Why I No Longer Believe in Hell

24 views
Skip to first unread message

Ed Jarrett

<edjarrett53@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 15, 2011, 1:38:29 PM11/15/11
to Atheism vs Christianity
There have been a lot of threads started recently about Hell and for the most part I have not participated in them.  I think my position is known, even if not accepted or understood, by most folks.  This thread is not an attempt to prove anything or convince anyone of my position.  Rather it is a more detailed description of my position and how I came to hold it.

10 years ago I was a border line fundamentalist.  I took everything the Bible said as gospel and never thought to consider any alternative.  My movement away from that position started with a few books, written by Christians, that advocated that the universe and the earth were actually billions of years old.  It was a convincing argument to me and I ended up embracing it.  Some years later it was repeated with the Theory of Evolution.  As you can guess that caused some serious reevaluation of much of what I had formerly accepted as true.  Ultimately I questioned just about everything, including the existence of God.  But that belief remained firm throughout.  My past experience argued for his presence in my life as did my best attempts at trying to imagine a universe without him.

But the idea of an eternal place of torture, Hell, was a victim.  I still accept that God can do whatever he wants with us, since we are his creation, including burning us alive for eternity.  But I do not believe that is the case for the following reasons:
  • I see no purpose in it.  I do believe that God created the universe for a purpose, and that purpose was to produce a new people who will respond to him in faith.  I simply can't see any reason for an eternal conscious punishment for those who do not respond in faith.  
  • Jesus speaks of Hades as a place of undying fire and worms.  And unbelievers are cast there.  But for how long?  Just because the fire is undying doesn't mean the fuel is not consumed.  The writings of the apostles more generally speak of destruction awaiting unbelievers.
  • If the Theory of Evolution is true, and I believe it is, then there was a long transitional time from our most immediate non-human ancestors until we became human.  If all unbelievers are cast into Hell for eternity, there must have been a distinct time when we became human, our souls became eternal, and we became subject to the fires of hell.  Even though that initial human population likely had no concept of God.
  • Belief in the annihilation of unbelievers, while never the dominate belief, has been around throughout the history of Christianity.  Dante's Inferno has really served to popularize the current picture of Hell rather than the Bible.

Tracey Maddow

<tracey.maddow101@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 15, 2011, 2:06:58 PM11/15/11
to Atheism vs Christianity
On Nov 15, 10:38 am, Ed Jarrett <edjarret...@gmail.com> wrote:
> There have been a lot of threads started recently about Hell and for the
> most part I have not participated in them.  I think my position is known,
> even if not accepted or understood, by most folks.  This thread is not an
> attempt to prove anything or convince anyone of my position.  Rather it is
> a more detailed description of my position and how I came to hold it.
>
> 10 years ago I was a border line fundamentalist.  I took everything the
> Bible said as gospel and never thought to consider any alternative.  My
> movement away from that position started with a few books, written by
> Christians, that advocated that the universe and the earth were actually
> billions of years old.  It was a convincing argument to me and I ended up
> embracing it.  Some years later it was repeated with the Theory of
> Evolution.  As you can guess that caused some serious reevaluation of much
> of what I had formerly accepted as true.  Ultimately I questioned just
> about everything, including the existence of God.  But that belief remained
> firm throughout.  My past experience argued for his presence in my life as
> did my best attempts at trying to imagine a universe without him.
>
> But the idea of an eternal place of torture, Hell, was a victim.  I still
> accept that God can do whatever he wants with us, since we are his
> creation, including burning us alive for eternity.  But I do not believe
> that is the case for the following reasons:
>
>    - I see no purpose in it.  I do believe that God created the universe
>    for a purpose, and that purpose was to produce a new people who will
>    respond to him in faith.  I simply can't see any reason for an eternal
>    conscious punishment for those who do not respond in faith.
>    - Jesus speaks of Hades as a place of undying fire and worms.  And
>    unbelievers are cast there.  But for how long?  Just because the fire is
>    undying doesn't mean the fuel is not consumed.  The writings of the
>    apostles more generally speak of destruction awaiting unbelievers.
>    - If the Theory of Evolution is true, and I believe it is, then there
>    was a long transitional time from our most immediate non-human ancestors
>    until we became human.  If all unbelievers are cast into Hell for eternity,
>    there must have been a distinct time when we became human, our souls became
>    eternal, and we became subject to the fires of hell.  Even though that
>    initial human population likely had no concept of God.
>    - Belief in the annihilation of unbelievers, while never the dominate
>    belief, has been around throughout the history of Christianity.  Dante's
>    Inferno has really served to popularize the current picture of Hell rather
>    than the Bible.

Wow! I applaud you for this exegesis Ed!

Neil Kelsey

<neil.m.kelsey@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 15, 2011, 2:07:02 PM11/15/11
to Atheism vs Christianity


On Nov 15, 10:38 am, Ed Jarrett <edjarret...@gmail.com> wrote:
> There have been a lot of threads started recently about Hell and for the
> most part I have not participated in them.  I think my position is known,
> even if not accepted or understood, by most folks.  This thread is not an
> attempt to prove anything or convince anyone of my position.  Rather it is
> a more detailed description of my position and how I came to hold it.
>
> 10 years ago I was a border line fundamentalist.  I took everything the
> Bible said as gospel and never thought to consider any alternative.  My
> movement away from that position started with a few books, written by
> Christians, that advocated that the universe and the earth were actually
> billions of years old.  It was a convincing argument to me and I ended up
> embracing it.  Some years later it was repeated with the Theory of
> Evolution.  As you can guess that caused some serious reevaluation of much
> of what I had formerly accepted as true.  Ultimately I questioned just
> about everything, including the existence of God.  But that belief remained
> firm throughout.  My past experience argued for his presence in my life as
> did my best attempts at trying to imagine a universe without him.
>
> But the idea of an eternal place of torture, Hell, was a victim.  I still
> accept that God can do whatever he wants with us, since we are his
> creation, including burning us alive for eternity.  But I do not believe
> that is the case for the following reasons:
>
>    - I see no purpose in it.

Psychopaths torture things for the fun of it, so there's a purpose.

>  I do believe that God created the universe
>    for a purpose, and that purpose was to produce a new people who will
>    respond to him in faith.

Which ignores the problem of what to do with those who don't.

>  I simply can't see any reason for an eternal
>    conscious punishment for those who do not respond in faith.

That's because you're not a psychopath, and cannot grasp how they
think.

>    - Jesus speaks of Hades as a place of undying fire and worms.  And
>    unbelievers are cast there.  But for how long?  Just because the fire is
>    undying doesn't mean the fuel is not consumed.  The writings of the
>    apostles more generally speak of destruction awaiting unbelievers.
>    - If the Theory of Evolution is true, and I believe it is, then there
>    was a long transitional time from our most immediate non-human ancestors
>    until we became human.  If all unbelievers are cast into Hell for eternity,
>    there must have been a distinct time when we became human, our souls became
>    eternal, and we became subject to the fires of hell.  Even though that
>    initial human population likely had no concept of God.
>    - Belief in the annihilation of unbelievers, while never the dominate

dillan

<dfernando@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 15, 2011, 2:09:49 PM11/15/11
to Atheism vs Christianity
LOL.....Since you claim you do, does that make you one? hahahha!..
you're hilarious Neil!

