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General Category => General Forum => Topic started by: Kiwithrottlejockey on January 12, 2020, 06:20:31 pm

Title: god's perpetual torture chamber
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on January 12, 2020, 06:20:31 pm

from The New York Times…

Why Do People Believe in Hell?

The idea of eternal damnation is neither biblically, philosophically
nor morally justified. But for many it retains a psychological allure.

By DAVID BENTLEY HART | 7:35PM EST — Friday, January 10, 2020

(https://static01.nyt.com/images/2020/01/04/opinion/sunday/04hart/04hart-master675.jpg) (https://static01.nyt.com/images/2020/01/04/opinion/sunday/04hart/04hart-superJumbo.jpg)
Illustration: Leonardo Santamaria.

ONCE the faith of his youth had faded into the serene agnosticism of his mature years, Charles Darwin found himself amazed that anyone could even wish Christianity to be true. Not, that is, the kindlier bits — “Love thy neighbor” and whatnot — but rather the notion that unbelievers (including relatives and friends) might be tormented in hell forever.

It's a reasonable perplexity, really. And it raises a troubling question of social psychology. It's comforting to imagine that Christians generally accept the notion of a hell of eternal misery not because they're emotionally attached to it, but because they see it as a small, inevitable zone of darkness peripheral to a larger spiritual landscape that — viewed in its totality — they find ravishingly lovely. And this is true of many.

But not of all. For a good number of Christians, hell isn't just a tragic shadow cast across one of an otherwise ravishing vista's remoter corners; rather, it's one of the landscape's most conspicuous and delectable details.

I know whereof I speak. I've published many books, often willfully provocative, and have vexed my share of critics. But only recently, in releasing a book challenging the historical validity, biblical origins, philosophical cogency and moral sanity of the standard Christian teaching on the matter of eternal damnation, have I ever inspired reactions so truculent, uninhibited and (frankly) demented.

I expect, of course, that people will defend the faith they've been taught. What I find odd is that, in my experience, raising questions about this particular detail of their faith evinces a more indignant and hysterical reaction from many believers than would almost any other challenge to their convictions. Something unutterably precious is at stake for them. Why?

After all, the idea comes to us in such a ghastly gallery of images: late Augustinianism's unbaptized babes descending in their thrashing billions to a perpetual and condign combustion; Dante's exquisitely psychotic dreamscapes of twisted, mutilated, broiling souls; St. Francis Xavier morosely informing his weeping Japanese converts that their deceased parents must suffer an eternity of agony; your poor old palpitant Aunt Maude on her knees each night in a frenzy of worry over her reprobate boys; and so on.

Surely it would be welcome news if it turned out that, on the matter of hell, something got garbled in transmission. And there really is room for doubt.

No truly accomplished New Testament scholar, for instance, believes that later Christianity's opulent mythology of God's eternal torture chamber is clearly present in the scriptural texts. It's entirely absent from St. Paul's writings; the only eschatological fire he ever mentions brings salvation to those whom it tries (1 Corinthians 3:15). Neither is it found in the other New Testament epistles, or in any extant documents (like the Didache) from the earliest post-apostolic period. There are a few terrible, surreal, allegorical images of judgment in the Book of Revelation, but nothing that, properly read, yields a clear doctrine of eternal torment. Even the frightening language used by Jesus in the Gospels, when read in the original Greek, fails to deliver the infernal dogmas we casually assume to be there.

On the other hand, many New Testament passages seem — and not metaphorically — to promise the eventual salvation of everyone. For example: “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.” (Romans 5:18) Or: “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22) Or: “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2) (Or: John 13:32; Romans 11:32; 1 Timothy 2:3-6; 4:10; Titus 2:11; and others.)

Admittedly, much theological ink has been spilled over the years explaining away the plain meaning of those verses. But it's instructive that during the first half millennium of Christianity — especially in the Greek-speaking Hellenistic and Semitic East — believers in universal salvation apparently enjoyed their largest presence as a relative ratio of the faithful. Late in the fourth century, in fact, the theologian Basil the Great reported that the dominant view of hell among the believers he knew was of a limited, “purgatorial” suffering. Those were also the centuries that gave us many of the greatest Christian “universalists”: Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, Didymus the Blind, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Diodore of Tarsus and others.

Of course, once the Christian Church became part of the Roman Empire's political apparatus, the grimmest view naturally triumphed. As the company of the baptized became more or less the whole imperial population, rather than only those people personally drawn to the faith, spiritual terror became an ever more indispensable instrument of social stability. And, even today, institutional power remains one potent inducement to conformity on this issue.

