Hell: The Population of Hell

How many people are going to hell? Specifically, the Christian Hell. Christianity is the most important religion, and the only one, other than Islam, that claims non-adherents will go to Hell. So let's take a look, because it's going to be crowded down there.

  • Muslims: 1.4 billion
  • Non-religious and atheists: 960 million to 1 billion
  • Hindus: 900 million
  • Buddhists: 400 million to 600 million
  • Other religions (Chinese traditional, animism, deism, Shinto, etc): 800 million
  • Sikhs, Jews, Baha'is: 48 million

So that's a total of about 4.5 billion to 4.7 billion people. But wait, there's more. Because the total "Christian" population of 2.1 billion includes many millions of people who do not actually live a Christian life (and are therefore going to Hell). The population of Hell should rise. Consider the following:

  • Only roughly 30% of Christians globally attend church regularly. In Brazil, for example, 80% of the population is "Catholic" but only 36% attend church regularly! Similarly, in the US, 78% call themselves Christian, but only around 40% attend church regularly--at best (Religious Tolerance, Nation Master).
  • In many supposedly "Christian" countries, female use of contraceptives exceeds 60, 70 or 80%. This includes many countries in Latin America. In the US, studies have indicated that almost all Americans have had sex outside of marriage.
  • Most Christian sects think they are the "true" religion and other denominations are heresy. They can't all be right, which means that somebody is going to hell!
  • In many countries, petty theft, tax evasion and money laundering are a way of life--in direct violation of the 8th and 9th Commandments. To say nothing of the countless millions who work on the weekend, violating the 4th Commandment (to keep the "Sabbath").

These offenses are not necessarily punishable by eternal damnation (that depends on particular beliefs). But they speak to an overall lack of adherence to Christian doctrine. There are millions of people who call themselves Christian, but who nonetheless do very un-Christian things, including borrowing spiritual guidance from Buddhism, new age religions, Taoism or other non-Christian sources. It seems reasonable to add another billion or so to the damned total.

So out of 6.8 billion human beings, a staggering 5.6 billion are going to Hell. That is 82% of all humanity! If we factor in the many hundreds of millions of people who have lived before our time, we can easily get up to 90 or 95% of the entire human species that has ever lived.

Christianity would seem to be an extraordinarily dark belief system, to claim that almost all of our fellow humans who have ever lived are destined for an eternity of suffering because they don't happen to agree with their "Lord." Is that the work of a just and loving "God"?

Personally, I don't know whether there is or is not a god of any kind. But I do know one thing: if there is a God, it sure as hell isn't the Christian God. That guy's a psycho.

Sources on religious populations:

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Comments 51 comments

ALL4JESUS profile image

ALL4JESUS 6 years ago from USA

Very well written. I love my Christian God but I do believe God allows us to live whether heaven or hell here on earth. Sadly, the "Christian God" has been over marketed - you are right with the "dark belief system". God is love and life. Thank you for a delightful insight - very thought provoking.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

Not what I expected from the first comment on this one, but you are very welcome!

If some hardcore Christians can take a second look at their beliefs, that is to their benefit above all. No matter what one's belief system, self-doubt and questioning are always a constructive exercise. I hope this hub helps some Christians do just that.

Thanks for visiting.


brotheryochanan 6 years ago

prior to jesus, only the jews stood a chance of avoiding "hell". Anybody could switch to the jewish god (rabah for example) and avoid hell. God was never interested in quantity, he prefers quality.

Since jesus, only those that profess jesus is lord and live sinless lives can avoid hell. Christianity is the only religion that includes jesus as the prophesied messiah and since he came to the jews it may be presumed that god prefers quality over quantity, still.

The carnal mind prefers to think that there should be no punishment for sin and that a loving god would just let everybody live with him. Truth is, that a successful household is a household made up of the very finest morales, being filled with concern for each other and love. If god were to let everyone live with him regardless of their soulish state, heaven would soon become hell. As in my natural fathers house there are rules and so in my heavenly fathers house there are rules. God has more rules or does he?

Safe to assume there will be lots of room to accommodate all who enter the wide gate.

As far as your god of love goes, hell and death are thrown into the lake of fire, which means an end to torment and suffering and the souls of those people, exterminated forever. It bodes a loving god nothing to have souls in torment 100,000 yrs down the road.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

brotheryochanan:

"God was never interested in quantity, he prefers quality."

Isn't it interesting that Mohandas Gandhi is considered of lesser quality than the average, mediocre Christian. Isn't it interesting that Albert Einstein is considered lesser quality than that Christian.

Isn't it interesting that millions of brilliant, hard-working, decent and charitable people all around the world are to be passed over and exterminated (your word) as "lesser quality" in favor of unreflective, unimpressive personalities who gladly accept whatever their parents happened to teach them when they were ignorant children as "The One and Final Truth."

There remains one little problem with your "Loving God": he isn't perfect.

A perfect being does not create billions and billions of conscious life forms to be tortured. That is the work of an imperfect being. It is a sadistic being, a psychotic being, or a just-plain-bored being. Whatever it is, it clearly isn't perfect.


HOOWANTSTONO profile image

HOOWANTSTONO 6 years ago

secularist10

Mat 27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose.

You forgot to add all the people that were not resurrected in the resurrection of the Old Covenant .....

Which also would include those that were destroyed in Noah's flood.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

Hoowantstono, yes you raise a good point. I was focusing in the hub on our modern world, and toward the end I did include a consideration for people living in earlier times, which would undoubtedly push the number up to almost all people to ever live.