Neil Kelsey

<neil.m.kelsey@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 15, 2011, 2:10:56 PM11/15/11
to Atheism vs Christianity
* snipped for lack of maturity *

dillan

<dfernando@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 15, 2011, 2:23:23 PM11/15/11
to Atheism vs Christianity
* snipped because Neil fail to grasp the logical consequences of what
he's saying.

Neil Kelsey

<neil.m.kelsey@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 15, 2011, 2:30:17 PM11/15/11
to Atheism vs Christianity
* snipped for lack of originality *

Drafterman

<drafterman@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 15, 2011, 2:35:40 PM11/15/11
to Atheism vs Christianity
If, over time, knowledge has caused you to continuously reject parts
of scripture, why not notice the trend and extrapolate, rejecting all
of it?

On Nov 15, 1:38 pm, Ed Jarrett <edjarret...@gmail.com> wrote:
> There have been a lot of threads started recently about Hell and for the
> most part I have not participated in them.  I think my position is known,
> even if not accepted or understood, by most folks.  This thread is not an
> attempt to prove anything or convince anyone of my position.  Rather it is
> a more detailed description of my position and how I came to hold it.
>
> 10 years ago I was a border line fundamentalist.  I took everything the
> Bible said as gospel and never thought to consider any alternative.  My
> movement away from that position started with a few books, written by
> Christians, that advocated that the universe and the earth were actually
> billions of years old.  It was a convincing argument to me and I ended up
> embracing it.  Some years later it was repeated with the Theory of
> Evolution.  As you can guess that caused some serious reevaluation of much
> of what I had formerly accepted as true.  Ultimately I questioned just
> about everything, including the existence of God.  But that belief remained
> firm throughout.  My past experience argued for his presence in my life as
> did my best attempts at trying to imagine a universe without him.
>
> But the idea of an eternal place of torture, Hell, was a victim.  I still
> accept that God can do whatever he wants with us, since we are his
> creation, including burning us alive for eternity.  But I do not believe
> that is the case for the following reasons:
>
>    - I see no purpose in it.  I do believe that God created the universe
>    for a purpose, and that purpose was to produce a new people who will
>    respond to him in faith.  I simply can't see any reason for an eternal
>    conscious punishment for those who do not respond in faith.
>    - Jesus speaks of Hades as a place of undying fire and worms.  And
>    unbelievers are cast there.  But for how long?  Just because the fire is
>    undying doesn't mean the fuel is not consumed.  The writings of the
>    apostles more generally speak of destruction awaiting unbelievers.
>    - If the Theory of Evolution is true, and I believe it is, then there
>    was a long transitional time from our most immediate non-human ancestors
>    until we became human.  If all unbelievers are cast into Hell for eternity,
>    there must have been a distinct time when we became human, our souls became
>    eternal, and we became subject to the fires of hell.  Even though that
>    initial human population likely had no concept of God.
>    - Belief in the annihilation of unbelievers, while never the dominate

dillan

<dfernando@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 15, 2011, 3:04:59 PM11/15/11
to Atheism vs Christianity
** Snipped for not noticing this is getting old, and accusing me of
not being original*

Neil Kelsey

<neil.m.kelsey@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 15, 2011, 4:06:07 PM11/15/11
to Atheism vs Christianity
1. I told you my policies. As long as you break them I will continue
to snip what you say. It's more productive than wasting my time on
what is essentially trying to teach you basic language skills, like
word definition or being able to read for comprehension. Pay me money
first. Lots of it.
2. You *aren't* being original.

dillan

<dfernando@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 15, 2011, 4:12:38 PM11/15/11
to Atheism vs Christianity
* snipped because you are trying to justify your weaseling strategy.

Neil Kelsey

<neil.m.kelsey@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 15, 2011, 4:25:39 PM11/15/11
to Atheism vs Christianity

Ed Jarrett

<edjarrett53@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 15, 2011, 4:28:37 PM11/15/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
On Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 11:35 AM, Drafterman <draft...@gmail.com> wrote:
If, over time, knowledge has caused you to continuously reject parts
of scripture, why not notice the trend and extrapolate, rejecting all
of it?

Just throw the baby out with the wash?
 
--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Atheism vs Christianity" group.
To post to this group, send email to atheism-vs-...@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to atheism-vs-christ...@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/atheism-vs-christianity?hl=en.

Ed Jarrett

<edjarrett53@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 15, 2011, 4:29:17 PM11/15/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
On Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 11:06 AM, Tracey Maddow <tracey.m...@gmail.com> wrote:
Wow! I applaud you for this exegesis Ed!

Thanks 

Max

<assent@pcfin.net>
unread,
Nov 15, 2011, 8:03:09 PM11/15/11
to Atheism vs Christianity
I don't want to interfere with Drafty's line of reasoning, but what
type of baby do you have in that bathtub Ed?

Is it alive? Is it a wolf dressed up in a baby costume? Is the baby
just a doll with nothing inside it? Is the baby actually there, or is
it that you'd just like to have a baby?



On Nov 16, 5:28 am, Ed Jarrett <edjarret...@gmail.com> wrote:

Eris

<vithant@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 15, 2011, 8:10:14 PM11/15/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
I have read that first through third century bibles don't mention hell. But I don't have access to one. Anyone knowledgeable about this era?

Ed Jarrett

<edjarrett53@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 15, 2011, 8:46:08 PM11/15/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
On Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 5:03 PM, Max <ass...@pcfin.net> wrote:
I don't want to interfere with Drafty's line of reasoning, but what
type of baby do you have in that bathtub Ed?

Is it alive? Is it a wolf dressed up in a baby costume? Is the baby
just a doll with nothing inside it? Is the baby actually there, or is
it that you'd just like to have a baby?

Max

<assent@pcfin.net>
unread,
Nov 15, 2011, 8:53:57 PM11/15/11
to Atheism vs Christianity
Ed, please! I'm not a dill. I do know what this idiom means.

I'm just introducing another perspective in that the baby may not be
the desirable or essential thing you think it is; so that it may be
more worthwhile to get rid of both the water and the baby.

Ed Jarrett

<edjarrett53@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 15, 2011, 9:10:53 PM11/15/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
On Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 5:53 PM, Max <ass...@pcfin.net> wrote:
Ed, please! I'm not a dill. I do know what this idiom means.

Didn't mean to offend.  I don't always know what expressions you Aussies use.
 

I'm just introducing another perspective in that the baby may not be
the desirable or essential thing you think it is; so that it may be
more worthwhile to get rid of both the water and the baby.

I am aware of your perspective, although surely you know that I do not share it :)
 
> Ed Jarretthttp://aclayjar.blogspot.com/

--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Atheism vs Christianity" group.
To post to this group, send email to atheism-vs-...@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to atheism-vs-christ...@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/atheism-vs-christianity?hl=en.

