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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » A Letter From Hell(this makes me sick) (Page 2)

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Author Topic: A Letter From Hell(this makes me sick)
Glenn Arnold
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quote:
Yes, no one goes to hell for not being an atheist; some, according to some atheists, live stupid lives of pointless mysticism for not being atheists, though.
Is this a contrapositive Pascal's wager?
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Glenn Arnold
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by Glenn Arnold:
I'm still trying to figure out how the kid wrote a letter ...

I'm more impressed with the US Postal Service which had to pick up the thing.
Neither snow, nor rain, nor gloom of night, shall stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

Nope, hellfire isn't part of the job description.

Maybe there's a diplomatic courier between here and there. I'll bet Blackwater has the account.

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Javert
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Ha! What a delightfully deliberate misinterpretation of what theists believe, Javert. Nicely done!

Or do you actually believe that theists think God makes their lives stupidly mystical and worships Him for it?

Maybe we should get back to talking about how rotten fundies are, though.

And how nice of you to misunderstand what I wrote.

No, I don't think "theists think God makes their lives stupidly mystical and worships Him for it."

I think some theists believe that their god punishes non-believers with an eternity in hell, and then they worship him for it.

That's the difference. I don't worship or support what I believe may be the negative connotation of certain people's beliefs. (The connotation being to "live stupid lives of pointless mysticism for not being atheists", quoting you.)

Certain believers, on the other hand, DO worship and support what they think is the negative connotation of my non-belief. (The connotation being your god damning us to hell for eternity.)

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Enigmatic
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quote:
Scuze. "Hypothetical malign thug".
I nominate Lisa for Thread Winnage!
[ROFL]

(I think it's the "Scuze." that really makes the funny.)

--Enigmatic

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rollainm
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quote:
Originally posted by Nathan2006:
I think, if it's aimed at children, I would have more of a problem with the parents of that child then with the makers of this video.

My thoughts exactly. It amuses me that people would seriously produce such a video, but the thought of parents actually making their young children watch it is absolutely infuriating.
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sylvrdragon
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by Glenn Arnold:
I'm still trying to figure out how the kid wrote a letter ...

I'm more impressed with the US Postal Service which had to pick up the thing.
I'm trying to figure out how he kept writing as they were dragging him away and tossing him over a cliff, and even as he started to burn... talk about determination. Maybe he had Bluetooth and was using some kind of streaming speech-to-text program hooked up to a computer with a printer. At least it's good to know that you can get a signal in Hell.
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Juxtapose
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quote:
Originally posted by Glenn Arnold:
I'm still trying to figure out how the kid wrote a letter on a piece of paper that wasn't consumed by the flames of eternal torment. Must have been refractory paper.

"Look, if he was dying, he wouldn't bother to carve 'aaaaaggh'. He'd just say it!"
"Well, that's what's carved in the rock!"
"Perhaps he was dictating."
"Oh, shut up. Well, does it say anything else?"
"No. Just 'aaaaaagggh'."
"Aaaauugggh."

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rollainm
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It has just been pointed out to me that you can mark the video as "inappropriate". [Big Grin]
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
You'd like to think it would be obvious, BB, but aparently not.

It can be obvious and yet be unknown by certain folk.
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Launchywiggin
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I remember this stuff as a kid. I remember them telling us to go up to random people and ask "Do you believe in Jesus?"--and I did it a few times. Always felt weird. They've certainly gotten more dramatic with their presentation. I remember being terrified, though--with the "left behind" movies they made us watch, and the idea that some people who died would be in fire for eternity.

I hope I make better decisions with my kids.

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Nathan2006
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quote:
Originally posted by rollainm:
quote:
Originally posted by Nathan2006:
I think, if it's aimed at children, I would have more of a problem with the parents of that child then with the makers of this video.

My thoughts exactly. It amuses me that people would seriously produce such a video, but the thought of parents actually making their young children watch it is absolutely infuriating.
[Embarrassed] I just realized while reading that that I spelled 'than' with an 'e'.

