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NaturalMineralWater's avatar

If you died and met God face to face and He asked you "Why didn't you believe?" What would you tell Him?

Asked by NaturalMineralWater (11267 points ) January 5th, 2010

What would you respond when He says he left it all there for you in the Bible? He had churches all over the world. He had wonderful advertising.. even if some of it was done in bad taste.

At that penultimate moment of judgment, how would you react/respond?

Secondary question:
– If you died and met Satan face to face and He asked you “Why didn’t you believe?”

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152 Answers

frdelrosario's avatar

“Because the Phoenix Suns never won a championship, asshole.”

marinelife's avatar

You created me with doubt and skepticism.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

“Well God, even without believing, I still got some face time with you after I died, didn’t I?”

Lorenita's avatar

Luckily I belive

CMaz's avatar

I would not have to tell him, he would already know.

And “He” would be cool with it, letting me in.

SarasWhimsy's avatar

To God I would say: Because the people you put in your churches believed more in themselves and in money than in you. Because you left behind a book where people lived for 200 years but in my time science (that you created) taught us that is impossible.

To Satan I would say, “Oh I believed in you, I saw you everywhere.”

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@Marina GA. Were I not a believer, it’s likely what I would say.

@SarasWhimsy What if He quoted Matthew 7:5 on you? “5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

oratio's avatar

If there is a god, it’s not likely s/he would care. If s/he cares, I would say s/he didn’t deserve it.

If one leads a life doing good, it should be enough, and if there is a god up there that needs constant recognition and devotion, well… I think we have enough of that down here.

Edit: Same goes with red sparky. I would tell them both they are needy and far too human.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@oratio I understand what you’re saying but you didn’t answer the question. wink

vanphan's avatar

I would ask:

“What about the many people in pockets of the world that have no chance of being exposed your bible, churches, and wonderful advertising? Even if they lead perfect, selfless, kind lives, are they still condemned to the supposed Hell just because they never heard of you?”

I didn’t “believe” because He is inconsistent with everyone around the world.

Sebulba's avatar

He knows everything why would he ask me this? And even if he knew why i didn’t believe and wanted to ask me just to see what answer he’ll get he would already know what i would say so…

Austinlad's avatar

Well, He would KNOW whether I believed or not, so I think an honest answer would be the wise thing to do. ;-)

Snarp's avatar

I would say, come on, you gave me this brain and the ability to reason and expected me to believe that? How could I?

mattbrowne's avatar

If I died and met Satan I would tell him, “Hey, I’m a German Protestant and I don’t believe in Hell. Now get rid of this silly Halloween costume.”

Snarp's avatar

If it was satan: Wow, seems like She kind of made it easy for you to recruit, huh?

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@Sebulba I think it would be akin to how He asked Adam in the garden of Eden “Where art thou?” Of course He knew where Adam was.. but perhaps it was a way to make Adam accountable for himself. Just a thought.

@vanphan I’ve often thought of that myself and I wonder if the whole “age of innocence” thing includes those people.. because of course I don’t believe that a baby, not knowing, would go to hell as well. Good point though.

HTDC's avatar

“Damn it those religious fanatics were right!!”

nisse's avatar

“you didn’t provide enough evidence”

Sebulba's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater i can’t accept the “talking snakes” story as true and that is another example of how controversial the whole “god” thing is

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@HTDC That would be one hell of a way to figure that out! Literally!

@nisse and were He to respond by quoting Hebrews 1:1? “1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@Sebulba So you’re changing your answer to God to “Because there’s no such thing as talking snakes?” XD

nisse's avatar

@naturalmineralwater I would tell him it looked more plausible the bible was made up by some prehistoric nutjob.

LostInParadise's avatar

I would say, “Until this moment, I never found the slightest bit of evidence for your existence.”

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@LostInParadise At least you concede to the “Until this moment” bit… that’s more than many are able to admit. XD

@vanphan That actually is plausible.. lol… just because someone is a nun doesn’t give them a free ticket.

Snarp's avatar

@vanphan GA for SMBC.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Why did you need me to believe? Were you that insecure?

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@aprilsimnel I seriously doubt that you would be so caustic when confronted with such power. That’s just dishonest and/or whimsical. XD

the100thmonkey's avatar

“You didn’t exactly give me any reason to, did you?”

dpworkin's avatar

I’d ask him who’s stronger, Superman or John Henry?

