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Religion and Hell

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by dwaxe, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. dwaxe

    dwaxe is not a fanatic

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    When I asked a Christian theologian about whether or not people who have never had the chance to know about Christ and god would go to hell, he gave me the following response (paraphrased):

    1. "Whether through a dream or vision, everybody learns about Christ and god."

    "But isn't god sentencing all these people to hell because he had the foresight to see that these--well, at least most of these--people wouldn't accept what came to them through a dream or vision?"

    2. "No, because these humans had the free will whether or not to accept god."

    "Do we have any records of Christianity spontaneously popping up in a culture that has never had contact with Christianity before? This would be expected, right?"

    3. "Yes. There was a missionary who documented such occurrences."

    My questions about this:

    1. Have such occurrences been documented, and if so is the source credible?
    2. Is the theologian's second statement true or false, and why? (I played along with his first statement because he said he had evidence that was in a book which he did not have with him.)
     
  2. Bill3000

    Bill3000 OOOH NOOOOOOO! Supporter

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    Well, there's the mormons... :mischief:
     
  3. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    A lot of Christians (possibly the majority) don't believe in hell, as such, or at least not for the sheer reason of not being Christian. It would really depend on which particular theologian you asked. Biblically, there is definitely the argument for God hell existing, for the purpose of housing non-believers, but just being in the Bible isn't a qualifier of truth for a lot of Christians (myself included).
     
  4. Ulyaoth

    Ulyaoth Chieftain

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    From what I remember, whacking off is the only unforgivable sin, and those are the only people who go to hell. Everyone else sits in Purgatory until they feel sufficiently bored/sorry.
     
  5. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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  6. Fr8monkey

    Fr8monkey Chieftain

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    Hell is a "Boogy Man" created by religous leaders to scare their followers into following them.

    "Free Will" is a made up idea to close any loopholes the intelligent followers were asking about contridictions and absurdities in the teachings.
     
  7. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    It's pointless to argue about theology - theology is nonsense, the subject it studies doesn't exist.

    Perhaps I should start "unicornology" to study the implications of faith in invisible unicorns. Heck, I might even write a holy book or two about it, perhaps I'll get some adherents too. In any case it will be about as useful as theology.

    :goodjob:
     
  8. Bill3000

    Bill3000 OOOH NOOOOOOO! Supporter

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    says the star trek nerd
     
  9. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    I am flattered that you actually spent your no doubt valuable time looking up my posts :lol:

    Yes, obviously taking an interest in something you know is fiction is entirely comparable to serious contemplation of theology. Thanks for pointing that out :crazyeye:
     
  10. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Let us assume for a moment that your statement is in fact true.

    Has religion, particularly Christianity, had a large and powerful influence on the world, throughout history, and even today? Yes. Is it pointless to discuss something that has had a large and powerful influence on the world throughout history, and even today? No. So, even if you disagree with the premises of it, saying that discussing it is pointless is clearly not accurate. Particularly pertaining to something that could be considered the primary controlling mechanism of Christianity; hell. Whether you believe it or not, it is clearly not pointless to discuss the primary controlling mechanism of the most powerful and influential institution in history.
     
  11. Danielos

    Danielos Chieftain

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    I think God should bring us one or two eyewitness accounts from Heaven and Hell. Every person seems to have their own personal view of what those places are, and it would be nice if God clears this up once and for all... :worship:

    Also, imagine the surprised look on a Christian if they blissfully entered the after-life only to be greeted by a pissed Zeus, ready to torment them in eternity for ignoring and not believing in him... :lol:
     
  12. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    I don't think that the Greeks had such a thing as "Hell", in the Abrahamic sense - a place where people suffer for eternity for being reasonable enough to reject religion without evidence :)

    (EDIT: I take it back, it seems they had a similar thing, but I am not sure about the "entry conditions" ;) )
     
  13. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    Oh, I agree with you that studying the impact of religions and their interaction with the society is important, but that's what Religious studies is meant to do. Theology is something completely different, theology studies... well, god and a particular religion and its principles, dogma etc.