[Wall Bash] I'm very unhappy with myself right now.

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Itsame
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http://youtube.com/watch?v=yItJpd0VeAU&feature=related

The comment on the side made me laugh. We all get a steak dinner when we die?

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dab
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I hate religion... why can't people just treat each other with respect and love without all this BS.
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Puffy Treat
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quote:
Originally posted by dab:
I hate religion... why can't people just treat each other with respect and love without all this BS.

I don't hate atheists. However, they (speaking of them in general, and not as individuals) have been no less prone to mistaken beliefs about others, prejudice, disrespect, and outright bigotry than anyone else I've met.
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Strider
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while the comment may have been uncalled for, it's worth pointing out dab said he hated "religion" and not "religious people", and is suggesting people can be good to each other without the organization.
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Starsnuffer
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So at the risk of being a smart-Aleck, what is IMPLIED by "believing" in Jesus? I'll assume that it's something about his being godly, being resurrected, healing a select few people with a select few disorders and being very charismatic, but "believing" in him fundamentally only requires belief in his existence. I'll agree that there probably was a very nice man name Jesus Christ who was a strong proponent of God etc. etc, but I don't think my belief in his existence qualifies for the above "belief" that is desired.

(Just curious, and probing through questioning)

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pooka
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Believing in Jesus means you trust him at his word that he will save you if you sincerely repent. It involves acknowledging that he was more than a man who has power to deliver you from hell. At least, that's my jibe on it.

[edit: It also involves believing his atonement was infinite, and believing that everyone who has wronged you in life is in his hands. Everyone you have wronged, if you are indeed saved, you will be filled with desire to make restitution. I go in and out of phase on the saved thing. It's why our ordinances are continually telling us to remember Jesus.]

quote:

I think some theists believe that their god punishes non-believers with an eternity in hell, and then they worship him for it.

I don't think people who love God see that as God's best feature. Those who love God love their fellow people and don't cherish the thought of their spiritual demise.

But that's LDS cosmology, that hell is simply separation from God: an absence of light, love, truth, and mercy.

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suminonA
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Back to the video.
I am not a believer, so it was not meant FOR me. OK.

Somehow, (that is, because of this thread) I watched it. For the record, this video qualifies for the most disgusting piece of fiction I’ve ever laid my eyes upon.

I wonder how many believers remember that the “letter” (just like the entire story about Josh and Zack) is fictional (it is stated in the video!) ?
I mean, they hold “Hell” to be Real, but this story is just fictional and therefore NOT a Scare Tactic. I hope they believe that, and remember it.

Another thing: I have Christian friends; most of them don’t push their beliefs in Jesus on me. Now, is this fictional story supposed to be ABOUT me? Am I, as a non-believer, going to write such a letter after death? If not, show me what non-believer is supposed to do it, if this fiction is meant to have at least some relevance in the Real world.

I feel insulted. Even if I get to some form of “hell” when I die, I won’t accuse anyone else but myself for not being able to avoid it. I am self-RESPONSIBLE, because I chose to. And I leave this written here for the record too. (Should I still wonder why do believers have such a bad impression about non-believers?)

If this video could change my mind, it would do it in the opposite direction than the intended one. I would reject a religion whose followers would see this video as “helpful fiction”. Well, what do you know, I already did!

Have a nice afterlife.

A.

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Threads
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quote:
Originally posted by Launchywiggin:
I remember this stuff as a kid. I remember them telling us to go up to random people and ask "Do you believe in Jesus?"--and I did it a few times. Always felt weird.

There was a scene like that in Jesus Camp. It was when they were in the bowling alley and it was very awkward.
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DevilDreamt
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Wow. This is hilarious. Angel bouncers. Overly-dramatic. Misplaced anger. I mean, honestly, if events played out like this for me, I'd be furious at God and the angels, I wouldn't care at all about the people on Earth, it's not their fault.

This would make a great post card and summary all in one:

A letter form Hell -

P.S. Wish you were here.

