a great citation for what Jesus Christ was credited as saying in the Bible. It’s like saying that L. Ron Hubbard’s books are great citations for the words that L. Ron Hubbard put in to writing. It’s only a great citation in very very specific conversations.

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It also says right there in deuteronomy not to prostitute your daughter. Good thing it told them, how else would they have known?

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CatBus said:

moviefreakedmind said:

TV’s Frink said:

moviefreakedmind said:

TV’s Frink said:

I don’t know much about the Bible but it strikes me as a pretty poor citation for anything.

It’s a great citation for what Jesus Christ was credited as saying in the Bible.

“Was credited as saying.”

Indeed.

Yeah, but the Bible is the Christian holy book, so when talking about what Christians believe that Jesus said, it’s a great citation.

For those that read it, you’re probably right.

Even most Christians that haven’t read the Bible will probably tell you that they believe in the Bible, so I think it’s fair to bring it up when talking about what Christians believe or claim they believe.

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Possessed said:

It also says right there in deuteronomy not to prostitute your daughter. Good thing it told them, how else would they have known?

Yeah, I believe Deuteronomy also tells them to have a woman marry her rapist if she was a virgin when the act took place. It’s a product of a very ancient time.

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 (Edited)

moviefreakedmind said:

CatBus said:

moviefreakedmind said:

TV’s Frink said:

moviefreakedmind said:

TV’s Frink said:

I don’t know much about the Bible but it strikes me as a pretty poor citation for anything.

It’s a great citation for what Jesus Christ was credited as saying in the Bible.

“Was credited as saying.”

Indeed.

Yeah, but the Bible is the Christian holy book, so when talking about what Christians believe that Jesus said, it’s a great citation.

For those that read it, you’re probably right.

Even most Christians that haven’t read the Bible will probably tell you that they believe in the Bible

Sure, but in their mind, the Bible is a book about this guy:

so I think it’s fair to bring it up when talking about what Christians believe or claim they believe.

It’s fair, but there are limits. Christianity is ultimately whatever Christians say it is, and if what modern Christians believe directly contradicts the Bible, then it’s the Bible that’s not adequately describing modern Christianity, not the adherents.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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CatBus said:

moviefreakedmind said:

CatBus said:

moviefreakedmind said:

TV’s Frink said:

moviefreakedmind said:

TV’s Frink said:

I don’t know much about the Bible but it strikes me as a pretty poor citation for anything.

It’s a great citation for what Jesus Christ was credited as saying in the Bible.

“Was credited as saying.”

Indeed.

Yeah, but the Bible is the Christian holy book, so when talking about what Christians believe that Jesus said, it’s a great citation.

For those that read it, you’re probably right.

Even most Christians that haven’t read the Bible will probably tell you that they believe in the Bible

Sure, but in their mind, the Bible is a book about this guy:

so I think it’s fair to bring it up when talking about what Christians believe or claim they believe.

It’s fair, but there are limits. Christianity is ultimately whatever Christians say it is, and if what modern Christians believe directly contradicts the Bible, then it’s the Bible that’s not adequately describing modern Christianity, not the adherents.

But then you’re just picking your favorite stereotype to malign. I think most Christians would say fidelity to the teachings of the Bible are most important. That most fall short is a normative observation but not helpful for any deeper discussion with those same people.

The blue elephant in the room.

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Mrebo said:

CatBus said:

moviefreakedmind said:

CatBus said:

moviefreakedmind said:

TV’s Frink said:

moviefreakedmind said:

TV’s Frink said:

I don’t know much about the Bible but it strikes me as a pretty poor citation for anything.

It’s a great citation for what Jesus Christ was credited as saying in the Bible.

“Was credited as saying.”

Indeed.

Yeah, but the Bible is the Christian holy book, so when talking about what Christians believe that Jesus said, it’s a great citation.

For those that read it, you’re probably right.

Even most Christians that haven’t read the Bible will probably tell you that they believe in the Bible

Sure, but in their mind, the Bible is a book about this guy:

so I think it’s fair to bring it up when talking about what Christians believe or claim they believe.

It’s fair, but there are limits. Christianity is ultimately whatever Christians say it is, and if what modern Christians believe directly contradicts the Bible, then it’s the Bible that’s not adequately describing modern Christianity, not the adherents.

But then you’re just picking your favorite stereotype to malign.

We were talking about Christians who claim to adhere to the Bible’s teachings without actually knowing a word of that Bible. The subject was already narrowed to such a specific subgroup that there weren’t many stereotypes left to pick from.

I think most Christians would say fidelity to the teachings of the Bible are most important. That most fall short is a normative observation but not helpful for any deeper discussion with those same people.