Eric 6 years ago

This article is obviously atheistically biased. It is not about most people going to hell because of their religions or beliefs, but because of how wicked many humans are.

I recently met one of the worst, most evil people I could ever met in my life. He is not a murderer, or a rapist, but he's certainly evil. He mocks people and he does not back off, immature as he is he was part of the reasons I had to leave my job and he still continues his evil. If he dies today and he goes to heaven, just because God is "loving", then God is not fair and a naïve being. Obviously He might have other reasons to spare him from hell, such as he being mentally ill, victim of some really bad experience, etc. Otherwise he is going to hell. Period.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

Eric, it sounds like your belief in God and heaven and hell is more subjectively or emotionally-based than anything else. You don't care about mass murderers, serial killers or rapists, you just want to make sure "that son of a bitch at the office" gets his "just desserts." Now THAT sounds real mature.

"It is not about most people going to hell because of their religions or beliefs, but because of how wicked many humans are."

And why do you believe that many humans are "wicked"? Because they don't accept your God. So yes, it does go back to those fundamental beliefs. Countless millions of productive, happy and peaceful people are not wicked. If they were, the human race would have imploded long ago.

In any case, what you are saying actually agrees with the thrust of the article: almost all people to ever live are worthless garbage to be sent to hell, according to traditional Christianity. Real attractive belief system.


Jane Bovary profile image

Jane Bovary 6 years ago from The Fatal Shore

"But I do know one thing: if there is a God, it sure as hell isn't the Christian God. That guy's a psycho."

If there is a God secularist, he could be a psycho.....apart from wishful thinking, what's to say he'd be just and loving?

"Since jesus, only those that profess jesus is lord and live sinless lives can avoid hell."

I thought it was ok to be wicked and sinful if you remember to repent before you expire? Is there anyone on Earth who has led a sinless life? God is going to have to lower his entrance standards or the only people floating around Heaven will be a few christened babies who died before they could get a chance to be imperfect.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

Jane, great to see you. It is a definitional issue. God is defined as being perfect. A psychotic being is by definition not perfect.

Also, the Christian God is schizophrenic. He sends one message, and then a few Biblical books later, sends exactly the opposite message. A schizophrenic being is not a perfect being.

Also, God is typically defined as an uncreated, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving being that created reality. An all-loving being does not create billions of sentient creatures knowing that he will send almost all of them to suffer eternally. Such a being may be somewhat loving, but not all-loving.

Also, consider this, somewhat unrelated: why would a perfect being do anything? In order to do something, one must have either a need or a want. It seems to me that a perfect being by definition does not need or want anything. So it’s either one or the other. Either “God” properly defined exists, or we have a Christian God, in which case we are not dealing with a perfect being, nor with an all-loving being. Instead we are dealing with an extremely powerful being that we may nonetheless be legitimate in resisting.

And, BTW, on your last point, I think it depends on the particular sect or Biblical narrative, but in the main I think the traditional Biblical narrative does conform to your description.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

I think it is not quite so simple, my friend. Hell is not a place of eternal torture. It is a place of nothingness, after those who do not believe in Jesus are burned up. There is nothing dark about this. Only if you see the glass as half empty, or in this case 90% empty. All people get to have this life. After all, that is all you Atheists think all of us are going to get so what's your beef? All get this life. The Christians get an afterlife because they heard the message and they believed it. Faith is the most important thing to God. Why should He not reward it with something extra if it pleases Him? You're not getting anything less than you expect anyway. You have no complaint.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

James, thanks for your input. What you are describing is a particular take on Christianity. Which is perfectly legitimate, as far as it goes. But other Christian sects disagree.

In any case, let's say you're right--Hell is not a place of eternal torture, just a place where souls are exterminated. As I indicated in response to a commenter above, I think it is indeed dark to think that such human giants as Mohandas Gandhi or Albert Einstein, or Thomas Edison, or even some of the Founding Fathers, or any number of millions upon millions of brilliant, honest, decent, loving people should deserve a fate worse than a given mediocre follower of Jesus.

Why give eternal life to the average shmoe, with an unimpressive life resume, but deny it to Gandhi? There is something wrong with that picture.

You ask, "Why should He not reward it with something extra if it pleases Him?"

Well, I would say it is clearly an imperfect and misguided being that (1) creates tens of billions of sentient creatures only to exterminate almost all of them, and (2) chooses to exterminate some of the best and brightest of them simply because their lives and experiences led them to questioning him--which even devout Christians will admit is perfectly legitimate, to a degree. Why would a "perfect" and therefore needless and wantless being behave in this way?

Why is faith the most important thing to God? Why must he be so thin-skinned? Isn't he perfect and all-powerful? He can't take a little skepticism from the very creature he created?


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

Well, we don't get to tell God how to be. I cannot say what His judgment will be of Ghandi or the others you mentioned. In fact, I would not presume what He will do. Again, you seem to think anybody not given eternal life is being punished. Not necessarily. All earthly creatures have a life span. If you or Ghandi believes that's all there is; then that's all there is. What's wrong with that? God does not look upon earthly glory as men do, e.g., Einstein. If I had to postulate anybody that was doomed it would be Pharaoh—and he may have been the wisest most glorious man on earth by man's judgment. But God chose Moses. Why? Because he first looked into Moses heart and loved him. Then He gave Moses a seemingly impossible task that could not be done without supernatural help. Moses believed and obeyed. That's the kind of fella that endears himself to God. Why? A Creator of all that exists, that's His business.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

James, you said:

"I cannot say what His judgment will be of Ghandi or the others you mentioned. In fact, I would not presume what He will do."