I was rolling on the floor with laughter at this point. He signs the letter, and even adds a witty barb at the end. Some friend he turns out to be! "Wish you were here." In Hell, terrified and suffering with me? I guess I'm not surprised he ended up in Hell, he seems like a self-centered individual incapable of accepting the consequences of his own actions.

I'm pretty sure it's been mentioned before, but I'll say it again. Making Christians feel guilty is like shooting fish in a barrel. With a cannonball. And the barrel is mounted to the end of the cannon. So you really can't miss. You get the idea.

Anyway, that's the point of this video. It's not a threat, it's a guilt trip, and Christians really love that stuff.

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Occasional
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"Believing in Jesus means you trust him at his word that he will save you if you sincerely repent. It involves acknowledging that he was more than a man [literally the Son of God] who has power to deliver you from hell. At least, that's my jibe on it."

That is a nice and quick summary of what Mormons believe it means to know Jesus, although I added clarification. However, even Christians on Hatrack have expressed this is NOT what it means. To them and especially to those who made the video it means:

You have to believe that Jesus is God incarnate as a Trinity of God, Jesus Christ and Holy Ghost of the same substance and personage. God (who is also the Resurrected Jesus) is a Spirit and has no body or shape of any kind. You have to believe all of this on top of what pooka said or you still will go to Hell. At the same time, if you reject this and still believe in the saving power of Jesus that is worse than not believing in him at all.

That is only the start. There are a lot of other things you must believe to avoid hell. In fact, there are many things that if you believe even when you believe in the saving power of Jesus you will still end up in hell. It all sounds so simple to "believe in the salvation of Jesus," but when you actually confront Christians of this type you find they mean something very complicated. That is why, as someone pointed out earlier, it didn't make sense that Jesus was brought up many times and didn't count.

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Hank
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I found this more funny than threatening. I think even people who thought this made a valid point would be able to see that it was a tad bit over-the-top.
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pooka
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Does it even pretend to be biblically based? I haven't actually watched it and don't intend to.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Strider:
while the comment may have been uncalled for, it's worth pointing out dab said he hated "religion" and not "religious people", and is suggesting people can be good to each other without the organization.

It's still rude because it's akin to saying, "I don't hate educated people, but I hate organized education and what it does to people."

Why can't we all learn without all that other BS?

I for one do not consider the religion I love, that has been so good to me and all those around me BS.

I am grateful when people recognize that while some horrible things have happened under the banner of religious belief, it does nobody any good to blanket all religion, as if anybody really understands them all and say they are worth less then nothing.

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Dagonee
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quote:
However, even Christians on Hatrack have expressed this is NOT what it means. To them and especially to those who made the video it means:

You have to believe that Jesus is God incarnate as a Trinity of God, Jesus Christ and Holy Ghost of the same substance and personage. God (who is also the Resurrected Jesus) is a Spirit and has no body or shape of any kind. You have to believe all of this on top of what pooka said or you still will go to Hell. At the same time, if you reject this and still believe in the saving power of Jesus that is worse than not believing in him at all.

Could you link to the posts wherein Christians on Hatrack have expressed this?
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Occasional
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You have expressed this many times to me, unless I have misunderstood. I knew you would question my statement for some reason. Perhaps because you still don't know how hurtful it is to be called non-Christian or Christian of a different Christ.

Agreed that this hasn't been stated on Hatrack outright like the kind of Christians who create video's like the above. However, the implication has been present. I will also admit that the Christians on Hatrack are much more tolerant and charitable than many others I have met.

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Samprimary
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Dear <hypothetical Christian friend>:

I died and in the afterlife it turns out that the rules governing all that stuff actually turns out to be remarkably like the stuff in those Chick tracts. So even though I lived a good life and was charitable and empathic and kind and self-sacrificing, I'm being consigned to hell for all of eternity because I didn't follow a couple of technical rules. The angels coming to cast me into the lake of fire told me that their hands were tied on this issue and that it's my fault for not assuming before my death that the rules of one specific evangelical subset of a specific form of protestant Christianity was true and all the rest were totally not true.

