Heaven and Hell

So if hell isn’t there then that would mean that heaven is not about as well.
now I don’t belive any of this god and praying stuff so I don’t think there is an argument to answer too.
It seems that the Church made it all up to scare the massess into parting with there money “Don’t pay goto HELL”
anuf said.

Welcome aboard, Swampy, glad to have you with us.

One suggestion – please, when you’re starting a topic here or in the forum COMMENTS ON CECIL’S COLUMNS, please be sure to provide the link to the appropriate column or Staff Report (Mailbag), so that everyone can see what you’re commenting on.Who invented hell?

And, by the way, note that DavidB carefully did not comment on the EXISTENCE of hell, merely on the development of thought. Like, “Who invented gravity?” might track the though process before Newton, and through Einstein, and so forth. Doesn’t say much one way or t’other about whether hell exists, just how people came to develop the understanding/imagery that we have today.

Ok I get it, SO to invent something you have to think of it.
So seeing as the Bible is about 2000+ years old the person or persons that wrote it did not include hell. So I think that some one came up with the idea just to make the god and devil thing more interesting to the massess and find some way to control people. What do you think about that theory then.

I think you should stop regurgitating arguments you read in “Atheism for Dummies”. And it would also help if you read the original article, which certainly does not say that the Bible has no Hell (which it certainly has).

At any rate, the Christian Church certainly did not endure three centuries during which being a Christian was punishable by death as part of a Pinky-and-the-Brain plot to Take Over the World. If Christianity errs, it is not in that way.

So is this thread going to Great Debates or the Pit?

Swampy, we are stepping beyond the scope of the article. Fine, just realize that, and because of that this thread will probably be moved.

swampy said:

Not necessarily. While the two concepts are linked in some people’s minds, as good/bad opposites, certainly not to everyone. Even within the community of those who believe in an afterlife there are plenty who don’t divide that afterlife into good and bad. And there are is a fair percentage of christians that do not believe in the devil as a literal being, but do believe in god as such. These christians tend to think of “hell” as a state of not being with god. How does that work? As I understand it, heaven is being in the presence of god and sharing his love. Hell is being in the next room over and not having to put up with god at all, and thus not feeling his love. If so, I’ll take it. Sounds fair to me.

I think it is a gross simplification of the process of the evolution of religion. Concepts and ideas morph, through the changing of the people, and the introduction of new ideas from outside sources. Mixing cultures with other groups invariably brings new ideas to old religions, and those ideas do get incorporated. Contrary to the idea popularized by many people, religion is not static. It changes with the changes of culture. The methods and reasons of change differ dramatically from the way science changes, so comparisons are not easy.

In order to address your theory, we would need a discussion of the role and purpose of religion, how it develops, how it is codeified, how organizational structure forms in religion. Then we would need to analyze the details of judaism and discuss the above principles in how they played out in this particular case. Note the use of the priesthood to control power through their office.

To grossly simplify, I don’t think it was a crassly done as you imply - a cabal of bright priests sitting in a secret temple devising ways to make the populace behave. “I know, we’ll take our afterlife, and divide it into good and bad, like the Babylonians. God is good, so it will be bliss to be with him, and we’ll give Lucifer - Satan - the realm for the bad. Let’s torture them eternally. Yeah, that’s the ticket.” The truth is most certainly a lot more subtle.

Okay, you may now return to mud-slinging with John W. Kennedy.

OK that was good. I don’t think I will lower my self to sling mud but stand back and watch a master shoot someone down in flames.

Okay, you may now return to mud-slinging with John W. Kennedy. **

But what is a Christian someone who belives in Jesus or the whole God thing. Please feel free to explain this one to me as you feel my simple theory is level with a cartoon. (as watched by most kids in this world thanks to cable)

There’s this new thing called punctuation have you ever heard of it.

On the whole, the best definition of “a Christian” is probably “one who adheres to the doctrines of the Niceo-Constantinopolitan Creed” (the creed traditionally, but inaccurately, called the “Nicene Creed”), except in historical use, where a bit more latitude is needed. At any rate, it certainly does not mean “theist”. Or has the existence of Jews, Moslems, and a thousand other theistic peoples who would be offended to be called “Christians” (and many of whom believe no doctrine remotely resembling Christian eschatology) somehow escaped your notice?

But to return to the main point, it is simply false to history to believe that the Christian doctrines of Heaven and Hell, or their antecedents in late pre-Talmudic Judaism, originated in the manipulations of a power structure. The exact opposite is the case: the Pharisees, who affirmed the Resurrection, were the rivals of the Temple-based Sadducees, who denied it, and Christianity spent its first three centuries as a proscribed religion of the dispossessed.

Punctation is an English language thing.
A language that the Americans like to rip to bits and call it US English as according Microsoft spell check.

Microsoft is one thing; the difference between US and UK English is another. Computers had to deal with that difference when the unspeakable Bill Gates was still sucking dollars from his mummie’s teat.

The plain fact is that US English and UK English have both diverged from their 16th-century ancestor, and that in many respects US English is the more conservative of the two. (For example, the speech habits of the House of Hanover had far less influence over here.)

Not that I particularly admire the continued US-ization of the UK. The fact that one can see three Burger Kings from Waverly Station did not fill us with joy. But what can be done? Between Missus Thatcher’s hot longings for Ronald Reagan and Mister Blair’s hatred of everything British, us ‘Murkans ain’t but had to do nuttin’ save to look on with a vague sense of nausea as Britain slowly disassembles itself.

None of which (sigh!) is relevant to the issue at hand.

Anuf said. I also think that Britain has lost the right use the word Great at the start. (look up the thread why does the UK call itself Great Britain)
Plus I will bow out of this debate about Hell and Heaven. One could end up with a bad headache.

I know I have…