Still, none of that accounts for the deep emotional need many modern Christians seem to have for an eternal hell. And I don't mean those who ruefully accept the idea out of religious allegiance, or whose sense of justice demands that Hitler and Pol Pot get their proper comeuppance, or who think they need the prospect of hell to keep themselves on the straight and narrow. Those aren't the ones who scream and foam in rage at the thought that hell might be only a stage along the way to a final universal reconciliation. In those who do, something else is at work.

Theological history can boast few ideas more chilling than the claim (of, among others, Thomas Aquinas) that the beatitude of the saved in heaven will be increased by their direct vision of the torments of the damned (as this will allow them to savor their own immunity from sin's consequences). But as awful as that sounds, it may be more honest in its sheer cold impersonality than is the secret pleasure that many of us, at one time or another, hope to derive not from seeing but from being seen by those we leave behind.

How can we be winners, after all, if there are no losers? Where's the joy in getting into the gated community and the private academy if it turns out that the gates are merely decorative and the academy has an inexhaustible scholarship program for the underprivileged? What success can there be that isn't validated by another's failure? What heaven can there be for us without an eternity in which to relish the impotent envy of those outside its walls?

Not to sound too cynical. But it's hard not to suspect that what many of us find intolerable is a concept of God that gives inadequate license to the cruelty of which our own imaginations are capable.

An old monk on Mount Athos in Greece once told me that people rejoice in the thought of hell to the precise degree that they harbor hell within themselves. By which he meant, I believe, that heaven and hell alike are both within us all, in varying degrees, and that, for some, the idea of hell is the treasury of their most secret, most cherished hopes — the hope of being proved right when so many were wrong, of being admired when so many are despised, of being envied when so many have been scorned.

And as Jesus said (Matthew 6:21), “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”


• Dr. David Bentley Hart is a philosopher, scholar of religion and cultural critic. He is the author, most recently, of That All Shall Be Saved: Heaven, Hell, and Universal Salvation (https://www.amazon.com/dp/0300246226) and several other books (https://www.amazon.com/David-Bentley-Hart/e/B001JRTRC0).

• A version of this article appears in The New York Times on Saturday, January 11, 2020,  on page A23 of the New York print edition with the headline: “Why Do People Believe In Hell?”.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/10/opinion/sunday/christianity-religion-hell-bible.html (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/10/opinion/sunday/christianity-religion-hell-bible.html)

Title: Re: god's perpetual torture chamber
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on January 12, 2020, 06:22:06 pm

Hell is a concept invented by gullible people who think the god delusion inside their minds is a real god.

They use the hell concept in an attempt to scare those who see their religion for what it is … a load of bullshit.

You've gotta be fucked in the head to believe your god delusion is a real god and that hell exists.

Title: Re: god's perpetual torture chamber
Post by: Im2Sexy4MyPants on January 14, 2020, 08:11:25 am
wow what an accident waiting to happen bang

What are the Odds of Life evolving by chance alone?

DNA Molecules and the Odds Against Evolution

Within each cell there is an area called the nucleus which contains the all-important chromosomes. Chromosomes are microscopically small, rod-shaped structures which carry the genes. Within the chromosomes is an even smaller structure called DNA. This is one of the most important chemical substances in the human body -- or in any other living thing. Increasing scientific understanding of DNA molecules has revealed enormous problems for materialism.


DNA is a super-molecule which stores coded hereditary information. It consists of two long "chains" of chemical "building blocks" paired together. In humans, the strands of DNA are almost 2 yards long, yet less than a trillionth of an inch thick.


In function, DNA is somewhat like a computer program on a floppy disk. It stores and transfers encoded information and instructions. It is said that the DNA of a human stores enough information code to fill 1,000 books -- each with 500 pages of very small, closely-printed type. The DNA code produces a product far more sophisticated than that of any computer. Amazingly, this enormous set of instructions fits with ease within a single cell and routinely directs the formation of entire adult humans, starting with just a single fertilized egg. Even the DNA of a bacterium is highly complex, containing at least 3 million units, all aligned in a very precise, meaningful sequence.


DNA and the molecules that surround it form a truly superb mechanism -- a miniaturized marvel. the information is so compactly stored that the amount of DNA necessary to code all the people living on our planet might fit into a space no larger than an asprin tablet!


Many scientists are convinced that cells containing such a complex code and such intricate chemistry could never have come into being by pure, undirected chemistry. No matter how chemicals are mixed, they do not create DNA spirals or any intelligent code whatsoever. Only DNA reproduces DNA.