Falling short of the teachings is qualitatively different than “can’t be bothered to find out what those teachings are” IMO.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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 (Edited)

moviefreakedmind said:

ZigZig said:

moviefreakedmind said:

ZigZig said:

moviefreakedmind said:

ZigZig said:

moviefreakedmind said:

those are his exact words.

moviefreakedmind said:

I said “eternal fire” and “torment” are his descriptions of hell. Exact words are different

OK.

I guess exact words was inappropriate phrasing on my part, but Jesus Christ does throw around words like that all the time. I’m sure those exact phrases are in certain popular translations, I’d bet my life on it. He obviously condemns people to eternal torment in the afterlife. The reason I’m such a huge fan of the Bible’s words on hell and judgement is because I think it exposes how dark and grim the mythology really is. It makes for a much better narrative within the Bible itself (and I really enjoy the stories and mythology of the Bible), but it makes for a more difficult-to-believe-in religion in the modern age.

I agree with you : the Bible contains maybe the most beautiful texts of antiquity, whatever we believe in it or not.
Showing respect to these texts is also not pretending that Jesus “exactly” said something that he didn’t.

Jesus did “exactly” say that hell was a place of torture, fire, sorrow, and it’s at the very least heavily implied to be eternal.

Again, citation needed.

My citation is the goddamned bible. Jesus Christ talked about Hell more than anyone. In fact, it’s one of the main focuses of the gospels.

Matthew 13:49-50 - So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 25:41 - Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels

Matthew 25:46 - And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Mark 9:43 - And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

Matthew 10:28 - And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

John 3:36 - He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

John 5:29 - And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

Mark 9:48 - Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

Also, here’s a verse for those that say Christ didn’t damn the religions that don’t revolve around him:
John 14:6 - Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Matthew 13:49-50 - It is the explanation of a parable about the end of the world (and this parable existed before Christ). It doesn’t contain the words “Hell”, “Gehenna” or whatever, and it doesn’t imply that the wicked must suffer forever, just that they’ll be thrown into fire.

Matthew 25:41 : As I already said, Jesus talks about an “everlasting fire”, but never says that people will suffer forever into this fire (but will be punished by a simply immediate destruction). How and where did Jesus say that sinners will suffer forever in this fire ? And it is the end of a parable, so a symbolic story, not a “factual” text.

Matthew 25:46 : same as 25:41 : the fire is unextinguished, but the punishment is simply an immediate destruction. How and where did Jesus say that sinners will suffer forever in this fire ?

Mark 9:43 : same as Matthew 25:41 and 25:46 : the fire is unextinguished, but the punishment is simply an immediate destruction. How and where did Jesus say that sinners will suffer forever in this fire ?

Matthew 10:28 - “fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell”.

  • “Hell” is an English translation for “Gehenna” (the word “Hell” is never used by Jesus).
  • OK, so soul and body will be destroyed. Isn’t that the exact opposite of “everlasting suffering” ?

John 3:36 : Not a single word about Hell or suffering in this verse.

John 5:29 : Not a single word about Hell or suffering in this verse.

Mark 9:48 - same as Mark 9:43, Matthew 25:41 and 25:46 : the fire is unextinguished, but the punishment is simply an immediate destruction. How and where did Jesus say that sinners will suffer forever in this fire ?

John 14:6 : Not a single word about Hell or suffering in this verse.

On the opposite, there are also many quotations in the New Testament that suggest clearly that Hell does not exist :

John 3:36 - “[sinners] will not see [eternal] life.”. So no Eternal torment if no Eternal life…
Romans 6:7 - “he that is dead is freed from sin.” : idem.
Romans 6:23 - ‘the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ : idem.
2 Thessalonians 1:9 - “who shall suffer punishment, even eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might” : idem.

I won’t argue further, I explained my POV as clearly as I can.
I don’t want to debate about the existence of Hell, everyone believes what he wants, as long as he is sincere and respectful (as everybody is here).
I’m just saying that this belief is based on an interpretation of texts that allow several different understandings. It is an abuse, in my opinion, to present this belief as “facts” stated “exactly” or “literally” by Jesus.

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CatBus said:

Mrebo said:

CatBus said:

moviefreakedmind said:

CatBus said:

moviefreakedmind said:

TV’s Frink said:

moviefreakedmind said:

TV’s Frink said:

I don’t know much about the Bible but it strikes me as a pretty poor citation for anything.

It’s a great citation for what Jesus Christ was credited as saying in the Bible.

“Was credited as saying.”

Indeed.

Yeah, but the Bible is the Christian holy book, so when talking about what Christians believe that Jesus said, it’s a great citation.

For those that read it, you’re probably right.

Even most Christians that haven’t read the Bible will probably tell you that they believe in the Bible

Sure, but in their mind, the Bible is a book about this guy:

so I think it’s fair to bring it up when talking about what Christians believe or claim they believe.

