Thursday, April 15, 2010

Imagine there's no heaven…

The first religious belief I gave up was the belief in a hell.  I don't remember the exact day, but I remember the feeling when I stopped believing in a place of torture for those unworthy of heaven.  It was a huge relief; a huge weight off my shoulders.  For the first time in my life, I wasn't terrified of dying.  I'm not looking forward to it, no, but I knew, now, that there was no risk of being tortured for not believing just right.

Hell is a terrible belief.  Sure, it makes some people feel good to know that Hitler is getting his and it makes for a good Simpsons episode.  But think about it.  I approach this from a Christian perspective, because that's how I was raised.  God is all loving…your "father in heaven" who loves every one on Earth.  But, you have to follow certain rules, or else god, who is also all powerful, will have no choice but to send to to hell where you will be tortured for eternity.  Why would hell exist if an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving god exists?  Why would an all-loving and merciful god ever want, ever to punish one of his loved creations for eternity?  It's absurd when you think about it, but it's powerful.  It's the powerful fear of death.

Giving up hell was one of the best moments of my life.  It gave me freedom to enjoy my life and freedom to be happy with the time I have here.

I'll write more about this later, but this is what I'm thinking about now.