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Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.
Then I will DANCE IN HELL!
That makes three of us! YAY!
People still make accordion jokes? I love the accordion.
I particularly like Arabic accordion music.
It’s a good thing this polock is an atheist. I’d dance with the devil to Who Stole The Kishka!
But at least in the windowless room with the polka music you would know that your earthly life had meaning after all.
Waldo Butters: “Polka will never die!”
I love the modern fluffy rainbows&bunnies concept of hell. Some apologetics argue that there are people who doesn’t want to be near God. So God has a place for them too, away from him: that place is called hell. There isn’t any torture going on, it’s just that God isn’t there.
For the religious, then, the absence of God is bad, so they think hell is bad. For the people who are actually in hell, there’s no problem, since they don’t want to be near God anyway. Thus everyone’s happy!
I guess the next step will be that God creates different fake deities for the people of different religions, so they are as happy as atheists in their respective “hells”: a hell with a fake Allah for muslims so they think they’re in heaven (but they aren’t), another hell with a fake Thor, etc.
It’s not a new idea, but the suggestion that people are subject to the rules of the particular god or gods they believe in results in a rather elegant theology. It gets around so many of the obvious problems, like the majority of people always being wrong. It’s inherently ethical, in that you are required only to be true to your beliefs. There’s no need for “fake” gods… the system could simply be set up so that good Christians go to some sort of heaven, bad ones to some sort of hell, good Muslims go to their heaven, etc. You might end up in limbo, or reincarnated. You might be with the warriors in Valhalla. You’d never face any but “your” god.
Anyway, while I don’t believe any of this, I do think the concept comes closest to a rational theology as is possible. If I were a god, controlling a universe, I think it’s the sort of system I’d be inclined to put in place.
Funny then that people who believe in God because they believe on objective morality end up believing you will go wherever you believe you will go. That sounds awfully relativist to me.
I don’t think there are many who believe in a god who think that people go wherever they believe they’ll go. For most, part of believing in a god is believing that their beliefs are the only “true” ones, and everybody else is screwed to some degree or another.
The “separation from god” thing isn’t new. It’s essentially what it meant in the Bible as originally written. Jews don’t believe in hell. “Gehenna” is like Purgatory, meaning that the torment is not eternal. And “sheol” literally means “grave” and was originally just a resting place for the dead. The Greek “hades” was an underworld for everyone, not only the bad.
Hell as a fiery place of torment wasn’t invented until later and what exactly it means wasn’t made up until the middle ages (helped along by seemingly apocalyptic events like the Black Death). Especially Dante’s “The Divine Comedy”. The King James Bible then translated those different concepts uniformly as hell, thus changing their real meanings.
Parent: “Now children, if you’re good I’ll reward you. If you’re bad I will punish you.”
Religion: “Like they said, but it’s after you’re dead (trust us). And a supreme being that sees and knows everything keeps track.”
What’s the difference between a trampoline and an accordion?
You take your boots off before jumping on a trampoline.
// I’m here all week, try the veal and tip your waitress…
At least they are not playing bagpipes;-)
Hey, I like bagpipes!!!
I was solving a crossword puzzle recently, and was looking for another word for “torture equipment”. I looked at a book of synonyms I have, and one of the words suggested was, I kid you not, bagpipes.
Says it all, really.
We ARE separated from god/gods, because they don’t exist.
Hell=accordions and polka music. Weird Al Yankovic is king of accordions and polka music. Ergo: Weird Al is king of Hell.
I was waiting for someone to make a Weird Al comment!
Hey, suck it! I like polka. It’s hilarious.
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