Snarp's avatar

@pdworkin Or the Hulk, the Thing, or Thor?

aprilsimnel's avatar

And what’s this “if”? I know I’ll die. And there’s the nub. People are afraid of oblivion after they die. Well, where were you before you were born?

Don’t make excuses. If a being created us with free will, then why should we crouch and bow and scrape? Why am I not free to ask what I like? Why should I be afraid to ask? And if that pisses it off and it sends me to “hell” for asking a simple question, then it will have answered it by its’ behavior. What is the point of creating entities with a free will if we’re supposed to be afraid of our creator? What sort of sadist is it? We’re only loved if we obey and show fear and awe? That’s not love. And if that’s the sort of being I’m supposed to worship, then it can send me to hell.

Zaku's avatar

How about, “I thought you were supposed to know everything.”

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@aprilsimnel I’m not proposing to know God’s perspective on anything .. I’m just willing to bet that if He does, indeed, exist.. that He is a powerful being.. and you would likely be a little scared of being so rebellious at that point. That’s just my thought on it. As far as your perception of such a God being a “big meanie” as it were.. I think, at that point, it would be irrelevant. It is what it is at that point.

I just tend to doubt that the creator of all life would really stoop to a pissing match with one of his creations. XD But again.. I’m just guessing.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

How in the world could you expect me to believe when you never showed up, not even once, and never gave even the slightest bit of tangible evidence that you existed?

Futomara's avatar

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?” – Epicurus

“We are all atheists about most of the gods humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.” – Richard Dawkins

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@Rufus_T_Firefly What if He asked you how many times you went to church with an open heart?

Holden_Caulfield's avatar

I would respond with’ ” I did!” The fact that the universe is perfect and works like a machine tells me their is an intelligent creator… from the Big Bang to life… and even evolution… mathematics, existence, balance of elements and their properties… nature… the list goes on and on and on. Everything is equally balanced. He proved himself!

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@Holden_Caulfield Wow, unexpected answer in this community. XD I happen to agree. Even if I don’t understand it all.. it certainly doesn’t appear to be very random in the big scheme of things.

Qingu's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater, which god are you talking about? My answer would be different for Zeus than for Yahweh or Marduk, etc.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@Qingu Does it really matter? Because it seems fairly obvious that you don’t believe in any of them. You can answer to whichever God you want… until/unless it really happens one day.

Qingu's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater, of course it matters!

What would you say to Zeus if you met him and he asked you why you didn’t sacrifice him any hecatombs?

For my part, I would say “Lord of lightning, please forgive me and have mercy. The fates have apparently destined your worshippers to die out and gave rise to false gods and philosophies that have deceived me and many others. I do not question the fates and I do not question your judgment, but I promise to do your will in the Elysian Fields or elsewhere in Hades.”

I think Zeus would go for that fearless honor kind of schtick. Whereas with Yahweh you’d probably have to grovel a bit more because he’s significantly more of a dick than your average polytheistic pantheon head.

janbb's avatar

Oy gevalt!

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@Qingu Please forgive me for not responding further to you. I find your sarcasm a bit tedious.. and come to think of it.. I think I recognize you from another site some time back. XD

Qingu's avatar

Which site?

And by the way, I’m completely serious. Your god is one of hundreds worshipped by human beings; he’s not even the most popularly worshipped god (that would be Allah). Seeing as different gods have different qualities and characteristics, your question ought to be more specific.

I think the real problem is that you are presuming that your god is the only god on the table. So much that you think my attempts to point this out amount to “tedious sarcasm.”

Thomas0620's avatar

I would ask him why it had to be a matter of belief? An omnipotent supreme being doesn’t need to reveal itself through dreams and clandestine appearances to a few human beings, but could certainly choose to appear in the open to all mankind. So why the game? I have many thought on why, but that’s for another day.

laureth's avatar

What would you say if you died and got to the river Styx and Chiron asked you for your coins to ferry you across into Hades proper? (Your family will leave you some coins, right?)