It’s fair, but there are limits. Christianity is ultimately whatever Christians say it is, and if what modern Christians believe directly contradicts the Bible, then it’s the Bible that’s not adequately describing modern Christianity, not the adherents.

But then you’re just picking your favorite stereotype to malign.

We were talking about Christians who claim to adhere to the Bible’s teachings without actually knowing a word of that Bible. The subject was already narrowed to such a specific subgroup that there weren’t many stereotypes left to pick from.

I think most Christians would say fidelity to the teachings of the Bible are most important. That most fall short is a normative observation but not helpful for any deeper discussion with those same people.

Falling short of the teachings is qualitatively different than “can’t be bothered to find out what those teachings are” IMO.

I’m focused on your defining Christianity as a whole along normative lines.

People think they know the basics of what they believe. But if they are based on a text, we can look at that text to address errors.

We find the same dynamic in policy debates. Pointing out that few people who believe in X have read any literature on the topic and know nothing about the details isn’t remarkable. It certainly proves nothing about X.

The blue elephant in the room.

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 (Edited)

Mrebo said:

CatBus said:

Mrebo said:

CatBus said:

moviefreakedmind said:

CatBus said:

moviefreakedmind said:

TV’s Frink said:

moviefreakedmind said:

TV’s Frink said:

I don’t know much about the Bible but it strikes me as a pretty poor citation for anything.

It’s a great citation for what Jesus Christ was credited as saying in the Bible.

“Was credited as saying.”

Indeed.

Yeah, but the Bible is the Christian holy book, so when talking about what Christians believe that Jesus said, it’s a great citation.

For those that read it, you’re probably right.

Even most Christians that haven’t read the Bible will probably tell you that they believe in the Bible

Sure, but in their mind, the Bible is a book about this guy:

so I think it’s fair to bring it up when talking about what Christians believe or claim they believe.

It’s fair, but there are limits. Christianity is ultimately whatever Christians say it is, and if what modern Christians believe directly contradicts the Bible, then it’s the Bible that’s not adequately describing modern Christianity, not the adherents.

But then you’re just picking your favorite stereotype to malign.

We were talking about Christians who claim to adhere to the Bible’s teachings without actually knowing a word of that Bible. The subject was already narrowed to such a specific subgroup that there weren’t many stereotypes left to pick from.

I think most Christians would say fidelity to the teachings of the Bible are most important. That most fall short is a normative observation but not helpful for any deeper discussion with those same people.

Falling short of the teachings is qualitatively different than “can’t be bothered to find out what those teachings are” IMO.

I’m focused on your defining Christianity as a whole along normative lines.

People think they know the basics of what they believe. But if they are based on a text, we can look at that text to address errors.

And my point was, whenever there is a discrepancy between what people believe and what the text upon which they base that belief says, it can be the text which is the outlier. This was as a counterpoint to the assertion that the text can be used as a neutral reference for the entire religion. Wherever the religion is unmoored from the text, that simply isn’t true.

Every discrepancy is not necessarily a failure of the adherent to be faithful to the tenets of the religion as defined by the text, it could be a failure of the text to be relevant to the religion as defined by its adherents.

We find the same dynamic in policy debates. Pointing out that few people who believe in X have read any literature on the topic and know nothing about the details isn’t remarkable. It certainly proves nothing about X.

IMO, it demonstrates that you can’t use the literature as a means to show what people believe.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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suspiciouscoffee said:

Question to any and all religious folk here: do you or do you not believe in hell, or similar places, and why?

Here’re my thoughts on the afterlife in toto:

SCENARIO 1

If one lived their life as a good person, when they die all their minor sins are forgiven. They then move on to the Summerland. There they recall all their past lives, process the information they gathered from their most recent life, and spend time pondering it all. From there, there are three possible routes to take:

  • They can depart the Summerland to return to the cycle of reincarnation. Their next incarnation will be better than their last.
  • They can stay in the Summerland for however long they want, enjoying its delights while spending time with loved ones also in the Summerland and/or watching over loved ones still in the material world. They’re allowed to reincarnate once they grow bored of it all.
  • They can depart the Summerland to return to the material world as ghosts, to provide aid/comfort to the loved ones they left behind. Personally, I don’t think this happens often, as I believe, as a general rule, God doesn’t allow “Earthbound spirits” to exist.

SCENARIO 2

If one lived their life as a truly ugly, evil person, they go straight to Purgatory. There, they pay for each and every one of the sins they committed, minor and major. Once they’ve atoned for their sins, they are immediately thrust back into the cycle of reincarnation. Their next incarnation will be no better and no worse than their last, though they will be wiser, even if they won’t remember why.

My screenplay index.