Re: Most instructive are your comments
. I think it's great that Australia doesn't have hellfire preachers. I know that isn't entirely true, look a bit harder and you'll find one. You can't get rid of them entirely. They are like roaches.
I don't harbor bad feelings towards the people who traumatized me about damnation as a child because they honestly believed that what they were saying was true, most of them . It wasn't my parents I am talking about, but the faculty at a Christian school that I attended. My parents put me there because they had better academic standards than the public schools, but the side effects were an insane cosmological view. I suffered greatly under this idiocy, but I made a recovery eventually. There was a time in my early twenties when I wouldn't read any book with the word 'God' in it unless it was a derogatory statement. I realize it was insane, but it was a defense mechanism. If you or I were to hear this sort of threat about how our souls would suffer and how God was angry and vengeful we could just dismiss it. We could laugh it off. Children, however, don't have that luxury or strength of mind. They take these sort of threats from a source of authority very seriously. It is very real to them. I remember reading in a book about military torture that the torturer's best weapon isn't the torture, but the threat of torture. It's the anticipation that gets you.
You are never free from Hell, you know. You have to love God in order to receive salvation. But inside you hate God for putting you in this situation. You have to swallow all that resentment and put on a poker face or else - you see. But God knows everything. He knows you secretly hate him. Your salvation doesn't mean anything because it wasn't honest, you were only trying to save your ass. Years of anticipation can drive you crazy. Then one day you realize it was all bullshit and you stop believing in God and Hell and the whole thing. It's like your brain finally short circuits. You become nasty and mean, but you're free at least.. You wasted all that time worrying, dreading. You had to be extra careful because what if you died? What if you had a cancer or what if you got in a wreck? What if you fell in the playground and landed on your head? What if you got cut and bled to death? There's a million things that could go wrong and you end up dead! If that were to happen you would be THERE -- in that dark place, burning, being eaten by maggots, screaming and alone, falling forever. You know what forever is? There's no end to forever. Time has no meaning in eternity. That's how long the torture lasts. Your dead flesh will rot and be eaten and burn in fire but it grows back. Your corpse has to grow back or else there won't be enough left to continue the torment.
LOL Okay, enough of that trip, man, you get the point. I watched my Grandmother die of cancer. She almost had a nervous breakdown about this salvation shit. She was one of those old women that believed in Jesus (fundamentalist Jesus, not the real Jesus) until the day she died. I was still young enough that I believed it too. I knew what was happening in her mind about the salvation catch 22. I don't know if you are getting how dark this is, but it was a dark time. It was a dark worrying hell and it was all imaginary! It was just a bunch of bullshit and I believed it and then comes the time you regret all the fun you didn't have (because fun is sin and that's another huge subject) and you feel like a fool.
This is what lies at the heart of fundamentalist belief. This is what causes so many people to turn against God and wish sincerely that there is no afterlife and that we are just animals. They don't even realize why they feel this way, I bet, they just know it is a matter of life and death. Belief in the supernatural leads to belief in God. Belief in God leads to eternal torture.
In one of your videos you note how pseudo-skeptics don't understand analogy and metaphor. You say that religious people can understand metaphor in scripture, but that isn't true of fundamentalists. The central point of their belief is a literal translation of the 'Word of God' (no matter how obvious the analogy is). So moving from this sort of theistic literalism into atheistic literalism isn't a big shift. All you have to do is start making fun of and denouncing the stuff you previously held as sacred. Now you're an atheist pseudo-skeptic in one simple step LOL.
Anyway, I'm not trying to lecture you about all this mess, but I lived it and I felt like talking about it. Thanks for reading.
All the Best!
Sent to: kimbo99