    So, in fact theology means studying something which isn't real - what sense does it make?


    It is totally pointless to seriously argue about who goes to hell for what reasons, when there is no such place.

    It's about as absurd as arguing with your friend about what DVD you want to play tonight when you don't have a DVD player (or similar device). It's a pointless discussion, a waste of time which serves no purpose.
     
  14. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    So it's pointless to discuss the qualifications behind this historically important topic? Isn't it important to know what kind of influence they church is attempting to exert? Are they telling people to not do bad things to each other, on pain of hell, or are they telling people to follow them and fill their coffers, on pain of hell?

    And I'd still have that DVD discussion.
     
  15. Erik Mesoy

    Erik Mesoy Core Tester / Intern

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    We have an Ask a Theologian thread here, try there.
    There's a somewhat related post here, which I'll repost a summary of. For more than that, try asking in the serious thread where you won't get umpteen teenage atheists repeating the same old complaints that even the non-Christian professionals think are silly.


    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?p=5115807&postcount=171
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?p=6140385&postcount=782



    The main "unforgivable sin" is generally held to be "blaspheming the Holy Spirit" or the like. Your memory is horrible, or you listened to someone who was highly ignorant on the subject. AFAIK, there's no consensus among Christians as a whole on whether whacking off is a sin at all: the only reference to it in the Bible is that it was a sin when committed by Onan instead of impregnating the woman he was supposed to. The Catholic Church condemns masturbation for pretty much the same reason as condoms; the Protestants have diverse opinions on it. James Dobson, for instance, doesn't.
     
  16. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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  17. Munch

    Munch Benevolent Despot

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    Firstly that's quite a claim, I wonder where the theologian got that impression. It must be quite the book that he didn't have with him at the time. Not just claiming that everyone who ever lived has had some kind of vision about supernatural forces, but they specifically have had visions about Christ?

    If you believe in free will then yes, you have the choice of believing what you see in your dreams. If you do not believe in free will, then God would presumably act only in ways which are guaranteed to change peoples' 'opinions' - that is, someone who would not accept a vision would not be sent a vision.

    Now that really is something special. I am hesitant to believe this because I don't think a missionary is an impartial observer, nor do I think that, when confronted by a Christian missionary, a heathen savage of some kind would do anything other than tell the missionary exactly what he wanted to hear.
     
  18. Lord Malbeth

    Lord Malbeth Chieftain

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    I actually asked my (Catholic) youth pastor a similar question. He responded by saying that, according to our religion, God is Truth, Beauty, Happiness, and Love, or something like that. If a person (Even if they're atheist, Muslim, Jewish, Valarian, etc.) devotes their life to finding beauty, happiness, truth and love in the world, they can go to Heaven. Acccording to this model they believe in God without even knowing it. He even argued that a devout atheist can go to Heaven because he's following the path of Truth and Beauty. He responded, the only real way to get to Hell is to do something absolutely abominable, such as murder, etc.

    Interesting theory, and it certainly shut up the evangelicals at my school when, after being bombarded by, "If you don't accept Jesus H. Christ as your Lord and Saviour, you will burn forever, and ever in the fires of HELL!!", I cooly responded, "That's not what my Youth Pastor (Who has a nice fancy degree in Theology) had to say..."

    I think this theory best explains The Churches opinion, and, to me, it makes more sense then the Oh-so-famous-Protestant saying of, "If you've never experience The Lord, be it in person or dream, you shall suffer." That's what we refer to as:

     
  19. Danielos

    Danielos Chieftain

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    I prefer that version. It makes sense that good Atheists should not be punished...

    The problem is that almost any Christian has their own unique version what Heaven/Hell is and what the conditions are for entering there. Considering your eternal soul is at stake, wouldn´t it be fair to ask Jahve to clear up this issue once and for all?
     
  20. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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    Every Christian denomination, and just about every Christian, has at leasta slightly different view on the matters from the others. There's no "official Christian belief" on the matter, it's a spectrum.

    This question does show up a lot here on OT, but I have never seen any indication that the people who ask the question (or some who answer) have learned anything from the previous threads.
     

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