Eris

<vithant@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 15, 2011, 9:33:20 PM11/15/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
an interesting site for further explanations of Hell

Timbo

<thcustom@sbcglobal.net>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 1:55:57 AM11/16/11
to Atheism vs Christianity


On Nov 15, 1:38 pm, Ed Jarrett <edjarret...@gmail.com> wrote:
> There have been a lot of threads started recently about Hell and for the
> most part I have not participated in them.  I think my position is known,
> even if not accepted or understood, by most folks.  This thread is not an
> attempt to prove anything or convince anyone of my position.  Rather it is
> a more detailed description of my position and how I came to hold it.
>
> 10 years ago I was a border line fundamentalist.  I took everything the
> Bible said as gospel and never thought to consider any alternative.  My
> movement away from that position started with a few books, written by
> Christians, that advocated that the universe and the earth were actually
> billions of years old.  It was a convincing argument to me and I ended up
> embracing it.  Some years later it was repeated with the Theory of
> Evolution.  As you can guess that caused some serious reevaluation of much
> of what I had formerly accepted as true.  Ultimately I questioned just
> about everything, including the existence of God.  But that belief remained
> firm throughout.  My past experience argued for his presence in my life as
> did my best attempts at trying to imagine a universe without him.
>
> But the idea of an eternal place of torture, Hell, was a victim.  I still
> accept that God can do whatever he wants with us, since we are his
> creation, including burning us alive for eternity.  But I do not believe
> that is the case for the following reasons:
>
>    - I see no purpose in it.  I do believe that God created the universe
>    for a purpose, and that purpose was to produce a new people who will
>    respond to him in faith.  I simply can't see any reason for an eternal
>    conscious punishment for those who do not respond in faith.
>    - Jesus speaks of Hades as a place of undying fire and worms.  And
>    unbelievers are cast there.  But for how long?  Just because the fire is
>    undying doesn't mean the fuel is not consumed.  The writings of the
>    apostles more generally speak of destruction awaiting unbelievers.
>    - If the Theory of Evolution is true, and I believe it is, then there
>    was a long transitional time from our most immediate non-human ancestors
>    until we became human.  If all unbelievers are cast into Hell for eternity,
>    there must have been a distinct time when we became human, our souls became
>    eternal, and we became subject to the fires of hell.  Even though that
>    initial human population likely had no concept of God.
>    - Belief in the annihilation of unbelievers, while never the dominate

Timbo

<thcustom@sbcglobal.net>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 2:11:14 AM11/16/11
to Atheism vs Christianity


On Nov 15, 1:38 pm, Ed Jarrett <edjarret...@gmail.com> wrote:
> There have been a lot of threads started recently about Hell and for the
> most part I have not participated in them.  I think my position is known,
> even if not accepted or understood, by most folks.  This thread is not an
> attempt to prove anything or convince anyone of my position.  Rather it is
> a more detailed description of my position and how I came to hold it.
>
> 10 years ago I was a border line fundamentalist.  I took everything the
> Bible said as gospel and never thought to consider any alternative.  My
> movement away from that position started with a few books, written by
> Christians, that advocated that the universe and the earth were actually
> billions of years old.  It was a convincing argument to me and I ended up
> embracing it.  Some years later it was repeated with the Theory of
> Evolution.  As you can guess that caused some serious reevaluation of much
> of what I had formerly accepted as true.  Ultimately I questioned just
> about everything, including the existence of God.  But that belief remained
> firm throughout.  My past experience argued for his presence in my life as
> did my best attempts at trying to imagine a universe without him.
>
> But the idea of an eternal place of torture, Hell, was a victim.  I still
> accept that God can do whatever he wants with us, since we are his
> creation, including burning us alive for eternity.  But I do not believe
> that is the case for the following reasons:
>
>    - I see no purpose in it.  I do believe that God created the universe
>    for a purpose, and that purpose was to produce a new people who will
>    respond to him in faith.  I simply can't see any reason for an eternal
>    conscious punishment for those who do not respond in faith.
>    - Jesus speaks of Hades as a place of undying fire and worms.  And
>    unbelievers are cast there.  But for how long?  Just because the fire is
>    undying doesn't mean the fuel is not consumed.  The writings of the
>    apostles more generally speak of destruction awaiting unbelievers.
>    - If the Theory of Evolution is true, and I believe it is, then there
>    was a long transitional time from our most immediate non-human ancestors
>    until we became human.  If all unbelievers are cast into Hell for eternity,
>    there must have been a distinct time when we became human, our souls became
>    eternal, and we became subject to the fires of hell.  Even though that
>    initial human population likely had no concept of God.
>    - Belief in the annihilation of unbelievers, while never the dominate
>    belief, has been around throughout the history of Christianity.  Dante's
>    Inferno has really served to popularize the current picture of Hell rather
>    than the Bible.

Once you have rejected hell, what is next? Talking burning brush,
awaking from the dead, an after-life in some unknown place above the
clouds, Adam's rib. Be careful, at some point you are likely to study
all aspects of history to learn why humans came to believe these
things. You may even learn why they needed gods and other spirits. Not
to be sarcastic but telling you what happened to me and my first step
was the same (rejecting hell.)
>
> --
> Ed Jarretthttp://aclayjar.blogspot.com/

Trance Gemini

<trancegemini7@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 5:30:27 AM11/16/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
On Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 1:38 PM, Ed Jarrett <edjar...@gmail.com> wrote:
There have been a lot of threads started recently about Hell and for the most part I have not participated in them.  I think my position is known, even if not accepted or understood, by most folks.  This thread is not an attempt to prove anything or convince anyone of my position.  Rather it is a more detailed description of my position and how I came to hold it.

10 years ago I was a border line fundamentalist.  I took everything the Bible said as gospel and never thought to consider any alternative.  My movement away from that position started with a few books, written by Christians, that advocated that the universe and the earth were actually billions of years old.  It was a convincing argument to me and I ended up embracing it.  Some years later it was repeated with the Theory of Evolution.  As you can guess that caused some serious reevaluation of much of what I had formerly accepted as true.  Ultimately I questioned just about everything, including the existence of God.  But that belief remained firm throughout.  My past experience argued for his presence in my life as did my best attempts at trying to imagine a universe without him.

Just curious Ed.

How did your past experience argue for the presence of the Abrahamic God in your life in particular?


--

"If you've got the truth you can demonstrate it. Talking doesn't prove it. Show people." -- Robert A. Heinlein.

Jubal Harshaw character in Stranger in a Strange Land



Ed Jarrett

<edjarrett53@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 10:59:30 AM11/16/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
On Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 11:11 PM, Timbo <thcu...@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
Once you have rejected hell, what is next? Talking burning brush,
awaking from the dead, an after-life in some unknown place above the
clouds, Adam's rib. Be careful, at some point you are likely to study
all aspects of history to learn why humans came to believe these
things. You may even learn why they needed gods and other spirits. Not
to be sarcastic but telling you what happened to me and my first step
was the same (rejecting hell.)

Thanks for your concern.  I love history and science both and enjoy reading about our past and how the creation works.  But so far I have read nothing that would push me away from a belief in a personal God. 

