Generally, and especially in recent times, I have been more indifferent in my opinions towards Christianity, as long as you’re not harming anyone, it’s fine. However recently I’ve been made to feel angry by how some Christians deal with the issue of hell.
‘God does not send you to hell, an eternal endless torment of suffering, you do. God is innocent. By choosing to reject God and accept him into your life, you have chosen to send your self to hell’
Forgetting all of the logic that does not follow, all of the problems of presenting hell like this, and the lack of knowledge of what atheism actually is, could you not think of anything more insulting, ignorant, or incorrect said just to pass the blame to the victim for your horrible religious beliefs?
If you are an atheist you do not believe that God is real. Although Christians may believe you will go to hell, this isn’t a problem, because you don’t believe that hell is real. So how can you choose to go somewhere you don’t even believe is real? It’s not possible. Are Christians equally choosing to go to hell if Allah, Zeus or the sun god Ra is real?
I have not chosen to go to hell in the same way that I have not chosen to go to the underworld run by the Greek God Hades.
Obviously there are more problems as well. If God really is presenting you a choice, you cannot possibly know it’s there unless he tells you it is – something that he never does.
Imagine waking up tomorrow locked up in some random persons house completely wrapped up in rope. You of course, don’t want to be there, but then a man comes down the stairs saying that you choose to be here. You would be confused. Turns out he was invisible, and showed you an invisible sheet of paper saying “If you don’t want to be locked up in my basement start worshiping me now” – of course that doesn’t make it ok for him to actually do that. You wouldn’t find a court of law that would allow it. So how come it’s suddenly morally permissible not for God to do the same, but much much worse? This kind of thing would happen constantly in hell.
But it’s worse than that. The so called choice given here is not so simple as “where do you want to go where you die? Eternal bliss or eternal pain?” If that was the case, I would have no problems. The people who wanted to go to heaven would go to heaven and the people who wanted to go to hell would go to hell.
The issue is that this choice is more of a threat than a real choice itself. I think it’s extremely fair to say that worship God for your whole life and go to heaven or don’t and go to hell are not only limited choices, but horrible ones. You are forced into a horrible situation that nobody would ever want or choose.
A choice is forced upon you. If I could really choose where to go after I die, I would probably choose a paradise with no God where everything is made specifically to make life as enjoyable as possible, changing to me as I change. But I guess I can’t choose that.
You could also look at this another way. There is no choice, just one threat. Love God and have eternal life, or do nothing and go to hell. Love someone you fear, or be punished for it.
“Give me your money or I will shoot you” – You will never hear a story where a criminal is made innocent because he gave the victim the chance to live. In this situation the criminal is always guilty.
Of course this is a bad example, nothing can be equivalent to the threat of eternal torture. Besides that, it’s pretty spot on.
What kind of person would design this system? An all powerful God would know that a system like this was unfair. A person who takes you by surprise and threatens you with life and death is evil. A God who plays with your eternal life based on something as trivial as whether you believe in him or not must be considered much, much worse.
Some people would rather go to hell, just to be away from a God who would do this. I personally, would be scared to do either.
The eternal sleep of an atheist world is starting to sound nicer and nicer to me.