Ok, then why are you a Christian?

If you ultimately can't know God, then how can you build your life around nonexistent knowledge?

"Again, you seem to think anybody not given eternal life is being punished. Not necessarily. All earthly creatures have a life span. If you or Ghandi believes that's all there is; then that's all there is. What's wrong with that?"

I thought you weren't a relativist, James?

I think you know that is disingenuous. The Bible, Jesus and Christian tradition for centuries speak very clearly of the "reward" of eternal life and the "punishment" of being sent to Hell/ exterminated. Which would you prefer, immortality or mortality?

(BTW, Gandhi did not believe in a finite existence--he was a Hindu. And I don't either--I just don't know.)

Interestingly, just substitute the British for the Egyptians, the Indians for the Jews, and Gandhi for Moses, and we have a very similar tale, don't we, James?

And yet the Christian God doesn't seem to see it that way.

You can dismiss everything as "His business" if you want, but I think you sense that there is something wrong with this picture.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

I am a Christian because I love the Person of Jesus Christ and I love God the Father. Did I say you couldn't come to know God? I said you cannot tell Him who to be.

I do not sense anything at all wrong with the picture. I do not know Ghandi's heart of hearts. I do not know his relationship with God, if any. I did not even know him personally. I do not know what God thought of him. I am not claiming to be God. I am just a man. :)

I do know what becomes of those who deny God.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

"Did I say you couldn't come to know God?"

Yes, essentially. You said: "I cannot say what His judgment will be of Ghandi or the others you mentioned. In fact, I would not presume what He will do."

Either (A) you know/ understand God, or (B) you do not.

If you do, then you can say what God's judgment of any given person will be. If you don't, then you can't.

"I do not know Ghandi's heart of hearts. I do not know his relationship with God, if any."

Well, I do. He was a Hindu. That's pretty common knowledge. Therefore he is going to hell, according to traditional Christianity. Simple.

It doesn't matter how much good he did, unfortunately. As long as he "denied God" he will meet the same fate as suicide bombers and other savages.


Rishy Rich profile image

Rishy Rich 6 years ago from Bangladesh

Interesting Angle. A little explanation from Islamic point of view would made it better. In such case, Christians would go to hell as well. In the end, everyone will end up in hell one way or another. Anyways, good job!


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

Rishy, yes I was dealing specifically with the Christian conception of hell. In a way, the Islamic conception would be even worse because there are fewer Muslims in the world, and have been fewer of them in human history. That would make it even DARKER and more depressing of a religion. Totaling up the numbers really brings it home, doesn't it. It really shows what the view of human beings is. Thanks for visiting.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 6 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Loved it, rated it up!

Nice logical arguments. I do hope at least one person will realize the idiocy of following the Christian "god". He's really not very Christian at all.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

Thank you kindly, Austinstar.

Nothing like shaking up some assumptions using the cold hard facts. The unChristian Christian God--very ironic indeed!


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

James and I talked about Gandhi earlier in this discussion. Here is a recent article on a pastor who changed his view of hell, after reading a book by an author who was, understandably, put off by the notion that Gandhi is in hell.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110324/ap_on_re/us_re...

From the article:

===================

Bell, the pastor of the 10,000-member Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., lays out the premise of his book while the video cuts away to an artist's hand mixing oil paints and pastels and applying them to a blank canvas.

He describes going to a Christian art show where one of the pieces featured a quote by Mohandas Gandhi. Someone attached a note saying: "Reality check: He's in hell."

"Gandhi's in hell? He is? And someone knows this for sure?" Bell asks in the video.

In the book, Bell criticizes the belief that a select number of Christians will spend eternity in the bliss of heaven while everyone else is tormented forever in hell.

==================

In an ancient world where sexism, xenophobia and psychosis passed as insight and wisdom, surely the traditional notion of hell made perfect sense.

However, in the modern world, where we believe all people deserve a chance at respect and equality, regardless of the meaningless details of their belief systems, it is understandable that "hell" is no longer a comforting prospect. Anyone with a conscience, no matter how devout, must consider this.


Christiaan  5 years ago

Your article appears to be based on the assumption that entrance to heaven can be earned by your own merit: a so called works salvation.

In that respect, you appear to believe that you and a lot of other people should - and do - qualify for heaven based on your own merit. You apply the same assumption to Christians; they would also have to earn their way to heaven by going to church and be perfect on the outside; again a works salvation.

In connection therewith, I understand why you conclude that Christianity would be a dark belief system, because it denies you entrance to heaven based on your own merit and it demands that you accept Jesus Christ as your savior. How aweful! :-p However, you forget that Christianity is not about works. You are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Not by works, lest you should boast. The biggest stumbling block here is pride. In order to be saved, you have to come to the point where you acknowledge that you can not save yourself and nobody else can save you except Jesus Christ. In that respect, Christianity indeed is very dark for proud people. And unfortunately, there are a lot of proud people out there, who want te be the center of the universe themselves and make God their servant. I know another being that tried just that: Satan. And he was kicked out of heaven and he will end up in eternal torment. The same will happen to his followers - which we are by default as a result of our sinful nature. In consideration of your article, that appears to be a tough cookie to swallow. The problem here is that most people measure God by their own standards instead of measuring themselves to God's standard as revealed in the Bible. According to my own standards, I'm a good person! According to God; I'm wretched and wicked. Guess what; I and God are both right by ourselves. But guess who's opinion prevails in the end? I know that I have no jurisdiction to excert my own standards for goodness. I'm the clay and God is the potter. Who am I to judge God? The mere attempt proves my wickedness.