Ed Jarrett

<edjarrett53@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 11:07:35 AM11/16/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 2:30 AM, Trance Gemini <trance...@gmail.com> wrote:
On Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 1:38 PM, Ed Jarrett <edjar...@gmail.com> wrote:
There have been a lot of threads started recently about Hell and for the most part I have not participated in them.  I think my position is known, even if not accepted or understood, by most folks.  This thread is not an attempt to prove anything or convince anyone of my position.  Rather it is a more detailed description of my position and how I came to hold it.

10 years ago I was a border line fundamentalist.  I took everything the Bible said as gospel and never thought to consider any alternative.  My movement away from that position started with a few books, written by Christians, that advocated that the universe and the earth were actually billions of years old.  It was a convincing argument to me and I ended up embracing it.  Some years later it was repeated with the Theory of Evolution.  As you can guess that caused some serious reevaluation of much of what I had formerly accepted as true.  Ultimately I questioned just about everything, including the existence of God.  But that belief remained firm throughout.  My past experience argued for his presence in my life as did my best attempts at trying to imagine a universe without him.

Just curious Ed.

How did your past experience argue for the presence of the Abrahamic God in your life in particular?

Nothing different than what I have expressed many times in the past.  I grew up in a Christian home, giving that belief system a head start.  I had what I believe to have been an encounter with God when I was 18 that has been ongoing since then; the indwelling presence of God.  The teachings of the NT make sense to me and help explain what happened to me.  And ultimately it is by faith that I choose to believe and chose to continue to believe, although I have honestly found no reason not to believe as of yet, other than it is offensive to some.
 

Trance Gemini

<trancegemini7@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 11:25:12 AM11/16/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 11:07 AM, Ed Jarrett <edjar...@gmail.com> wrote:
On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 2:30 AM, Trance Gemini <trance...@gmail.com> wrote:
On Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 1:38 PM, Ed Jarrett <edjar...@gmail.com> wrote:
There have been a lot of threads started recently about Hell and for the most part I have not participated in them.  I think my position is known, even if not accepted or understood, by most folks.  This thread is not an attempt to prove anything or convince anyone of my position.  Rather it is a more detailed description of my position and how I came to hold it.

10 years ago I was a border line fundamentalist.  I took everything the Bible said as gospel and never thought to consider any alternative.  My movement away from that position started with a few books, written by Christians, that advocated that the universe and the earth were actually billions of years old.  It was a convincing argument to me and I ended up embracing it.  Some years later it was repeated with the Theory of Evolution.  As you can guess that caused some serious reevaluation of much of what I had formerly accepted as true.  Ultimately I questioned just about everything, including the existence of God.  But that belief remained firm throughout.  My past experience argued for his presence in my life as did my best attempts at trying to imagine a universe without him.

Just curious Ed.

How did your past experience argue for the presence of the Abrahamic God in your life in particular?

Nothing different than what I have expressed many times in the past.  I grew up in a Christian home, giving that belief system a head start.

Or perhaps it's the only reason why.
 
 I had what I believe to have been an encounter with God when I was 18 that has been ongoing since then; the indwelling presence of God.  The teachings of the NT make sense to me and help explain what happened to me.

In what way? This is what I'm wondering. How specifically do you make the tie between the two.
 
 And ultimately it is by faith that I choose to believe and chose to continue to believe, although I have honestly found no reason not to believe as of yet, other than it is offensive to some.
 
--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Atheism vs Christianity" group.
To post to this group, send email to atheism-vs-...@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to atheism-vs-christ...@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/atheism-vs-christianity?hl=en.

Ed Jarrett

<edjarrett53@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 12:32:41 PM11/16/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 8:25 AM, Trance Gemini <trance...@gmail.com> wrote:


On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 11:07 AM, Ed Jarrett <edjar...@gmail.com> wrote:
On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 2:30 AM, Trance Gemini <trance...@gmail.com> wrote:
On Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 1:38 PM, Ed Jarrett <edjar...@gmail.com> wrote:
There have been a lot of threads started recently about Hell and for the most part I have not participated in them.  I think my position is known, even if not accepted or understood, by most folks.  This thread is not an attempt to prove anything or convince anyone of my position.  Rather it is a more detailed description of my position and how I came to hold it.

10 years ago I was a border line fundamentalist.  I took everything the Bible said as gospel and never thought to consider any alternative.  My movement away from that position started with a few books, written by Christians, that advocated that the universe and the earth were actually billions of years old.  It was a convincing argument to me and I ended up embracing it.  Some years later it was repeated with the Theory of Evolution.  As you can guess that caused some serious reevaluation of much of what I had formerly accepted as true.  Ultimately I questioned just about everything, including the existence of God.  But that belief remained firm throughout.  My past experience argued for his presence in my life as did my best attempts at trying to imagine a universe without him.

Just curious Ed.

How did your past experience argue for the presence of the Abrahamic God in your life in particular?

Nothing different than what I have expressed many times in the past.  I grew up in a Christian home, giving that belief system a head start.

Or perhaps it's the only reason why.

Or perhaps not.
 
 
 I had what I believe to have been an encounter with God when I was 18 that has been ongoing since then; the indwelling presence of God.  The teachings of the NT make sense to me and help explain what happened to me.

In what way? This is what I'm wondering. How specifically do you make the tie between the two.

Christianity claims that God's spirit lives within the believer (John 14:16-17).  From above you see that I believe that to be true about myself.  I know of no other religion that makes this claim.

 
 
 And ultimately it is by faith that I choose to believe and chose to continue to believe, although I have honestly found no reason not to believe as of yet, other than it is offensive to some.
 

Trance Gemini

<trancegemini7@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 2:01:05 PM11/16/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
Not that I'm advocating that you become a Sikh or anything like that but if that's you're only criteria ....

"Guru Nanak says: "Your beloved is close to you, O foolish bride! What are you searching outside?" (GG, 722), and Guru Amar Das reassures: "Recognize yourself, O mind! You are the light manifest. Rejoice in Guru's instruction that God is always with (in) you. If you recognize your Self, you shall know the Lord and shall get the knowledge of life and death" (GG, 441)."


Anyway I guess my point is that perhaps it was your childhood indoctrination that determined:

1. How you would interpret the experience, that is, as a connection to God.
2. As well as which God you determined it to be.

Without that you may have interpreted your experiences quite differently.

Ed Jarrett

<edjarrett53@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 2:21:37 PM11/16/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
And perhaps not!  Your argument would carry more weight if I was one who was afraid of change and clung tightly to every belief.  But even this thread demonstrates that that is not the case.  I am willing to change if convinced otherwise.  

And, perhaps it was your childhood indoctrination that determined your lack of belief in God rather than any real examination of the possibility.  Now I know that the preceding sentence is offense to you.  So why do you suppose it is OK to go the other way with it?

 

Without that you may have interpreted your experiences quite differently.