At first I was complaining that this was totally weak but then a Yanomamo boy from deep in the jungles of south america pointed out that he was going to hell too as he hadn't even really heard about Jesus from, well, much of anyone. I agreed that he got dorked even harder than I did.

Anyway, the point of this letter is to let you know that it's pretty much all your fault and I want to endlessly guilt you for not taking every opportunity to wave a bible in my face. if only you were more like those pliable drones in Jesus Camp, maybe you could have saved me. Shame on you. Shaaaaame. Here's hoping you are more or less terrified into tossing chick tracts at people and preaching at people during wildly inappropriate times. You might as well start with your jewish and buddhist friends by constantly reminding them how totally wrong their religion is. You don't want to be further shamed by your lack of zealotry, do you? You had better get started because, after all, the man in charge is apparently such a stingy git about the afterlife.

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Occasional
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Try the thread for a discussion on what "Christian" means. And yes, to be "Christian" means to believe in Jesus.
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Dagonee
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quote:
You have expressed this many times to me, unless I have misunderstood.
No, I haven't.

quote:
Try the thread for a discussion on what "Christian" means. And yes, to be "Christian" means to believe in Jesus.
Let's see, in that thread I said:

quote:
To be clear, I think both definitions are accurate. If I were making an organizational chart of world religions, I'd have "Mormon" under the branch labeled "Christian."
Moreover, I may have missed it, but I don't see where I stated that anyone is going to hell. Perhaps you could point that out to me.

To reiterate, I have never, to the best of my recollection, said this: "You have to believe that Jesus is God incarnate as a Trinity of God, Jesus Christ and Holy Ghost of the same substance and personage. God (who is also the Resurrected Jesus) is a Spirit and has no body or shape of any kind. You have to believe all of this on top of what pooka said or you still will go to Hell. At the same time, if you reject this and still believe in the saving power of Jesus that is worse than not believing in him at all." Nothing you have linked, or can link, will contradict this fact.

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SoaPiNuReYe
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I didn't even know godtube existed...
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Bokonon
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
It's still rude because it's akin to saying, "I don't hate educated people, but I hate organized education and what it does to people."

To be fair, though, we have all been educated stupid.

-Bok

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Javert
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quote:
Originally posted by SoaPiNuReYe:
I didn't even know godtube existed...

"What does god need with a tube?"
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Strider
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Bok wins. Thread over.

Blackbade, like I said, I'm not saying the comment wasn't rude. I was just pointing out that Puffy's example of not hating atheists even though they have just as many flaws as everyone else, wasn't completely apt.

Dab said, "i hate religion. can't we all get along without it" and puffy responded, "hey, i don't hate atheists!" It would have been more proper to respond with, "I don't hate atheism". That's all.

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Icarus
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On the contrary. Javert wins.
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777
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I like the LDS concept of Hell. To us, Hell isn't necessarily some hideous place of fire, brimstone, and ungodly demonic beings flaying us alive. To be sure, there is probably some place in Outer Darkness that could be somewhat like that, but that's only for those who want to be in that kind of condition.

In the LDS tradition--from what I understand--Hell is rather the gnawing, eternal feeling that, had you done better in mortality, you could've obtained a higher degree of glory than the one you're currently in.

For those unfamiliar with LDS doctrine, there are three distinct degrees of glory that the entirety of mankind is separated into post-Judgment.

1. Telestial. For all of those that willingly mocked and disobeyed God--but had no direct knowledge of his reality. Unrepentant sinners come here. Of course, this is still a degree of glory; from what I understand, the average man would, upon having a vision of this kingdom, kill himself just to come here. They have the direct presence of the Holy Ghost.

2. Terrestrial. For all of those who repented post-Mortality. They have the direct presence of both Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost, and can minister to those who dwell in the Telestial kingdom. The ratio of glory from this kingdom to the Telestial kingdom is probably about the same as that of the Telestial kingdom to mortality--in other words, a pretty big ratio.

