Taking the Fear out of Atheism, or It's Ok to Be an Atheist, You Won't Miss out on Heaven or Burn in Hell.
First hymnal for Atheists by Steve Martin
Why do religionists believe in hell?
Burning in hell has got to be one of the most hideous ways to spend eternity. Imagine a pit of eternal fire specifically designed to torture your soul. A fire so non-consuming, it burns forever. Imagine the absence of a great and powerful god. Some say that in itself is hell.
Religionists in their loving way want to save you from this excruciating dungeon, this hell governed by satan/beelzebub/thedarkone/thedevil.They want to spread the word of the savior, the one true way of avoiding the fire and brimstone pit of evil.
Spreading the word of the "son of god", "Jesus Christ", or any other "angel of goodness" / "savior" is their way of buying their ticket into heaven and saving you from everlasting damnation. Isn't that deserving of heaven? Apparently, if they don't do these things, they will end up in the pressure cooker of hell themselves.
Their favorite question or statement is - "Why do atheists even want to give up their chance of heaven?" If you don't believe in god, then you must believe in satan and therefore will end up in hell forever. At least with a firm worshipful belief in god, they know where they are going when they die.
Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.— Isaac Asimov
Their promise of heaven...
Walking on golden streets, living in a mansion next to god, never being thirsty or hungry again. This is heaven and if we are good little religionists, this is what we will inherit when we die. Everything will be perfect.
This heavenly reward is what excites religionists! They are special! They are chosen to live forever! They are the elite! The very promise of heaven warms their heart and causes intense feelings of love and worship for their gods!
They are so special that god has made sacrifices of his own just to bring this promise of heaven to his flock. If you worship him and his son and his son's mother and his angels and his commandments, then you too will live in godly grace forever. If you do not, well, then you will be condemned to the very worst of punishments. You will rend your garments and grind your teeth and scream in torment until the end of time.
How can you bear the thought of hell? All God asks is that you believe in him and he will give you everlasting life. All you have to do is get down on your knees and pray and ask for forgiveness and presto, chango you too will be saved from the burning pit of hell. He promises. Really, he does. Of course now, if you don't do this, he also promises to torture you for eternity!
You know this really sounds like the lunch room bully - if you swear to give that kid your lunch money every day of your life, he will let you live. If you don't, he'll pound you into the ground and take your lunch anyway.
Religionists have also declared that your special hell will be customized! If you are afraid of the dark, then you will be locked in a lightless room forever. If you are afraid of pain, you will boil in hot oil for eternity. Whatever scares you the most will be your fate because god knows. Yes, he knows the worst torture imaginable for you should you decide that heaven is invisible and probably doesn't exist. After all, the gods know what is good for you, they created you after all. They raised you and provided for you and answered your prayers and if you can't see them, well, that's just the biggest sin ever and you are obviously being blinded by the devil, so therefore you must join him in the underworld and endure his best guest rooms complete with demons and pitchforks.
I don’t want to die any more than anyone else, and I think it’s a strange myth that atheists have nothing to live for. It’s the opposite. We have nothing to die for. We have everything to live for.— Ricky Gervaise
Fear is a powerful thing...
Fear causes many people to do many things. Fear can cause religionists to believe in heaven. Fear causes religionists to believe in hell. Fear causes them to go out and preach the "word of god". They are afraid that if they don't do this, they will burn in hell. Where they come up with this is beyond me.
Jesus was Jewish and as such did not believe in "hell". Again, I ask, "Where did this notion of hell come from?"... It's the boogieman! Parents scare their children into behaving by threatening them with the boogieman. Preachers, Priests, Religionists thought to themselves, "Wow, we can use Satan just like parents use the boogieman!" The flock will be so scared of NOT believing, of NOT tithing, of NOT going to heaven we'll have them by the collar!
Satan, god's fallen angel, became the master of deceit. He was cast out of heaven and apparently went on to build the nastiest, demon infested underworld that religionists could ever imagine and then some. Then he went about recruiting the "bad" people of the world to do his evil bidding. Why some of them say he even controls people that don't believe in gods at all! I suppose they have seen this nasty being? with their own eyes, they've had glimpses of the fiery pit. They know that if you are NOT a member of their ditto-head flock that you will be going straight there, do not pass go, do not collect $200.
The devil made them do it!
Life, the universe, and everything!
Well, fear no more, folks. Satan doesn't exist. He's not real. There is no heaven, there is no hell. You don't have to give up the promise of salvation to achieve some make believe reward.
We already exist! Our smallest parts are also part and parcel of life, the universe, and EVERYTHING! No one, not even a "god" can destroy any little part of you. It may change form, but every atom that exists now, has always existed, and will always exist. There is no place for your atoms to go when they "die". They don't ever, ever, ever die!
Even religionists said it - "ashes to ashes, dust to dust". You are what you are. Your structure was formed by atoms that already existed. They weren't created from anything, they were always here. No one, not even a "god" can create something from nothing.
Just by virtue of being here means that your essence, your structure, your YOU-ness was assembled from already existing matter, space and time. Your atoms were not created by some mythical god-like being. Again, something cannot be created from nothing. There must be some raw material to work with, to assemble, to come together and become a recognizable entity. Even the gods had to be assembled from something!
Religionists created the myths, the legends, the controlling beings to explain things that they could not understand like the wind, the sun, birth and death. They created gods to control you with promises of "heaven" and threats of "hell". They created stories to sucker you into joining their "club". They created BOOKS to spread their philosophy. Man wrote the bible, the torah, the talmud, the koran and others. They told you it was inspired by some "god".
Why would they do that?
Well, it certainly sounded good. Just put your money here to help the preachers spread the "good word". They will save people's souls and keep them safely out of hell. Then they repeated that story over and over until it was "truth". They sold people a bill of goods. And people bought it, by the billions.
Because they were afraid. Afraid that if they didn't, they would be cast out, they would burn in hell, they would not be "good" enough. They even went so far as to try to eliminate the competition for heaven. They killed Jesus. They killed jewish people. They killed muslims. They killed men, women, and children in the "name of god". Hitler killed so many non-christians and gypsies that he even made himself look bad and surely must be roasting in hell even as we speak.
Well, fear no more! We already own life, the universe, and everything. We'll never be de-created. There is no Santa Clause and there is no Grinch. Those are just legends too. It won't cost you a penny to treat fellow humans as deserving of life. To live and let live as it were. And when we die? Well, we just become a differently arranged set of atoms (dust to dust) that, during eternity, will be re-arranged into some other part and parcel of the universe. Enjoy!
I object to religion in science classrooms not because it's religion but because it's not science— Niel deGrasse Tyson
Believe it or not...
What do you believe?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2010 Lela