Two well known scientists calculated the odds of life forming by natural processes. They estimated that there is less than 1 chance in 10 to the 40,000power that life could have originated by random trials. 10 to the 40,000power is a 1 with 40,000 zeros after it!


- "...life cannot have had a random beginning...The trouble is that there are about two thousand enzymes, and the chance of obtaining them all in a random trial is only one part in 10 to the 40,000power, an outrageously small probability that could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of organic soup. If one is not prejudiced either by social beliefs or by a scientific training into the conviction that life originated on the Earth, this simple calculation wipes the idea entirely out of court....The enormous information content of even the simplest living systems...cannot in our view be generated by what are often called "natural" processes...For life to have originated on the Earth it would be necessary that quite explicit instruction should have been provided for its assembly...There is no way in which we can expect to avoid the need for information, no way in which we can simply get by with a bigger and better organic soup, as we ourselves hoped might be possible a year or two ago."


Fred Hoyle and N. Chandra Wickramasinghe,

Evolution from Space [Aldine House, 33 Welbeck Street, London W1M 8LX:

J.M. Dent & Sons, 1981), p. 148, 24,150,30,31).


How can one gain some conception of the size of such a huge number? According to most Evolutionists, the universe is less than 30 billion years old -- and there are fewer than 10 to the 18th Power seconds in 30 billion years. So, even if nature could somehow have produced trillions of genetic code combinations every second for 30 billion years, the probabilities against producing the simplest one-celled animal by trial and error would still be inconceivably immense! In other words, probabilities greatly favor those that believe an intelligent designer was responsible for originating even the simplest DNA molecules.


Chemist Dr. Grebe: "That organic evolution could account for the complex forms of life in the past and the present has long since been abandoned by men who grasp the importance of the DNA genetic code."


Researcher and mathematician I.L Cohen: "At that moment, when the DNA/RNA system became understood, the debate between Evolutionists and Creationists should have come to a screeching halt...the implications of the DNA/RNA were obvious and clear....Mathematically speaking, based on probability concepts, there is no possibility that Evolution vs the mechanism that created the approximately 6,000,000 species of plants and animals we recognize today."


Evolutionist Michael Denton: "The complexity of the simplest known type of cell is so great that it is impossible to accept that such an object could have been thrown together suddenly by some kind of freakish, vastly improbable, event. Such an occurrence would be indistinguishable from a miracle."


Famed researcher Sir Fred Hoyle is in agreement with Creationists on this point. He has reportedly said that supposing the first cell originated by chance is like believing "a tornado sweeping through a junk yard might assemble a Boeng 747 from the materials therein."


Many, if not most, origin-of-life researchers now agree with Hoyle: Life could not have originated by chance or by any known natural processes. many Evolutionists are now searching for some theoretical force within matter which might push matter toward the assembly of greater complexity. Most Creationists believe this is doomed to failure, since it contradicts the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.


It is important to note that the information written on DNA molecules is not produced by any known natural interaction of matter. Matter and molecules have no innate intelligence, allowing self organization into codes. There are no know n physical laws which give molecules a natural tendency to arrange themselves into such coded structures.


Like a computer disk, DNA has no intelligence. The complex, purposeful codes of this "master program" could have only originated outside itself. In the case of a computer program, the original codes were put there by an intelligent being, a programmer. Likewise, for DNA, it seems clear that intelligence must have come first, before the existence of DNA. Statistically, the odds are enormously in favor of that theory. DNA bears the marks of intelligent manufacture.


Dr Wilder-Smith is an honored scientist who is certainly well-informed on modern biology and biochemistry. What is his considered opinion as to the source of the DNA codes found in each wondrous plant and animal? "...an attempt to explain the formation of the genetic code from the chemical components of DNA...is comparable to the assumption that the text of a book originates from the paper molecules on which the sentences appear, and not from any external source of information." " As a scientist, I am convinced that the pure chemistry of a cell is not enough to explain the workings of a cell, although the workings are chemical. The chemical workings of the cell are controlled by information which does not reside in the atoms and molecules of that cell. There is an author which transcends the material and the matter of which these strands are made. The author first of all conceived the information necessary to make a cell, then wrote it down, and then fixed it in a mechanism of reading it and realizing it in practice -- so that the cell builds itself from the information..."


One need only look carefully at any living creature to gain some concept of their enormous complexity. If you have a pet, consider the complexities that must be involved -- enabling that "package of matter" to move about, play, remember, show signs of affection, eat, and reproduce!


If that is not enough to boggle your mind, imagine being given the task of constructing a similar living pet from carbon, calcium, hydrogen, oxygen, etc. -- the animal's basic constituent parts.