I’d probably say something similar. :)

JLeslie's avatar

I would tell God because you gave me a brain and people who do believe and carry your message many times seem to lack logic. Also, that it was always difficult for me to believe that a superior all-knowing being could ever be so hateful to condemn or punish someone for not believing in them when they have lived a good honest life with integrity and love, the very things supposedly God wants. It seems impossible to me that God wants to be worshipped more than he wants us to help each other.

I would also question why God makes it so mysterious, why not speak to us every day on how to better ourselves and live in paradise. Why come here 2000 or 5000 years ago, or whichever faith we are accepting here, and then test people to see if they will buy into it all thousands of years later. It seems mean and cruel. I cannot believe God would be that mean or cruel.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

srs god: Y u no believe in me, Max Powers? :(
Me: Because, two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer lolol (coolface.jpg).
angry god: ಠ_ಠ

Qingu's avatar

@Thomas0620, the god of the Bible isn’t exactly omnipotent. He fucks up creation the first time he tries it and has to push the reset button with the flood.

He also is unable to help his chosen ones defeat a tribe on the plains because they had iron chariots.

Not to mention the whole “oh here’s these perfect laws for you to follow… oh wait, it’s physically impossible for you to follow them? Better knock up some virgin chick and then kill the kid, as a sacrifice to myself—of myself, weird huh?—so that you guys can ask him for forgiveness and don’t all have to get tortured forever by me for not following the impossible laws I gave you.”

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@Thomas0620 I’m curious about that as well.. but it would be too late to wonder at that point. I can’t pretend to guess His/Her motives. I’m just a simple human being.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater : I’d respond that I did so thousands of times as a child and a youngster and yet never once in all that time did he show verifiable proof of his existence.

JLeslie's avatar

@Qingu off subject..what year was the flood? I’m serious, not being sarcastic. And, have you ever wondered if Jesus was killed by a gun if Christians would wear a bullet around their neck? Lucky he was killed on a cross

Snarp's avatar

Ooh, Ooh, I got a good one Mr. Kotter!:

Why didn’t I believe in you? Because if everyone believed in you we would have no free will, and the faith of the believers would be worthless. You needed me, they needed me, to make their faith meaningful.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@Rufus_T_Firefly I think being a child in church that you don’t fully comprehend the significance. Hell, I didn’t pay attention in church as a youngster… I was likely half asleep and day dreaming about some girl I liked whilst waiting for any opportunity to remove my tie.

So.. how many times as an adult?

Ghost_in_the_system's avatar

It is completly amazing how arrogant a person can be to say how they are going to talk to God like a red headed step child. When you are in his prescence , I doubt you will say anything of the sort. If you say anything at all, it will be a lot of begging.

Siren's avatar

Nothing. He already knows why since he’s God. But I may hang my face in shame :)

Qingu's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater, that whole “I can’t guess his motives” thing only gets you so far, because the Bible is often clear what his motives are.

When he kills everyone in the flood it’s because he “regrets” making us and wants to start over. Then when Noah makes a burnt offering Yahweh likes the smell—just like polytheist deities—and gets second thoughts.

When he commands the you to kill rape victims who are raped in cities, it’s because Yahweh presumes that a woman raped in a city who doesn’t scream loud enough for help to come is a willing participant in her rape.

When he commands the Israelites to commit multiple genocide against the Canaanites and other tribes in the promised land it’s because he doesn’t want their culture to pollute the purity of the Hebrew culture.

When he allows Satan to torture Job and kill his children and Job asks why, God is like “WHO ARE YOU TO QUESTION ME PUNY HUMAN” but of course we the audience know that God is just trying to win a bet with Satan—the start of the story says so.

Qingu's avatar

@JLeslie, according to the Bible the flood happened shortly after the Sumerians learned how to make glue.

Of course the flood myth in the Bible is basically a carbon copy (with the god names and morals changed) of earlier Babylonian and Akkadian flood myths. So I’m not sure why anyone would try to date the flood based on the Bible when the Bible’s story is clearly derivative of earlier pagan mythology…

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater : That may or may not be true. At some point we have to take what we are taught as truth. However, as an adult, I most certainly do fully comprehend the significance. Hindsight is nearly always 20/20.

Qingu's avatar

@Ghost_in_the_system, out of curiosity, how hard would you beg if you died and ended up before the feet of Lord Osiris?