To take this point further, lets compare my 'goodness' with God's perfection. Nowadays, a lot of people believe that good and evil are opposites on the same scale. Some even claim that good and evil are in balance; how is your karma today?? How untrue that idea of equality and balance is, can be shown by the following metaphores.

1) Imagine a cup with pure water. What does it takes to make the water unpure? Answer: add one particle of dirt. In comparison, image a cup with mud. What does it take to turn the mud into pure water? Answer: the removal of a gazillion particles of dirt.

2) Can you build a computer from scratch? I can't and I think nobody on this earth can do that by himself. Drilling for oil to get the plastic, mining for iron and gold. Writing software etc. etc. You get the picture. Compare that to the skills required to destroy a computer; no training required.

3) I travel by train a lot and the train has two compartments; a general compartment where you can talk, make phone calls etc. and a silence compartment where you have to be quiet. Imagine the silence compartment contains 100 persons. How much persons does it require to preserve the silence? Answer: all 100. How much persons does it require to break the silence? Answer: only 1.

To summarize, I am a muddy cup. I can't build anything of worth by myself. I cannot be silent and even if I wanted to be, somebody else would make a racket, whereby I had to make a racket myself to make that person shut up. I can not purify myself. I do not have the skills to make anything worthy to God and I can't keep the law (lie once and you are a liar, steal once and you are a thief etc.). In conclusion, I'm not good. I'm not perfect. That is the predicament I'm in. Luckily, God loves me. Not because he needs me or because of anything I did or can do. He just loves me because he loves me - and he loves you too! But there is a problem; God is righteous. He can't tolerate my wickedness. God doesn't accept a muddy cup. If he would accept mud, God would be mud. Therefore, God will destroy my wickedness, with or without my consent.

I chose the first option. This is where the Gospel comes in. Without Christ, I would be in hell forever to repay God for my sins. With Christ, I can shelther under his perfect righteousness and have the Holy Ghost start a work of regeneration in me. This means the removal of the stain of sin in order te become perfect before God. Not by my own works - I'll keep on sinning until I die, but by the supernatural work of God himself will he succeed that work of regeneration. God is awesome.

http://illbehonest.com/It-Will-Cost-You-Everything...

http://illbehonest.com/The-Lost-Doctrine-Paul-Wash...

Conclusion, I am not the center of the universe. Jesus Christ is the center. Through him you are saved and by no other means. And God will be glorified. Either by your salvation through Jesus Christ of by your destruction. Therefore, Jesus Christ is the essence of Christianity and he makes biblical(!) Christianity totally different from all other religions that revolve around self: Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, atheism, materialism, hedonism, Islam, Hindoeism, Occultism, Luciferianism, Communism, Facism, Humanism etc. etc. All these religion have the same underlying promise. The promise that a muddy cup can purify himself. I don't believe that. I believe in Jesus Christ.

Ps: I haven't read all the previous comments, so I don't know whether I'm being redundant with this message. But its a risk worth taking. The Gospel is worth repeating :-)


Christiaan 5 years ago

In addition to the Gospel as you can learn it from the Bible, I can also testify about the existence of God the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit made himself known to me, whereby he broke my heart in order to purify it and rebuild it. The Holy Spirit also leads me to the truth and warns me for danger. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit makes himself known to me by glorifying Jesus Christ.

Before I became a Christian, I was stone cold whenever I read about the sacrifice of Jesus Christ - I also didn't understood it properly and I probably never will understand it fully, because I will never experience the wrath of God thanks to God's grace and mercy. But now, thanks to the Holy Spirit, I'm actually moved to tears by Christ's sacrifice whenever I read about it. It really is amazing and incomprehensible.

Furthermore, I can testify about the existence of the spiritual dark side. I have experienced sleep paralysis numerous times in my life. Before I became a Christian, these experiences where a neutral invitation to further investigate the occult and thereby it was very seductive. I also had a sponteneous astral projection once, whereby my spirit was lifted from my body by a pulsing energy. According to the New Age, this is supposed to be fun and good for you. This however is a lie. After my conversion, these entities became hostile and violent. Sleep paralysis and astral projection is demonic. Luckily, these demonic entities can be easily defeated by the authority of Jesus Christ.

My experiences of sleep paralysis and astral projection is in total agreement with the information on the following website:

http://stopsleepparalysis.org/

http://stopsleepparalysis.org/stories-2/video-stor...

Conclusion, if you want to know God, at least humble yourself and ask him into your life. God through the bible and the Holy Spirit will pick it up from there. It is about your heart. Do you really desire to get to know God? Or do you want to stay King in your own Kingdom?

Don't let pride be a stumbling block.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Christiaan, thanks for coming.

Your honest analysis provides an excellent demonstration of the difference between a human-based, positive, life-affirming worldview and the anti-human, negative, supernatural-based, life-denying worldview of traditional Christianity.

I disagree that Christianity is only about faith in Jesus Christ; the majority or vast majority of Christians and historical Christian doctrine and Christian leaders believe otherwise. They believe it is a combination of both faith and action that matters. But other than that detail (and the specious idea that Roman Catholicism is not part of Christianity, etc), I am more or less on board with your analysis.

Christianity, by placing emphasis on the arbitrary whims of a supernatural entity, is anti-human or at least only semi-human. Why should we be attracted to such a belief system? What about a belief that calls humanity garbage and everything that humans value meaningless is attractive? This is who we are, this is what we are--we value pleasure, happiness, accomplishment, helping others, prosperity, justice, freedom, etc. That is humanity. Why do we need anything other than that? Why do we need to deny that?