Ed Jarrett

Trance Gemini

<trancegemini7@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 2:39:04 PM11/16/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 2:21 PM, Ed Jarrett <edjar...@gmail.com> wrote:
On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 11:01 AM, Trance Gemini <trance...@gmail.com> wrote:


On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 12:32 PM, Ed Jarrett <edjar...@gmail.com> wrote:
On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 8:25 AM, Trance Gemini <trance...@gmail.com> wrote:


On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 11:07 AM, Ed Jarrett <edjar...@gmail.com> wrote:
On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 2:30 AM, Trance Gemini <trance...@gmail.com> wrote:
On Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 1:38 PM, Ed Jarrett <edjar...@gmail.com> wrote:
There have been a lot of threads started recently about Hell and for the most part I have not participated in them.  I think my position is known, even if not accepted or understood, by most folks.  This thread is not an attempt to prove anything or convince anyone of my position.  Rather it is a more detailed description of my position and how I came to hold it.

10 years ago I was a border line fundamentalist.  I took everything the Bible said as gospel and never thought to consider any alternative.  My movement away from that position started with a few books, written by Christians, that advocated that the universe and the earth were actually billions of years old.  It was a convincing argument to me and I ended up embracing it.  Some years later it was repeated with the Theory of Evolution.  As you can guess that caused some serious reevaluation of much of what I had formerly accepted as true.  Ultimately I questioned just about everything, including the existence of God.  But that belief remained firm throughout.  My past experience argued for his presence in my life as did my best attempts at trying to imagine a universe without him.

Just curious Ed.

How did your past experience argue for the presence of the Abrahamic God in your life in particular?

Nothing different than what I have expressed many times in the past.  I grew up in a Christian home, giving that belief system a head start.

Or perhaps it's the only reason why.

Or perhaps not.
 
 
 I had what I believe to have been an encounter with God when I was 18 that has been ongoing since then; the indwelling presence of God.  The teachings of the NT make sense to me and help explain what happened to me.

In what way? This is what I'm wondering. How specifically do you make the tie between the two.

Christianity claims that God's spirit lives within the believer (John 14:16-17).  From above you see that I believe that to be true about myself.  I know of no other religion that makes this claim.

Not that I'm advocating that you become a Sikh or anything like that but if that's you're only criteria ....

"Guru Nanak says: "Your beloved is close to you, O foolish bride! What are you searching outside?" (GG, 722), and Guru Amar Das reassures: "Recognize yourself, O mind! You are the light manifest. Rejoice in Guru's instruction that God is always with (in) you. If you recognize your Self, you shall know the Lord and shall get the knowledge of life and death" (GG, 441)."


Anyway I guess my point is that perhaps it was your childhood indoctrination that determined:

1. How you would interpret the experience, that is, as a connection to God.
2. As well as which God you determined it to be.

And perhaps not!  Your argument would carry more weight if I was one who was afraid of change and clung tightly to every belief.

Well, you're questioning the interpretation but not the fundamental premise of God or Christianity. That part you are clinging tightly to.
 
 But even this thread demonstrates that that is not the case.  I am willing to change if convinced otherwise.  

And, perhaps it was your childhood indoctrination that determined your lack of belief in God rather than any real examination of the possibility.

That's kind of like saying atheism is a religion. It isn't. It's a lack of belief.

I was never indoctrinated as an atheist. I just wasn't indoctrinated into religious belief.
 
 Now I know that the preceding sentence is offense to you.  So why do you suppose it is OK to go the other way with it?

You're drawing a false parallel which is based on a false premise.

The false premise is that one can be indoctrinated into a lack of belief and that is a valid parallel to religious belief.

It isn't.

A lack of belief and a lack of indoctrination into religious belief isn't the equivalent to having a belief and being indoctrinated.

Nor does it work the same way when interpreting or determining one's beliefs.

Timbo

<thcustom@sbcglobal.net>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 2:45:34 PM11/16/11
to Atheism vs Christianity


On Nov 16, 10:59 am, Ed Jarrett <edjarret...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 11:11 PM, Timbo <thcus...@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> > Once you have rejected hell, what is next? Talking burning brush,
> > awaking from the dead, an after-life in some unknown place above the
> > clouds, Adam's rib. Be careful, at some point you are likely to study
> > all aspects of history to learn why humans came to believe these
> > things. You may even learn why they needed gods and other spirits. Not
> > to be sarcastic but telling you what happened to me and my first step
> > was the same (rejecting hell.)
>
> Thanks for your concern.  I love history and science both and enjoy reading
> about our past and how the creation works.  But so far I have read nothing
> that would push me away from a belief in a personal God.

Thank you for your reply. I don't know what history or to what degree
you have read. If you love history then you most likely have
encountered many writings in mainstream history that give false
impressions by either poor research or simply leaving out resourced
material that damages a view. My studies in history were based around
human communication, art, and artifacts. In order for me to understand
how humans communicated, I had to make comparisons of like
communications in unlike regions. Saying that, I cannot make a
statement about humans in general if it does not happen in the same
manner in unlike regions.
Understanding that the absolute history of communication involves much
more than reading about sign language, written, iconology,
archaeology, architecture and cave paintings. Understanding absolute
history involves the study of how all these things are related to form
a human idea that can be held to the test of unlike regions. When an
image of a snake or a sunburst is painted on a 7,000 year old pot in
Peru and also painted on a pot in Ethiopia, it makes it's own
statement about human ideas, fears and needs. When you study the
interworkings by leaving mainstream history and learn about things
like red pigment being more valuable than gold through a lengthy era,
you start getting a more complete history of human needs and fears.

Sure we can debunk a lot of historic fact as agenda biased view. To
actually learn what God is, one needs to take the unbiased approach of
comparing historic statements and eliminating what cannot hold true
about God and what can be held true about God.
>
> --
> Ed Jarretthttp://aclayjar.blogspot.com/

LL

<llpens@aol.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 3:57:01 PM11/16/11
to Atheism vs Christianity


On Nov 15, 1:28 pm, Ed Jarrett <edjarret...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 11:35 AM, Drafterman <drafter...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > If, over time, knowledge has caused you to continuously reject parts
> > of scripture, why not notice the trend and extrapolate, rejecting all
> > of it?
>
> Just throw the baby out with the wash?

LL. Sometimes it's a matter of throwing away ALL of the bathwater and
recognizing that there's no baby there. You show that you can think
rationally about some of your beliefs, but you hold onto the nucleus
without applying the same analysis to it that you apply to some of the
parts. Believing in any of it is as illogical as are the parts you
have described as being wrong. Does it make sense to remove some
illogical parts from their nucleus and keep the nucleus, which has no
more evidence or logic behind it than the parts you have decided to
jettison on logical grounds?

.......

.....

LL

<llpens@aol.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 4:02:35 PM11/16/11
to Atheism vs Christianity


On Nov 16, 9:32 am, Ed Jarrett <edjarret...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 8:25 AM, Trance Gemini <trancegemi...@gmail.com>wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 11:07 AM, Ed Jarrett <edjarret...@gmail.com>wrote:
>
> >> On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 2:30 AM, Trance Gemini <trancegemi...@gmail.com>wrote:
LL. But does that mean it's a valid claim? The fact that no other
religion makes it has no bearing on its validity in Christianity. No
other religion but Islam makes the claim that Mohammad is God's
messenger. Does that mean the claim is valid?