If you have ever held a beloved pet in your hands, completely limp and dead, you may have some comprehension of the helplessness of even the most intelligent and sophisticated scientist when it comes to the overwhelming problem of trying to create life.


In contrast, the natural world does not have the advantages people bring to the problem. In nature, there are only matter, energy, time, chance and the physical laws -- no guiding force, no purpose, and no goal.


Yet, even with all of modern man's accumulated knowledge, advanced tools, and experience, we are still absolutely overwhelmed at the complexities. This is despite the fact that we are certainly not starting from absolute zero in this problem, for there are millions of actual living examples of life to scrutinize.




All living things are extremely complex, even the tiniest single-celled animals and bacteria. However, none surpasses the overall complexity of the human being. Not only is each person constructed of trillions of molecules and cells, but the human brain alone is filled with billions of cells forming trillions of trillions of connections. The design of the human brain is truly awesome and beyond our understanding. Every cubic inch of the human brain contains at least 100 million nerve cells interconnected by 10 thousand miles of fibers.


It has been said that man's 3 pound brain is the most complex and orderly arrangement of matter in the entire universe! Far more complicated than any computer, the human brain is capable of storing and creatively manipulating seemingly infinite amounts of information. Its capabilities and potential stagger the imagination. The more we use it, the better it becomes.


The brain capabilities of even the smallest insects are mind-boggling. The tiny speck of a brain found in a little ant, butterfly or bee enable them not only to see, smell, taste and move, but even to fly with great precision. Butterflies routinely navigate enormous distances. Bees and ants carry on complex social organizations, building projects, and communications. These miniature brains put our computers and avionics to shame, in comparison.


The marvels of the bodies of both animals and man are evidently endless. Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith makes this thought-provoking and humbling statement:


"When one considers that the entire chemical information to construct a man, elephant, frog or an orchid was compressed into two minuscule reproductive cells (sperm and egg nuclei), one can only be astounded. In addition to this, all the information is available on the genes to repair the body (not only to construct it) when it is injured. If one were to request an engineer to accomplish this feat of information miniaturization, one would be considered fit for the psychiatric clinic."


It is certainly true that a machine carefully made by a craftsman reflects the existence of it's creator. It would be foolish to suggest that time and chance could make a typewriter or a microwave oven, or that the individual parts could form themselves into these complex mechanisms due to the physical properties of matter. Yet, life is far, far more complex than any man-made machine.


The more scientists study life, the more they become deeply impressed. Nature is full of intricate design and beauty. In contrast to man-made objects, which look increasingly crude in finish and detail the closer they are viewed (i.e., through powerful microscopes), the closer life is examined the more complex and wondrous it appears.


Planet Earth is filled with myriad forms of life, each with enormous levels of complexity. Materialists believe life in all its amazing forms consist merely of atoms and molecules. They believe these atoms and molecules formed themselves into millions of intricate animals and plants. This view was born out of an earlier, more naive period in science when the extreme complexity of living systems was not understood. Even if nature could build the necessary proteins and enzymes, it is far from producing life. There is an enormous difference between producing a building block and producing a fully operating and serviced 100-story skyscraper from those building blocks. Buildings require builders; programs require programmers.


Today, most scientists are convinced that life could never have come into being without some form of highly intelligent and powerful designer.


THE BOTTOM LINE on the origin of life


- During all recorded human history, there has never been a substantiated case of a living thing being produced from anything other than another living thing.


- As yet, evolutionism has not produced a scientifically credible explanation for the origin of such immense complexities as DNA, the human brain, and many elements of the cosmos.


- It is highly premature for materialists to claim that all living things evolved into existence, when science has yet to discover how even one protein molecule could actually have come into existence by natural processes.


- there is no scientific proof that life did (or ever could) evolve into existence from non-living matter. Further, there is substantial evidence that spontaneous generation is impossible. Only DNA is known to produce DNA. No chemical interaction of molecules has even come close to producing this ultra-complex code which is so essential to all known life.


Title: Re: god's perpetual torture chamber
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on January 14, 2020, 10:13:08 am

Yep, you're too feeble-minded to stand on your own two feet, so like all weak human beings, you lean on the crutch of religion.

Kinda explains why you also support Fake President Donald J. “cowardly Cadet Bone Spurs” Trump, eh?

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Title: Re: god's perpetual torture chamber
Post by: Im2Sexy4MyPants on January 14, 2020, 12:08:19 pm
the facts prove evolution is impossible

there are no links that prove that one creature ever changed into a different creature

i showed you all the proof you need below if you cant read fine