Why have Christians chosen this "God" for their compass? Why not some other life-denying or arbitrary standard?

"According to my own standards, I'm a good person! According to God; I'm wretched and wicked. Guess what; I and God are both right by ourselves. But guess who's opinion prevails in the end?"

Yes, and this shows that God's morality and values are simply arbitrary subjective opinions. There is no reason to think that God's morality or values are any better, any more realistic, any more objective, any more desirable than a rational human morality. Once you compare God's morality to a human's morality, you are automatically admitting that they are comparable, and therefore that God's is not INHERENTLY superior. It may or may not be superior, but that is another argument.

This statement on your part demonstrates that the only difference between me and God is that God is (a) more powerful than me and (b) lives a lot longer than me. Might makes right. God is a cosmic tyrant.

"Who am I to judge God? The mere attempt proves my wickedness."

But this is "wickedness" only in terms of God's standards. It is self-referential and circular and therefore illogical. It is not wickedness according to any other standard except the very standard you are trying to legitimate! LOL!

"To take this point further, lets compare my 'goodness' with God's perfection."

Again, God is perfect only if you believe that God is perfect. God is not "perfect" by any objective standard, and therefore this is simply an arbitrary designation.

Unfortunately, your comparison of Fascism, Islam, Humanism and others demonstrates your lack of understanding of exactly what these are. Some are religions, some are philosophical belief systems and others are political ideologies. Just because something is not "Jesus Christ" does not mean it is the same as everything else that is not "Jesus Christ."

Much of Christianity is obsessed with "pride," but this is, again, arbitrary and very curious. What has pride got to do with anything? Countless Christians are some of the most "proud" people you will ever meet. They are often "proud" that they found out that the truth is in Jesus Christ, lol.

On the other side, many humble and non-prideful people are not Christians. They work hard or dedicate themselves to others, their family, their community, and other things. They may not be Christians, but that certainly doesn't mean they are "prideful," lol.


Mike 5 years ago

Hi,

You mention you just don't about whether your existence is finite. Seems you have thought long and hard about this, have amassed a wealth of knowledge, and have a good grasp of logic.

What arguments do you have on the side of life being infinite? I bet if you think about it, any such reasoning will be subject to the same logical deconstruction as with the existence of Christian hell. So why the indecision?

Regards,


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Hi Mike, thanks for coming.

There are no legitimate arguments on the side of life being infinite. There are no logically legitimate or consistent arguments for anything that deals with the supernatural, because the supernatural is itself impossible to verify logically, as it is defined as being beyond logic.

Nevertheless, it is possible on a theoretical level that the supernatural exists, and it is possible that life is infinite, or there is life after death, etc. There is no proof for it, there is no natural evidence for it, and there is no logical reason to believe it, but that does not mean it is categorically impossible. The best we can do is to assume, within our limited understanding, that the natural world is all there is and logic and reason are applicable to everything. Thus functionally we can assume there is no supernatural, even though technically we can admit it is still possible.

For instance, we don't know everything about the farthest star. It may reside in an area of the cosmos where different kinds of chemicals interact in different ways. However, we simply assume, in the absence of evidence of such special chemicals, that that star behaves in the same way and consists of the same kinds of things that other more observable stars do. We do the best we can with our limited knowledge, and limited capacity for knowledge.

On a separate note, this is why it was not so unforgivable that humans invented myths and ridiculous magical stories for thousands of years--they just didn't have any other way of explaining anything. However, today, with modern science and rationalism, it becomes ever more inexcusable for a modern person to continue to accept these ancient beliefs.


Mike 5 years ago

Good points (and kudos for the site, spent way too much time reading all the posts!)

I think its interesting and telling that ultimately most proponents of rational thought do not outright exclude the possibility of the supernatural, its just unlikely. True Faith does not allow such flexibility, and that is the real practical value of critical thinking vs blind dogma. This apples to other spheres of human interest as well: I look at the political scene these days and wonder how we will survive as a species.... But that is another hub....


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

Doesn't it say in the bible, that the earth and the sea give up the dead and they are judged? What is happening to them if they are just in the earth and the sea? Not just Christians. Also, Hell gave people up. Why would hell give people up to be judged? what would they be taught? Why would they be judged if they were already in hell? It doesn't say people would come down from Heaven. It does say, God would create a new Paradise Earth and Heaven. Also, that God would have 144,000 people who would teach the rest of God's people who would be living in the new earthly paradise. I do read the bible, and have gone to several churches. I am tring to find one that helps me understand what the bible teaches me. A lot of churches preach on one or two scriptures, and sing for a very long time. I do love God, I know He loves me, and all people. It is just hard to understand when you go to churches, that do not teach much scripture. I want to learn more. Even bible studies, they tell me " We don't understand all we are taught"

Like the trinity which was invented around 350 years or so after Christ died.

Ok, I don't know a lot, but I would like to learn a lot.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Hi Michele

It says a lot of things in the Bible. There are countless contradictions, allowing for an innumerable amount of explanations or opinions that are "Biblically justified."

The Bible is a massive, sprawling text cobbled together over centuries by many people with all kinds of ulterior motives. It is well known that a number of Biblical books in the early centuries AD were thrown out by Christian authorities for arbitrary reasons. That is how the modern Bible was formed. That is just one example.

Because church leaders are ensconced in their own worldview and their own tradition's limited interpretation of the Bible, I doubt you will find satisfactory answers to your questions by asking them.