.......


......

Ed Jarrett

<edjarrett53@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 4:12:45 PM11/16/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
If God is indeed an artifact of human imagination, then history will tell us a lot about him and what we have believed over the millennium.  But if indeed he is real, then history might tell us what people thought about him, but not necessarily much about him.  

Ed Jarrett

<edjarrett53@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 4:18:20 PM11/16/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
If my indoctrination is based on my upbringing, then it should apply to you as well.  Otherwise you are playing a double standard game.  You were taught something, whether explicitly or not about god in your upbringing.  If you are not taught explicitly that there is a god then you are implicitly being taught that there is not one.  But in either case your upbringing impacts your belief, or lack thereof, in a god.
 
 
 Now I know that the preceding sentence is offense to you.  So why do you suppose it is OK to go the other way with it?

You're drawing a false parallel which is based on a false premise.

Told you so :)
 

The false premise is that one can be indoctrinated into a lack of belief and that is a valid parallel to religious belief.

It isn't.

A lack of belief and a lack of indoctrination into religious belief isn't the equivalent to having a belief and being indoctrinated.

Nor does it work the same way when interpreting or determining one's beliefs.

Of course not, because then you would have to apply the same standard to your own positions.
 
 

Ed Jarrett

<edjarrett53@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 4:20:41 PM11/16/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 12:57 PM, LL <llp...@aol.com> wrote:



On Nov 15, 1:28ápm, Ed Jarrett <edjarret...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 11:35 AM, Drafterman <drafter...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > If, over time, knowledge has caused you to continuously reject parts
> > of scripture, why not notice the trend and extrapolate, rejecting all
> > of it?
>
> Just throw the baby out with the wash?

LL.  Sometimes it's a matter of throwing away ALL of the bathwater and
recognizing that there's no baby there. You show that you can think
rationally about some of your beliefs, but you hold onto the nucleus
without applying the same analysis to it that you apply to some of the
parts.

And why would you believe that?
 
Believing in any of it is as illogical as are the parts you
have described as being wrong.

That I have reached a different conclusion than you automatically makes me wrong?  Maybe it's not me that has reached the wrong conclusion.
 
Does it make sense to remove some
illogical parts from their nucleus and keep the nucleus, which has no
more evidence or logic behind it than the parts you have decided to
jettison on logical grounds?

.......

.....
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Nov 15, 1:38 pm, Ed Jarrett <edjarret...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > There have been a lot of threads started recently about Hell and for the
> > > most part I have not participated in them. áI think my position is known,
> > > even if not accepted or understood, by most folks. áThis thread is not an
> > > attempt to prove anything or convince anyone of my position. áRather it

> > is
> > > a more detailed description of my position and how I came to hold it.
>
> > > 10 years ago I was a border line fundamentalist. áI took everything the
> > > Bible said as gospel and never thought to consider any alternative. áMy

> > > movement away from that position started with a few books, written by
> > > Christians, that advocated that the universe and the earth were actually
> > > billions of years old. áIt was a convincing argument to me and I ended up
> > > embracing it. áSome years later it was repeated with the Theory of
> > > Evolution. áAs you can guess that caused some serious reevaluation of
> > much
> > > of what I had formerly accepted as true. áUltimately I questioned just
> > > about everything, including the existence of God. áBut that belief
> > remained
> > > firm throughout. áMy past experience argued for his presence in my life

> > as
> > > did my best attempts at trying to imagine a universe without him.
>
> > > But the idea of an eternal place of torture, Hell, was a victim. áI still

> > > accept that God can do whatever he wants with us, since we are his
> > > creation, including burning us alive for eternity. áBut I do not believe

> > > that is the case for the following reasons:
>
> > > á á- I see no purpose in it. áI do believe that God created the universe
> > > á áfor a purpose, and that purpose was to produce a new people who will
> > > á árespond to him in faith. áI simply can't see any reason for an eternal
> > > á áconscious punishment for those who do not respond in faith.
> > > á á- Jesus speaks of Hades as a place of undying fire and worms. áAnd
> > > á áunbelievers are cast there. áBut for how long? áJust because the fire
> > is
> > > á áundying doesn't mean the fuel is not consumed. áThe writings of the
> > > á áapostles more generally speak of destruction awaiting unbelievers.
> > > á á- If the Theory of Evolution is true, and I believe it is, then there
> > > á áwas a long transitional time from our most immediate non-human
> > ancestors
> > > á áuntil we became human. áIf all unbelievers are cast into Hell for
> > eternity,
> > > á áthere must have been a distinct time when we became human, our souls
> > became
> > > á áeternal, and we became subject to the fires of hell. áEven though that
> > > á áinitial human population likely had no concept of God.
> > > á á- Belief in the annihilation of unbelievers, while never the dominate
> > > á ábelief, has been around throughout the history of Christianity.
> > áDante's
> > > á áInferno has really served to popularize the current picture of Hell
> > rather
> > > á áthan the Bible.

>
> > > --
> > > Ed Jarretthttp://aclayjar.blogspot.com/
>
> > --
> > You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
> > "Atheism vs Christianity" group.
> > To post to this group, send email to
> > atheism-vs-...@googlegroups.com.
> > To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
> > atheism-vs-christ...@googlegroups.com.
> > For more options, visit this group at
> >http://groups.google.com/group/atheism-vs-christianity?hl=en.
>
> --
> Ed Jarretthttp://aclayjar.blogspot.com/

--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Atheism vs Christianity" group.
To post to this group, send email to atheism-vs-...@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to atheism-vs-christ...@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/atheism-vs-christianity?hl=en.

Ed Jarrett

<edjarrett53@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 4:23:59 PM11/16/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
No.  But Trance asked my why one over the other and I provided her with an answer.  Unfortunately my answers are seldom accepted as valid because they don't jive with yours or Trances or most others here.  What is wrong with saying, 'OK, while not agreeing, I do understand' rather than always 'Yes, but ...'.

 

.......


......
>
>
> >>   And ultimately it is by faith that I choose to believe and chose to
> >> continue to believe, although I have honestly found no reason not to
> >> believe as of yet, other than it is offensive to some.
>
> --
> Ed Jarretthttp://aclayjar.blogspot.com/
--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Atheism vs Christianity" group.
To post to this group, send email to atheism-vs-...@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to atheism-vs-christ...@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/atheism-vs-christianity?hl=en.

Trance Gemini

<trancegemini7@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 4:29:16 PM11/16/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
Well the only thing I can think of that I was indoctrinated in was the importance of thinking for myself and thinking critically.

People don't get indoctrinated into lacking belief in gods anymore than they get encouraged to not collect stamps.
 
 Otherwise you are playing a double standard game.  You were taught something, whether explicitly or not about god in your upbringing.  If you are not taught explicitly that there is a god then you are implicitly being taught that there is not one.  But in either case your upbringing impacts your belief, or lack thereof, in a god.
 
 
 Now I know that the preceding sentence is offense to you.  So why do you suppose it is OK to go the other way with it?