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@Ghost_in_the_system and @Siren GA’s. I find it a bit hilarious that people aren’t willing to even admit for a second that they would be in any way submissive to such a being.

If I were to meet Satan, I certainly wouldn’t be a pompous, sarcastic, asshole.. same goes for Zeus or the flying spaghetti monster or pick-your-favorite-would-be-deity.

Holden_Caulfield's avatar

In response to the secondary question: Were I to meet Satan face to face and were asked why I didn’t believe… I would respond with, yet again, ” I did!”. As I stated before.. the universe is a perfect place of balance and harmony and none of us would be here today were that not the case (could go into so many scientifc facts that support this, but it would take a book…) but regardless, There is not good without evil… one cannot exist without the the other. So after I responded to his question with the fact that I DID believe, I would follow it up with my own question… “Why are you still trying to trick me into believing something else?” And with that, I would be transported back to God, having passed my final test in this life…

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@Rufus_T_Firefly Well, this scenario would certainly put a couple of telescopic lenses on that hindsight you’re talking about. XD

@Holden_Caulfield Hooray! Someone answered the other question. XD It’s easy for people to slip into not believing in God w/out acknowledging that if God does exist.. even Satan believes in Him no doubt.

Qingu's avatar

@Holden_Caulfield, that’s an interesting proposition. I’m curious as to how you would define “evil” though.

Do you think slavery is evil? What about genocide?

Something tells me you may have the sides to your “balance” backwards…

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater : I find it hilarious that anyone would willingly submit to a non-resident landlord of a god who procrastinates until a person dies to give such an an awe-inspiring show, which, if it had been given while they were alive, would have most certainly changed their minds in his favor. As for being submissive, too many people live their lives as submissives to their own private god now and I’d wager that most of them truly think their god is the right one. What would that god say to them?

rhodes54's avatar

“It’s not that I didn’t believe in YOU, I just didn’t believe in what Man was doing in Your name.”

janbb's avatar

Why didn’t you believe in me?

robaccus's avatar

Tomlinson:

Now Tomlinson gave up the ghost in his house in Berkeley Square,
And a Spirit came to his bedside and gripped him by the hair—
A Spirit gripped him by the hair and carried him far away,
Till he heard as the roar of a rain-fed ford the roar of the Milky Way:
Till he heard the roar of the Milky Way die down and drone and cease,
And they came to the Gate within the Wall where Peter holds the keys.
“Stand up, stand up now, Tomlinson, and answer loud and high
The good that ye did for the sake of men or ever ye came to die—
The good that ye did for the sake of men in little earth so lone!”
And the naked soul of Tomlinson grew white as a rain-washed bone.
“O I have a friend on earth,” he said, “that was my priest and guide,
And well would he answer all for me if he were by my side.”
—“For that ye strove in neighbour-love it shall be written fair,
But now ye wait at Heaven’s Gate and not in Berkeley Square:
Though we called your friend from his bed this night, he could not speak for you,
For the race is run by one and one and never by two and two.”
Then Tomlinson looked up and down, and little gain was there,
For the naked stars grinned overhead, and he saw that his soul was bare:
The Wind that blows between the worlds, it cut him like a knife,
And Tomlinson took up his tale and spoke of his good in life.
“This I have read in a book,” he said, “and that was told to me,
And this I have thought that another man thought of a Prince in Muscovy.”
The good souls flocked like homing doves and bade him clear the path,
And Peter twirled the jangling keys in weariness and wrath.
“Ye have read, ye have heard, ye have thought,” he said, “and the tale is yet to run:
By the worth of the body that once ye had, give answer—what ha’ ye done?”
Then Tomlinson looked back and forth, and little good it bore,
For the Darkness stayed at his shoulder-blade and Heaven’s Gate before:—
“O this I have felt, and this I have guessed, and this I have heard men say,
And this they wrote that another man wrote of a carl in Norroway.”
—“Ye have read, ye have felt, ye have guessed, good lack! Ye have hampered Heaven’s Gate;
There’s little room between the stars in idleness to prate!
O none may reach by hired speech of neighbour, priest, and kin
Through borrowed deed to God’s good meed that lies so fair within;
Get hence, get hence to the Lord of Wrong, for doom has yet to run,
And. . .the faith that ye share with Berkeley Square uphold you, Tomlinson!”