3. Celestial. For those who were obedient and good in life. They have the direct presence of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, dwell in glory, and--at the highest tier--are deified. Same ratio to the next-lowest kingdom probably applies here, as well.

So, we can see that even if you're a blatant sinner, you'll get something pretty awesome; if you're somewhat repentant after death, you'll get something even better; and if you've been a good little boy or girl, you just might get the grand prize. Pretty sweet, isn't it?

Of course, if you ever meet God after you die before judgment, and decide to spit in His face, you'll be exiled for time and all eternity, removed from His glory forever--but hey, who's nuts enough to do that with all the rewards going the other way?

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777
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Oh, and Bok--that site hurts my brain. A lot.
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Strider
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quote:
Originally posted by Bokonon:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
It's still rude because it's akin to saying, "I don't hate educated people, but I hate organized education and what it does to people."

To be fair, though, we have all been educated stupid.

-Bok

I love that he has this companion site with one line of text and one link.

It's beautiful.

[ January 26, 2008, 02:08 PM: Message edited by: Strider ]

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0Megabyte
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"Of course, if you ever meet God after you die before judgment, and decide to spit in His face, you'll be exiled for time and all eternity, removed from His glory forever--but hey, who's nuts enough to do that with all the rewards going the other way? "

Depends on the nature of said god and its attributes, along with the personality of the person potentially doing the spitting.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Bokonon:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
It's still rude because it's akin to saying, "I don't hate educated people, but I hate organized education and what it does to people."

To be fair, though, we have all been educated stupid.

-Bok

Having to read that website and other word compositions with the same flavor to me would be hell. Geez, I am still reeling from that website.
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Nathan2006
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I like what CS Lewis had to say about getting into heaven...

In Mere Christianity, he said (I'm Paraphrasing sooo much right now, it's been so long) that the Bible just says that anybody who is in heaven, is there because of Jesus Christ.

The Bible never said that the belief in Jesus Christ is the only way in to heaven. We're just told that if we believe in Christ, it's guaranteed. (This is a 'once saved, always saved'* belief. There are some christians who think there is more to do after salvation in order to get into heaven.)

Instead, we're told that 'no one comes to the father except through me [Jesus]' Note that it's Jesus himself, not the belief in him.

We have no way of knowing how far Jesus' mercy extends to those who don't believe in him. God never decided to tell us. We just know that if somebody ends up in heaven, it's going to be because of Jesus, however roundabout their relationship with him may be.

That's my personal belief.

* Once save, always saved is the belief that after Salvation, you're a Christian as long as you want to be. The other belief is that you are saved as long as you perform certain actions. i.e refraining from drinking achohol, attending church every Sunday, etc.

Both groups of people do acknowledge that 'Faith without works is dead'. They're just in different areas of that spectrum. Some fall more towards faith, others towards works.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Depends on the nature of said god and its attributes, along with the personality of the person potentially doing the spitting.
Not really. Not if there's eternal suffering and loneliness on the other side of the equation. How many people do you know, of any religious or non-religious stripe, who would remain steadfast in the face of such a thing?

Of course, it could come to be rather like the situation in A Thousand Deaths, that old short story by Card, where not just acceptance but true sincerity is required.

This isn't a slam against atheists or anyone else, it's simply a comment on human nature. Few enough people can keep steady even under brief, physical torment. Fewer than that can endure it for lengths of time.

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Olivet
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quote:
Originally posted by Launchywiggin:
I remember this stuff as a kid. I remember them telling us to go up to random people and ask "Do you believe in Jesus?"--and I did it a few times. Always felt weird. They've certainly gotten more dramatic with their presentation. I remember being terrified, though--with the "left behind" movies they made us watch, and the idea that some people who died would be in fire for eternity.

I hope I make better decisions with my kids.