You're drawing a false parallel which is based on a false premise.

Told you so :)

Told me so? Okay. Lol. 
 
 

The false premise is that one can be indoctrinated into a lack of belief and that is a valid parallel to religious belief.

It isn't.

A lack of belief and a lack of indoctrination into religious belief isn't the equivalent to having a belief and being indoctrinated.

Nor does it work the same way when interpreting or determining one's beliefs.

Of course not, because then you would have to apply the same standard to your own positions.

No because I'd have to apply absurd standards to not having a belief in something.

How does one get indoctrinated into lack a belief in gods?

If you believe that can occur please feel free to enlighten me. 

Eris

<vithant@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 4:58:49 PM11/16/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
Children at age thirteen general choose to believe or not believe. IIRC from a PBS special children of fundamentalist Christian tend not to become religious.

At thirteen it became obvious to me they were lying.

Ed Jarrett

<edjarrett53@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 5:10:22 PM11/16/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
I already did and you chose to ignore it.  Why should I try again?
 

--

"If you've got the truth you can demonstrate it. Talking doesn't prove it. Show people." -- Robert A. Heinlein.

Jubal Harshaw character in Stranger in a Strange Land



--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Atheism vs Christianity" group.
To post to this group, send email to atheism-vs-...@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to atheism-vs-christ...@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/atheism-vs-christianity?hl=en.

Neil Kelsey

<neil.m.kelsey@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 5:24:18 PM11/16/11
to Atheism vs Christianity
For the record: I don't assume that dillan speaks for Ed Jarret.

Trance Gemini

<trancegemini7@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 5:50:06 PM11/16/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
Where? You asserted that could occur. I don't recall any explanation of how that occurs.

Did I miss something?

You can no more get indoctrinated into not believing in gods than you can get trained in not stamp collecting.

It doesn't make any sense.

Ed Jarrett

<edjarrett53@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 5:54:14 PM11/16/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Atheism vs Christianity" group.
To post to this group, send email to atheism-vs-...@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to atheism-vs-christ...@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/atheism-vs-christianity?hl=en.

Trance Gemini

<trancegemini7@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 7:12:07 PM11/16/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 5:54 PM, Ed Jarrett <edjar...@gmail.com> wrote:


On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 2:50 PM, Trance Gemini <trance...@gmail.com> wrote:



<snipped>
 
Where? You asserted that could occur. I don't recall any explanation of how that occurs.

 
 Otherwise you are playing a double standard game.  You were taught something, whether explicitly or not about god in your upbringing.

I disagree that this is a double standard game.  Like I said, you don't teach atheism. An atheist simply doesn't believe.

I didn't even know what a god was until my friends were old enough to explain it to me and only because I asked them where they went on Sundays and why.

All my father ever said, was in response to my questions, and he simply said he didn't believe in gods.

Indoctrination involves explicit education and training in a belief system.

Atheism isn't a belief system and doesn't require indoctrination.

 If you are not taught explicitly that there is a god then you are implicitly being taught that there is not one.

That's not indoctrination and there's no teaching involved.
 
 But in either case your upbringing impacts your belief, or lack thereof, in a god.

My upbringing impacted my beliefs, not my lack of belief. I explored religious beliefs on my own and was free at any time to practice them if I decided that I wanted to become a believer.

Indoctrination would have involved convincing me that I shouldn't believe and giving me reasons why, etc.

That never occurred.

In your case and the cases of theists you are trained from a young age to accept those beliefs. You go to church every Sunday, pray every day, etc. The indoctrination is strong and ongoing throughout childhood.

How is my upbringing and yours even remotely comparable where religious belief or lack of it is concerned?

Sorry, I just don't see any parallels here.

Alexia

<abeane43103@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 7:19:22 PM11/16/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
Nope

To heaven? Is that where she thinks she's going? Is she really that sure of going to a place that isn't even on a map? And how can she be sure she'd like it once she got there?
     Jenna, The Adoration of Jenna Fox

I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing. 
                    --Stubb in Moby Dick 

On Nov 15, 2011, at 8:10 PM, Eris <vit...@gmail.com> wrote:

I have read that first through third century bibles don't mention hell. But I don't have access to one. Anyone knowledgeable about this era?

--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Atheism vs Christianity" group.

Alexia

<abeane43103@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 7:19:53 PM11/16/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
Lol

To heaven? Is that where she thinks she's going? Is she really that
sure of going to a place that isn't even on a map? And how can she be
sure she'd like it once she got there?
Jenna, The Adoration of Jenna Fox

I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to
it laughing.
--Stubb in Moby Dick

On Nov 15, 2011, at 8:03 PM, Max <ass...@pcfin.net> wrote:

> I don't want to interfere with Drafty's line of reasoning, but what
> type of baby do you have in that bathtub Ed?
>
> Is it alive? Is it a wolf dressed up in a baby costume? Is the baby
> just a doll with nothing inside it? Is the baby actually there, or is
> it that you'd just like to have a baby?


>
>
>
> On Nov 16, 5:28 am, Ed Jarrett <edjarret...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 11:35 AM, Drafterman <drafter...@gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> If, over time, knowledge has caused you to continuously reject parts
>>> of scripture, why not notice the trend and extrapolate, rejecting
>>> all
>>> of it?
>>
>> Just throw the baby out with the wash?
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>

>>>> But the idea of an eternal place of torture, Hell, was a victim.

>>>> I still
>>>> accept that God can do whatever he wants with us, since we are his

>>>> creation, including burning us alive for eternity. But I do not

>>>> believe
>>>> that is the case for the following reasons:
>>

>>>> - I see no purpose in it. I do believe that God created the
>>>> universe


>>>> for a purpose, and that purpose was to produce a new people
>>>> who will

>>>> respond to him in faith. I simply can't see any reason for an
>>>> eternal


>>>> conscious punishment for those who do not respond in faith.

>>>> - Jesus speaks of Hades as a place of undying fire and worms.

>>>> And
>>>> unbelievers are cast there. But for how long? Just because
>>>> the fire
>>> is
>>>> undying doesn't mean the fuel is not consumed. The writings
>>>> of the

>>>> apostles more generally speak of destruction awaiting
>>>> unbelievers.

>>>> - If the Theory of Evolution is true, and I believe it is,
>>>> then there

>>>> was a long transitional time from our most immediate non-human
>>> ancestors

>>>> until we became human. If all unbelievers are cast into Hell
>>>> for
>>> eternity,


>>>> there must have been a distinct time when we became human, our
>>>> souls
>>> became

>>>> eternal, and we became subject to the fires of hell. Even
>>>> though that


>>>> initial human population likely had no concept of God.

>>>> - Belief in the annihilation of unbelievers, while never the
>>>> dominate

>>>> belief, has been around throughout the history of Christianity.

>>> Dante's


>>>> Inferno has really served to popularize the current picture of
>>>> Hell
>>> rather

>>>> than the Bible.
>>
>>>> --
>>>> Ed Jarretthttp://aclayjar.blogspot.com/
>>

>>> --
>>> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
>>> Groups
>>> "Atheism vs Christianity" group.