. . . . .

The Spirit gripped him by the hair, and sun by sun they fell
Till they came to the belt of Naughty Stars that rim the mouth of Hell:
The first are red with pride and wrath, the next are white with pain,
But the third are black with clinkered sin that cannot burn again:
They may hold their path, they may leave their path, with never a soul to mark,
They may burn or freeze, but they must not cease in the Scorn of the Outer Dark.
The Wind that blows between the worlds, it nipped him to the bone,
And he yearned to the flare of Hell-Gate there as the light of his own hearth-stone.
The Devil he sat behind the bars, where the desperate legions drew,
But he caught the hasting Tomlinson and would not let him through.
“Wot ye the price of good pit-coal that I must pay?” said he,
“That ye rank yoursel’ so fit for Hell and ask no leave of me?
I am all o’er-sib to Adam’s breed that ye should give me scorn,
For I strove with God for your First Father the day that he was born.
Sit down, sit down upon the slag, and answer loud and high
The harm that ye did to the Sons of Men or ever you came to die.”
And Tomlinson looked up and up, and saw against the night
The belly of a tortured star blood-red in Hell-Mouth light;
And Tomlinson looked down and down, and saw beneath his feet
The frontlet of a tortured star milk-white in Hell-Mouth heat.
“O I had a love on earth,” said he, “that kissed me to my fall,
And if ye would call my love to me I know she would answer all.”
—“All that ye did in love forbid it shall be written fair,
But now ye wait at Hell-Mouth Gate and not in Berkeley Square:
Though we whistled your love from her bed to-night, I trow she would not run,
For the sin ye do by two and two ye must pay for one by one!”
The Wind that blows between the worlds, it cut him like a knife,
And Tomlinson took up the tale and spoke of his sin in life:—
“Once I ha’ laughed at the power of Love and twice at the grip of the Grave,
And thrice I ha’ patted my God on the head that men might call me brave.”
The Devil he blew on a brandered soul and set it aside to cool:—
“Do ye think I would waste my good pit-coal on the hide of a brain-sick fool?
I see no worth in the hobnailed mirth or the jolthead jest ye did
That I should waken my gentlemen that are sleeping three on a grid.”
Then Tomlinson looked back and forth, and there was little grace,
For Hell-Gate filled the houseless Soul with the Fear of Naked Space.
“Nay, this I ha’ heard,” quo’ Tomlinson, “and this was noised abroad,
And this I ha’ got from a Belgian book on the word of a dead French lord.”
—“Ye ha’ heard, ye ha’ read, ye ha’ got, good lack! and the tale begins afresh—
Have ye sinned one sin for the pride o’ the eye or the sinful lust of the flesh?”
Then Tomlinson he gripped the bars and yammered, “Let me in—
For I mind that I borrowed my neighbour’s wife to sin the deadly sin.”
The Devil he grinned behind the bars, and banked the fires high:
“Did ye read of that sin in a book?” said he; and Tomlinson said, “Ay!”
The Devil he blew upon his nails, and the little devils ran,
And he said: “Go husk this whimpering thief that comes in the guise of a man:
Winnow him out ‘twixt star and star, and sieve his proper worth:
There’s sore decline in Adam’s line if this be spawn of earth.”
Empusa’s crew, so naked-new they may not face the fire,
But weep that they bin too small to sin to the height of their desire,
Over the coal they chased the Soul, and racked it all abroad,
As children rifle a caddis-case or the raven’s foolish hoard.
And back they came with the tattered Thing, as children after play,
And they said: “The soul that he got from God he has bartered clean away.
We have threshed a stook of print and book, and winnowed a chattering wind
And many a soul wherefrom he stole, but his we cannot find:
We have handled him, we have dandled him, we have seared him to the bone,
And sure if tooth and nail show truth he has no soul of his own.”
The Devil he bowed his head on his breast and rumbled deep and low:—
“I’m all o’er-sib to Adam’s breed that I should bid him go.
Yet close we lie, and deep we lie, and if I gave him place,
My gentlemen that are so proud would flout me to my face;
They’d call my house a common stews and me a careless host,
And—I would not anger my gentlemen for the sake of a shiftless ghost.”
The Devil he looked at the mangled Soul that prayed to feel the flame,
And he thought of Holy Charity, but he thought of his own good name:—
“Now ye could haste my coal to waste, and sit ye down to fry:
Did ye think of that theft for yourself?” said he; and Tomlinson said, “Ay!”
The Devil he blew an outward breath, for his heart was free from care:—
“Ye have scarce the soul of a louse,” he said, “but the roots of sin are there,
And for that sin should ye come in were I the lord alone.
But sinful pride has rule inside—and mightier than my own.
Honour and Wit, fore-damned they sit, to each his priest and whore:
Nay, scarce I dare myself go there, and you they’d torture sore.
Ye are neither spirit nor spirk,” he said; “ye are neither book nor brute—
Go, get ye back to the flesh again for the sake of Man’s repute.
I’m all o’er-sib to Adam’s breed that I should mock your pain,
But look that ye win to worthier sin ere ye come back again.
Get hence, the hearse is at your door—the grim black stallions wait—
They bear your clay to place to-day. Speed, lest ye come too late!
Go back to Earth with a lip unsealed—go back with an open eye,
And carry my word to the Sons of Men or ever ye come to die:
That the sin they do by two and two they must pay for one by one—
And. . .the God that you took from a printed book be with you, Tomlinson!”