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

Yes, I know that. I am 47, and have been asking them for too long. I know how many Christmas things have been taken from other religions, just to bring people into the Christion religion. Like the Christmas tree.

I also know the church leaders kept many books out of the bible. Even today, the pope lives in a castle, that has about a mile or so of room which holds books. No one is allowed in to see them. No one. The doors are locked and guarded. There is no explination for this. No one will ever be allowed to have any of the information in those books.


Hell N0 4 years ago

The christian god is a complete psycho. Good thing he isn't the real God.


Christiaan 4 years ago

In addition to and as a correction of my previous posts (which contain more of my reprobate thinking than the pure word of God), I would like to mention the following:

In consideration of the fact that we live in God's jurisdiction, that he has power over us and will judge us, we are all without excuse, for we know God, but we deny it.

Regarding the authority of the word of God and biblical contradictions:

The word of God (King James version of the bible in the English language) has no contradictions. The only contradiction with respect to the bible is the contradiction between the reprobate and ego centric world view of a human being on one hand and the word of God on the other:

1 Corinthians 3:18-21

Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. (...) 20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. 21 Therefore let no man glory in men. (...)

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost (2 Peter 1:20).

Considering the aforementioned contradiction between the reprobate world view of a human being and the word of God, every person has his own responsibility to decide to:

1) acknowledge the word of God as all authority and have his reprobate world view corrected by truth and his mind renewed unto eternal life; or

2) deny the word of God to be all authority and preserve his reprobate world view in spite of truth, whereby his corrupted mind will perish for all eternity.

From this follows that with regards to the bible you must decide upon its authority in relation to the authority of your own thinking:

For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). [PS: your heart is your mind: not your feelings!]

If you choose to have your reprobate mind corrected to truth, reading the bible is very profitable:

Through faith we understand (...) (Hebrews 11:3).

For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received [it] not [as] the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe (1 Thessalonians 2:13).

However, if you choose to preserve your reprobate mind, reading the bible is a waste of time:

For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard [it] (Hebrews 4:2).

In furtherance thereto:

John 3:19-21

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

With respect to your deeds and your "goodness":

"verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity (Psalms 39:5). Vanity is less than nothing (Isaiah 40:17)."

"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; (Isaiah 64:6)."

10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat [is] an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps [is] under their lips: 14 Whose mouth [is] full of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feet [are] swift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and misery [are] in their ways: 17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes. 19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

...God's verdict: guilty!

Hebrews 9:27

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelations 20:13-15).

Regarding hell: it is not the worst thing that will happen to you. You should take the lake of fire into account: look at a close up of the sun to get an impression.

After all this bad news, lets conclude with the good:

Jesus saith (...), I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14:6).

24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Therefore, I believe in Jesus and I have faith in his blood as payment for my sins. Therefore, I have peace with God. Amen.

http://tsabibleschool.com/


Christiaan 4 years ago

Addendum

For those who still don't get it: Romans 3:23: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. From this follows that our deeds are worthless: we come short!

Again, all persons that try to justify themselves by their deeds come short of the glory of God. Those persons are on the broadway to hell, the white throne judgement and ultimately the lake of fire.

From that perspective from the word of God, it becomes understandable that we in fact do need a Saviour. Thank God that God has provided his Son as the only one to believe in for your justification (see previous post): by faith and not by works, for those works come short; even when you are saved. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? Nay, but by the law of faith.


Christiaan 4 years ago

2nd Addendum (final)

Good video of the lake of fire:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEoT_EH_Uss

Consider spending eternity therein. Not my cup of tea. Therefore, I'm happy to have peace with the God that has the power to cast me into that lake of fire (cast: for I would not go by myself).


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

I have looked at your website and have been trying to email you, but my email stopped. I will keep trying there is too much to write.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

Christiaan:

That's a lot of "reprobate" stuff. Lol.

Assuming God exists (which there is no reason to believe; must be taken on blind faith) and assuming the Bible is the correct tool to understand that God (which there is no reason to believe; must be taken on blind faith), you still have a problem: if the human mind is flawed, how can it fully understand the Bible?

Any instance of a person reading the Bible will result in flawed thinking and interpretation. There are tens of thousands of Christian denominations. Which one is correct? Which has the correct interpretation of the Bible? There can only be one, at most. Or possible none of them.

That means that the odds of you choosing the right denomination is 1 in tens of thousands. In other words, almost impossible. And, in the event that none of these denominations have the correct interpretation, the odds that you will somehow stumble with your flawed fallen human mind on the EXACT correct interpretation of the Bible is probably one in billions if not trillions.

You must understand every single word, every letter, every punctuation mark, every sentence in the ENTIRE book to get it right. The odds of that happening are so low that it is effectively impossible.

The best you can do is read the Bible, and do your very best to understand it and interpret it correctly. Ok, so far so good. Only one problem: you are back to relying on your mind!

You cannot understand or process anything you read without using your mind and your logic.

Voila, your mind and your human reason is the only thing you actually have. You cannot escape this fundamental fact.


Christiaan 4 years ago

God

Regarding the existence of God: you know that he exists, but you deny it. Therefore, you are without excuse.

Romans 1:18-22 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

Government

For your comparison: you believe in the government. In that respect, you have no problem with the fact that the government exists only by the actions of its human representatives: the legislature they put out and the signs they put up. The government by itself is nothing. Still you reckon its authority over you.

Frame of reference; authority

On what grounds did you convince yourself that no higher authority exists? How do you know what is the truth? In that respect, the number one characteristic of being deceived is that you do not know that you are deceived. Therefore, it can be useful to have a frame of reference to calibrate your worldview (worldview = your frame of mind).