>>> To post to this group, send email to
>>> atheism-vs-...@googlegroups.com.
>>> To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
>>> atheism-vs-christ...@googlegroups.com.
>>> For more options, visit this group at
>>> http://groups.google.com/group/atheism-vs-christianity?hl=en.
>>

>> --
>> Ed Jarretthttp://aclayjar.blogspot.com/


>
> --
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
> Groups "Atheism vs Christianity" group.

Alexia

<abeane43103@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 7:25:21 PM11/16/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
I guess they don't teach kids about hell much these days, cuz I don't
remember anything about it...
My little kiddie bible certainly didn't have anything...
My first step was rejecting Santa claus and the toothfairy at 9...
I stopped praying a year later...
And then just a couple years ago, poof! I'm an atheist... Hehehe,
drama club is catching up with me... :)

To heaven? Is that where she thinks she's going? Is she really that
sure of going to a place that isn't even on a map? And how can she be
sure she'd like it once she got there?
Jenna, The Adoration of Jenna Fox

I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to
it laughing.
--Stubb in Moby Dick

On Nov 16, 2011, at 2:11 AM, Timbo <thcu...@sbcglobal.net> wrote:

>
>
> On Nov 15, 1:38ápm, Ed Jarrett <edjarret...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> There have been a lot of threads started recently about Hell and
>> for the

>> most part I have not participated in them. áI think my position is
>> known,
>> even if not accepted or understood, by most folks. áThis thread is
>> not an
>> attempt to prove anything or convince anyone of my position. áRath

>> er it is
>> a more detailed description of my position and how I came to hold it.
>>

>> 10 years ago I was a border line fundamentalist. áI took everythin

>> g the
>> Bible said as gospel and never thought to consider any alternative

>> . áMy


>> movement away from that position started with a few books, written by
>> Christians, that advocated that the universe and the earth were
>> actually

>> billions of years old. áIt was a convincing argument to me and I e
>> nded up
>> embracing it. áSome years later it was repeated with the Theory of
>> Evolution. áAs you can guess that caused some serious reevaluation
>> of much
>> of what I had formerly accepted as true. áUltimately I questioned
>> just
>> about everything, including the existence of God. áBut that belief
>> remained
>> firm throughout. áMy past experience argued for his presence in my

>> life as
>> did my best attempts at trying to imagine a universe without him.
>>

>> But the idea of an eternal place of torture, Hell, was a victim. á

>> I still
>> accept that God can do whatever he wants with us, since we are his

>> creation, including burning us alive for eternity. áBut I do not b
>> elieve


>> that is the case for the following reasons:
>>

>> á á- I see no purpose in it. áI do believe that God created the un
>> iverse
>> á áfor a purpose, and that purpose was to produce a new people who
>> will
>> á árespond to him in faith. áI simply can't see any reason for an
>> eternal
>> á áconscious punishment for those who do not respond in faith.
>> á á- Jesus speaks of Hades as a place of undying fire and worms. á

>> And
>> á áunbelievers are cast there. áBut for how long? áJust because
>> the fire is
>> á áundying doesn't mean the fuel is not consumed. áThe writings of
>> the

>> á áapostles more generally speak of destruction awaiting unbelieve
>> rs.
>> á á- If the Theory of Evolution is true, and I believe it is, then
>> there
>> á áwas a long transitional time from our most immediate non-human
>> ancestors
>> á áuntil we became human. áIf all unbelievers are cast into Hell f
>> or eternity,
>> á áthere must have been a distinct time when we became human, our
>> souls became
>> á áeternal, and we became subject to the fires of hell. áEven thou
>> gh that
>> á áinitial human population likely had no concept of God.
>> á á- Belief in the annihilation of unbelievers, while never the do
>> minate
>> á ábelief, has been around throughout the history of Christianity.
>> áDante's
>> á áInferno has really served to popularize the current picture of
>> Hell rather
>> á áthan the Bible.


>
> Once you have rejected hell, what is next? Talking burning brush,
> awaking from the dead, an after-life in some unknown place above the
> clouds, Adam's rib. Be careful, at some point you are likely to study
> all aspects of history to learn why humans came to believe these
> things. You may even learn why they needed gods and other spirits. Not
> to be sarcastic but telling you what happened to me and my first step
> was the same (rejecting hell.)
>>
>> --
>> Ed Jarretthttp://aclayjar.blogspot.com/
>

Alexia

<abeane43103@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 7:26:04 PM11/16/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
Trust me, you will get there


To heaven? Is that where she thinks she's going? Is she really that sure of going to a place that isn't even on a map? And how can she be sure she'd like it once she got there?
     Jenna, The Adoration of Jenna Fox

I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing. 
                    --Stubb in Moby Dick 

Ed Jarrett

<edjarrett53@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 8:27:39 PM11/16/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 2:24 PM, Neil Kelsey <neil.m...@gmail.com> wrote:
For the record: I don't assume that dillan speaks for Ed Jarret.

Good call.
 

Ed Jarrett

<edjarrett53@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 8:32:56 PM11/16/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
Can't really say I'm surprised.  But don't bother any more trying to convince me that I have been indoctrinated as a child.  Cause I just can't see it.
 

-- 

Ed Jarrett

Neil Kelsey

<neil.m.kelsey@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 9:57:37 PM11/16/11
to Atheism vs Christianity


On Nov 16, 5:27 pm, Ed Jarrett <edjarret...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 2:24 PM, Neil Kelsey <neil.m.kel...@gmail.com>wrote:
>
> > For the record: I don't assume that dillan speaks for Ed Jarret.
>
> Good call.

Jarrett, sorry. I once saw Keith Jarrett in concert, any relation?

Ed Jarrett

<edjarrett53@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 10:33:54 PM11/16/11
to atheism-vs-christianity@googlegroups.com
Not that I know of.  Not related to Dale Jarrett the race car driver either.
 

--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Atheism vs Christianity" group.
To post to this group, send email to atheism-vs-...@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to atheism-vs-christ...@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/atheism-vs-christianity?hl=en.

Neil Kelsey

<neil.m.kelsey@gmail.com>
unread,
Nov 16, 2011, 10:49:14 PM11/16/11
to Atheism vs Christianity


On Nov 16, 7:33 pm, Ed Jarrett <edjarret...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 6:57 PM, Neil Kelsey <neil.m.kel...@gmail.com>wrote:
>
>
>
> > On Nov 16, 5:27 pm, Ed Jarrett <edjarret...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 2:24 PM, Neil Kelsey <neil.m.kel...@gmail.com
> > >wrote:
>
> > > > For the record: I don't assume that dillan speaks for Ed Jarret.
>
> > > Good call.
>
> > Jarrett, sorry. I once saw Keith Jarrett in concert, any relation?
>
> Not that I know of.

Good. I thought he was kind of a dick. Stopped the whole concert to
chew some poor woman out who happened to have a coughing fit at the
wrong time.

LL

<llpens@aol.com>
unread,
Nov 17, 2011, 1:26:02 AM11/17/11