Rudyard Kipling

JLeslie's avatar

@Qingu I use the expression from the day of the flood and recently someone asked me, “what flood?” I just replied, “THE flood, biblical flood, it’s just an expression to mean a long time ago.” They had no idea what I was talking about.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@Rufus_T_Firefly I believe the awe inspiring show is right there for the taking. But that’s coming from my own personal 20/20 hindsight. I wasn’t always a believer myself.

janbb's avatar

@JLeslie So I suspect “antedeluvian” would mean even less to them?

Michael_Huntington's avatar

If i were to meet Satan, we’d have tea and biscuits and talk about our favorite albums (You thought Ziggy Stardust is the greatest album ever, too?! HIGH FIVE) and then he’d be like “Okay, you’re promoted to Purgatory, it’s been cool talking to you and keep it metaaaalll!”

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@Mike_Hunt I could expect nothing more from someone with a name like yours. XD

Merriment's avatar

To god I’d say ” Don’t think of me as a non-believer, think of me as your loyal opposition”.

To Satan, I’d say “Oh I believed in evil but I thought it was just the guy down the street…You know you do look like him!

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater : I apparently require more tangible evidence before I’d be willing to sink back into the religious quicksand.

JLeslie's avatar

@janbb I did not know that term, thank you, that will be my vocabulary word for today. I live in the bible belt for Christ’s sake. My husband’s name is Salomon, when he says it quickly with his accent we usually get a, “huh?” So I say it more clearly with a little helper, “Sol-o-mon, like the King.” They still are confused. How can you not know the story of King Solomon?

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@Rufus_T_Firefly It also requires that you are even remotely receptive to the possibility that some of it is true. It’s not all quicksand… of course there is certainly a lot out there.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater : Until one of the invisible sky gods makes a personal appearance and demonstrates their omnipotent benevolence and leaves some good ol’ solid evidence for us to remember him by, it’ll all be quicksand to me.

avvooooooo's avatar

That the Bible was written by fallible men and that I choose not to believe in religion as it is often just used as a tool to manipulate by the power-hungry and the self-righteous. But that what I believe as far as a higher power is different, independent, and what I really believe that a higher power would want, free of a “will” that’s oft misinterpreted and manipulated.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@Rufus_T_Firefly Well that is unfortunate. Cancel the awe and inspiration.