Ditto, pretty much. Except I overheard my kids creating a video game character and arguing over whether to call it "Zombie Jesus" or "Jesus Claus" so I probably went a tad too far in the other direction...
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Javert
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Dear <hypothetical Christian friend>:

I died and in the afterlife it turns out that the rules governing all that stuff actually turns out to be remarkably like the stuff in those Chick tracts. So even though I lived a good life and was charitable and empathic and kind and self-sacrificing, I'm being consigned to hell for all of eternity because I didn't follow a couple of technical rules. The angels coming to cast me into the lake of fire told me that their hands were tied on this issue and that it's my fault for not assuming before my death that the rules of one specific evangelical subset of a specific form of protestant Christianity was true and all the rest were totally not true.

At first I was complaining that this was totally weak but then a Yanomamo boy from deep in the jungles of south america pointed out that he was going to hell too as he hadn't even really heard about Jesus from, well, much of anyone. I agreed that he got dorked even harder than I did.

Anyway, the point of this letter is to let you know that it's pretty much all your fault and I want to endlessly guilt you for not taking every opportunity to wave a bible in my face. if only you were more like those pliable drones in Jesus Camp, maybe you could have saved me. Shame on you. Shaaaaame. Here's hoping you are more or less terrified into tossing chick tracts at people and preaching at people during wildly inappropriate times. You might as well start with your jewish and buddhist friends by constantly reminding them how totally wrong their religion is. You don't want to be further shamed by your lack of zealotry, do you? You had better get started because, after all, the man in charge is apparently such a stingy git about the afterlife.

Samp, I used the above in sort of response/parody of the letter to Hell. I haven't posted it to my YouTube yet, because I really want to get your permission first. And give you credit for writing it, unless you prefer to remain anonymous.

It's one of my finer acting jobs, I might add.

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Reshpeckobiggle
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Nathan, The Last Battle is a bit more explicit than that about non-Christians getting to Heaven. I think most Christians would do a lot better by reading what Lewis had to say about Heaven and what it means to be a Christian.

Regarding timecube.com, I can't believe I've gone through life without knowing about this website. Absolutely hilarious. I love how it builds up the wisest human being, and then it shows the man. He looks like my grandma's brother, who's retired in Ocala, Florida. I'm sorry if this offends, but my favorite line is: "Mother and father gave me birth, not a queer jew god."

[Edit] He's going on about Santa now... my sides are starting to hurt. I can't believe I've been educated stupid all my life.

[Edit again] There's another page! A letter to the Wisest Human Being on Earth:

"Dear Mr. Ray-
For a year now I have studied your Time cube truths but have not been able to convince others of its reality (dumbasses). My mother is a teacher, and she said it was "nutty" and "stupid." But guess what- I cornered her, literally, in the living room one evening, and forced her to admit it."

I'm sure you did.

[ January 26, 2008, 07:34 PM: Message edited by: Reshpeckobiggle ]

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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Strider:
quote:
Originally posted by Bokonon:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
It's still rude because it's akin to saying, "I don't hate educated people, but I hate organized education and what it does to people."

To be fair, though, we have all been educated stupid.

-Bok

I love that he has this companion site with one line of text and one link.

It's beautiful.

You know, it used to be that people like this would xerox a bunch of weird rambly crud together and post it on bulletin boards. I actually used to collect them. But now theres the web.
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rollainm
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Javert, you must give us a link to that once you post it.
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Javert
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quote:
Originally posted by rollainm:
Javert, you must give us a link to that once you post it.

Will do. It's all done, just waiting on the writer's go-ahead. [Smile]
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rollainm
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Did you add any background sound effects? I could have sworn I heard a cow mooing in the original.
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Javert
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quote:
Originally posted by rollainm:
Did you add any background sound effects? I could have sworn I heard a cow mooing in the original.

Not much. A little opening music, some pictures as opposed to just the words, and I lowered the pitch of my voice using my software.
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rollainm
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Well, you need a cow. Or better yet, a goat.

Get to it!

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