What is your frame of reference? Examples:

1) from the human perspective: your desires, the opinions of others, etc.;

2) from the perspective of God: the word of God.

With respect to your choice to use a particular frame of reference, my post regarding the bible as a frame of reference is not about losing your mind: it is about using your mind in one of two ways: either you:

1) choose to use the bible as the frame of reference to correct your thinking; or

2) choose to use your thinking as the frame of reference to "interpret" or reject the bible.

With respect to these opposite ways of reading the bible, I showed you from the word of God that it is a wast of time to read the bible, unless you believe it to be the word of God and let it correct your thinking (see my previous post or Hebrews 4:3, 4:12 and 11:3).

Choice; personal responsibility

Furthermore, it is about choice. Faith is biblically defined as being fully persuaded. You choose to be so or not. This choice is your personal responsibility.

Wordly example:

Driving your car on the highway. You think you can go as fast as you like: 120 mph. Next to the road is a sign that indicates the speedlimit to be "60 mph". The aformentioned choice applies here as well.

You know the sign when you see it, but it is through faith that you understand: do you believe that the sign represents the will of the government? If not, you probably still believe that you can drive as fast as you desire. Please note the hierarchy of authority here: your opinion versus the opinion of the government, which has power over you.

The correction of your belief will occur when it is too late: when you are physically aprehended by the highway police. In that case, your thinking and choices regarding the speedlimit appeared to be wise for a season, but have proven to be foolishness.

Even if you do believe the sign, you can still decide to ignore the sign. This is called wickedness.

John 3:19-21

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

Proverbs 16:25

There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Proverbs 21:2

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts.

Proverbs 15:32-33

He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding. 33 The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.


Christiaan 4 years ago

Btw, all different church denominations and, in addition thereto, all subjective self serving worldviews of men, are evidently the "fruit" of truth corrupted by the thinking of men: turning pure water into mud.

Simple logic: 1+1=2, which doesn't change by our vain imaginations. Nonetheless, most persons think otherwise, whereby they fool themselves. In that respect, there is nothing new under the sun:

Judges 21:25

In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

Christiaan:

Fair warning, keep your comments under 1000 words. Anything above 1000 words will be deleted. I don't want anyone to monopolize the discussion here.

I'll just address a few of your arguments.

No, I do not "know" that God exists. How you can claim to be able to read my mind escapes me. What I do *know* is that there is no reason to believe in God.

"On what grounds did you convince yourself that no higher authority exists?"

I have not convinced myself of any such thing. But there is no reason to believe that such an entity exists, so belief is unwarranted.

"How do you know what is the truth?"

Through reason, logic, observation and their equivalents.

"In that respect, the number one characteristic of being deceived is that you do not know that you are deceived."

This statement applies to you far more than me. You are prideful and confident in your God, yet you do not realize there is no rational thinking underlying it.

"either you: 1) choose to use the bible as the frame of reference to correct your thinking; or 2) choose to use your thinking as the frame of reference to "interpret" or reject the bible."

Wrong. You may think you are reading the Bible "as is," as if it were an objective thing. But the reality is that the Bible was written by human beings, and you are a human being too. You cannot understand anything you are reading unless your brain processes the words. You cannot escape this fundamental reality, try as you might.

"I showed you from the word of God that it is a wast of time to read the bible, unless you believe it to be the word of God and let it correct your thinking"

Wrong again. Even if you open the Bible thinking it is the word of God, and honestly think you are letting it "correct your thinking" the fact is that as your eyes pass over the words on the page, your brain is processing those words and forming an understanding. You cannot get outside of your mind. It is not possible. Logic and reason (such as they are) are essential for your understanding of everything, including the Bible.


Christiaan 4 years ago

I notice the discussion is in decline for you entered the carrousel of repetition, whereby you are using the infamous strawman fallacy.

With regards to your address of the two ways to use the mind regarding the bible, I give other readers a simple example:

Person A thinks the world is flat. A has a book that claims the world is round. A has a CHOICE to believe his own thinking or believe the book. Whether or not A would like additional evidence isn't relevant, for it doesn't change the principle that A has to make a CHOICE: whether or not to have his thinking be corrected by the book. Person A has a PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for that choice. Therefore, he is without excuse.

This principle of choice is not a magic trick. It is applicable to all the information that enters into your brain for processing: including the instruction manual of your car: you choose to believe it or not.

With respect to the bible I know it says this:

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire (Revelations 20:15 KJV).

I choose to believe this verse in the bible. I conclude that you choose to not believe the bible. I respect that choice as your personal responsibility.

Kind regards


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

Yep, I do not believe the Bible. That's pretty much been established. Lol.

Repetition for repetition, my friend.

I repeated myself because you clearly did not get the message the first time. And you still don't. And where the heck am I constructing a straw man?

Let's take your Person A who believes the earth is flat. Suppose Person A does read that book that claims the earth is round. Then what? Has he just scanned the marks on the pages, like a mindless camera?

How is he going to come to the conclusion that the earth is round? How? Does his head turn into a copy of that book?

The answer is: he has to THINK. He will read the book, think about what he read, and then decide "yes, the earth is round. I was wrong."

To put it in terms you may better understand: yes, he has a choice. His choice is to change his own thinking, so that it agrees with the book. He has used his reason.

But even more fundamentally, his mind is working on understanding what he is reading WHILE he is reading the book.

You cannot get outside your mind. If you don't agree, then try it. Go ahead. I'd love to hear the results of your attempt. You are your mind.


Christiaan 4 years ago

Your straw man fallacy is this: instead of addressing the core issue (see hereafter) you are argumenting against something that isn't there: thinking as an activity in itself is not the issue. I happily agree that you are your mind: For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7).

The context for the core issue is that a deceived person does not know that he is deceived. Therefore, it is useful to check your worldview, which requires a frame of reference.

The core issue is what kind of frame of reference you choose whereby you decide to accept or reject information in order to verify your worldview, such as:

1) your preconceived notions, which originate from diverse places; and/or

2) the word of God.

In furtherance thereto, it is about the information (the content) whereupon you think (the process) and the subsequent choice you make whether or not to believe that information, whereby your worldview is either preserved, established and/or corrected. FYI: "repent" means to change your mind.

Regarding the bible, the aforementioned thinking process and choice applies to every line of scripture. I already stated that all different church denominations are the result of varying degrees of unwillingness to change heart in accordance with scripture: person A believes 20% of it, person B believes 30%, whereby the gaps are filled with wordly wisdom (which the bible says is foolishness).


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

"The context for the core issue is that a deceived person does not know that he is deceived."

This means nothing. Key words like "deceived" or "prideful" or "sinner" or "saved" and whatnot are just self-referential Christian terminology. You only believe in these things if you are a Christian, and you are a Christian if you follow Christianity, and Christianity is the very thing you are trying to legitimate. So this is simply self-referential circular thinking.

You are still missing it. Now you talk about a "frame of reference." Fair enough, let's work with that.

Suppose I want to change my frame of reference. Hallelujah, I am no longer a secularist with a naturalistic frame; now I am a supernaturalist and a believer in God. I have changed my frame of reference. Now, how did I make that transition? I had to use my logic and reason. I sat in a chair one day, thought about it, weighed my previous ideas against the new ideas, and came to a conclusion.

Suppose I decide to believe in the word of God. Great, I still have to read the word of God and my brain has to process it.

Here, humor me by answering a few questions. Here is the first question: Why do you believe in God?


Amara Pathirage profile image

Amara Pathirage 4 years ago from Australia , Melbourne

Hi, secularist

Your calculation is wrong. You need to add all the people from the day God created man. Including Adam and Eve.

Because once somebody is there , there is no way of getting out.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

Amara:

I was focusing on the current human population.

But toward the end of the article I did mention the historical factor. According to Christianity, probably almost all people to ever live are in hell or are going to hell.


SwordofManticorE profile image

SwordofManticorE 3 years ago from Burlington

I am a Christian, and this is what I have to say about those who believe in a pagan man made hell. If you combine a carnal view to scripture with fear, blind ego, self-righteous pride, a hidden desire for vengeance and spark the religious engine with a pharisaical spirit. You get a determined believer of hell. A spiritual terrorist. To suppose that God would bring beings into existence for both His purpose and pleasure who He knew in advance without mercy would be infinite losers by that existence, is to charge him a hypocrite with the utmost malignity.

God's plan is the salvation of all.

1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

1Tim 4:10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.

To the author of this hub...Romans 3: 3What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 3 years ago from New York City Author

The God of traditional Christianity is most certainly a hypocritical and self-contradicting character. Which is precisely one of the fatal flaws of the religion, which most Christians will never realize or acknowledge.

If you don't believe in hell, then good for you. But that is not traditional Christian doctrine.


SwordofManticorE profile image

SwordofManticorE 3 years ago from Burlington

The early Christians during the time of the apostles till the RCC hijacked Christianity believed in the real Gospel that Paul brought us. The gospel of universal reconciliation of all mankind with God our Father (2Cor 5). The reality of hell is secretly hidden in the desires of the hearts of Christian hell believers. Nothing more. What they all fail to understand is that perfect love wins.


AlanDoughtyXIII profile image

AlanDoughtyXIII 3 years ago

Salutations from Maryland,

I have have stumbled on your essay and was impressed by your observant, albeit vapid, comments on the high levels of orthodoxy found in the Christian faith. It is my considered opinion that it is this facet of religion that renders some better than others; Christianity and Islam are marked by rigid rules of belief where, in the eyes of God, one's value is determined entirely by one's mental conformity to the creed's model of "absolute truth." All religions have their fanatics, to be sure, but it appears that the worst would be those creeds that insist on an unchanging theology and the threat of Hell for those who question it. In short, with belief in Hell and eternal damnation, the Western religions endorse, de jure, fanaticism. With such rules concerning belief in place, many Christians are doomed to Hell for not being fanatical enough. With such rules in place, a fanatic is the purest believer and thus most pleasing in the sight of God. However, Napoleon might send loyal Boxer to the knacker's yard anyway, just because he can, just as God might send someone who conforms absolutely to His dictates to Hell, because He is all powerful. See Orwell's Animal Farm, Chapter Nine.

I hope my thoughts contribute somewhat.


karthikkash profile image

karthikkash 3 years ago from India

You counted only the humans.. I guess the animal and plant species put together is more than twice the population of humans. And they do not practice Christianity. That means all those living beings will be in hell. Wait!! They are also on Earth. Then according to Christians, we must already be in hell (on Earth).. I wonder what they are doing here then. LOL!! Loved your article.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 3 years ago from New York City Author

Thanks Karthik, I appreciate it. Well, these religions are only concerned with human beings, I don't think animals factor very much at all in the calculus of heaven and hell. Many or most Christians don't believe that animals have souls, so heaven and hell would be irrelevant for them.

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