Holden_Caulfield's avatar

@Qingu I define evil as something that is opposite of good… The opposite of treating mankind with goodness, caring, and wholesomeness. So how do I justify Genocide and Slavery… simple. They are All products of man which are inherently evil, though man tries to do what is right and good through it’s moral compass. But they cannot as they have been corrupted and are immoral. Selecting a supreme being as the cause of what man perpetuates is passing the buck to something/someone else. We have been given free will to choose. The basic human emotion that supports that is love. We are given a choice to love God or reject him. If we were built upon the principle that we unconditionally loved a God, then what purpose would that serve?!? Sure, according to the Bible, God “makes” things happen, but if you really read it… they are things that are mostly of man’s making. We can hold the supernatural discussion for a later time… but ultimately, if there is a superior being who is a designer and creator of all things… including us… then who are we to question why and how that supreme being goes about constructing our environment?!? Even if he has a “hand” in things, does that mean he doesn’t have a reason for why he does it to culminate into his ultimate plan for reconciliation?!? If we were in fact created and there is an ultimate outcome as a result… or are we as the fruition of that creation to try and assume we know the reasons or outcome?!?! Point being that all bad ( you described, and all good) ulimately serve some purpose that we may or may not ever know. There is nothing wrong with that… Personally, I like the fact that someone other than me is steering the wheel… and that maybe… just maybe… I have a purpose beyond the misery I endure from day to day in this life. Just a thought! ;)

Qingu's avatar

@Holden_Caulfield, how do you square your thoughts on slavery and genocide with the Biblical god’s laws that command slavery and genocide?

Deuteronomy 20:10—
When you draw near to a town to fight against it, offer it terms of peace. If it accepts your terms of peace and surrenders to you, then all the people in it shall serve you in forced labour. If it does not submit to you peacefully, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it; and when the Lord your God gives it into your hand, you shall put all its males to the sword. You may, however, take as your booty the women, the children, livestock, and everything else in the town, all its spoil.… But as for the towns of these peoples that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, you must not let anything that breathes remain alive. You shall annihilate them—the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites—just as the Lord your God has commanded, so that they may not teach you to do all the abhorrent things that they do for their gods, and you thus sin against the Lord your God.

How can slavery and genocide be the products of evil humans when Lord Yahweh specifically commands both of them? See also Leviticus 25:45 and 1 Tim 6:1, which explicitly allow owning slaves. See also the entire book of Joshua, which is basically a celebratory catalogue of multiple God-ordered genocides.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

Unfortunate for whom? You? Organized religion? Certainly not for me. I get more than enough awe and inspiration from nature and everyday life. I don’t need to worship a deity to enjoy the many random joyful events of life.

Holden_Caulfield's avatar

@Qingu It boils down to a simple matter for me… I do not question the reasoning behind a God who created me. He has his reasons and it all works out for the greater good. In order for him to be God, he must have balance. To me, that means that with love, he must also have anger/justice/what ever you must call it. In this particular passage, he is using people to overcome what he feels is a blasphemony to him and his image. If he created all oif us, and he feels it is justified, then he is exerting his will. true?!? Whether or not the people carry it out is a choice of FREE WILL. The Bible always states consistently that those who do not carry out the will of God, will ultimately pay the price. Again, all things, both good and evil, work toward the greater good of God’s ultimate plan of redemption. Yes, people die, live hoirrible lives in captivity, suffer incomprehensible torture… but there was never a guarantee in this life that people would experience the contrary. Since the fall of Adam, only the contrary has been guaranteed. I appreciate where you are coming from… I really do. But you are trying to apply human logic to godly logic. It will never make true sense until you stop trying to understand histhoughts from YOUR perspective and open up and try to understand from HIS perspective. I am not saying you are wrong… I am merely trying to point out that we do not have all the answers as humans. We are not the ultimate intelligence. Something else is. And if we could think like He does do… then we would have all the answers as to why.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@Rufus_T_Firefly Perhaps one day you will wonder just how “random” they are. At any rate.. I’m glad you were able to find the awe and inspiration you needed.

Haleth's avatar

I don’t like the premise of this question because it assumes that there is a God and a Satan and that anyone answering the question is a sinner/ nonbeliever. I was raised by an active church-going family and as kids we got asked questions like this sometimes in Sunday school. It just seems like a paradox to me. The Christian teaching that stuck with me the most was all the lessons about humility, but many Christians are so arrogant about the certainty of their belief. I’m an agnostic, because I don’t believe that I am able to know with certainty whether there is a god or life after death. I don’t believe that any person is able to know that for sure.

fireinthepriory's avatar

I’d say that I couldn’t explain away the complexity of life with something even more complex. That makes no sense to me. And that I would have liked to believe…

Qingu's avatar

@Holden_Caulfield, I’m not asking you to question Yahweh’s reasoning for his genocide. His reasoning is spelled out in the text and it’s exactly the same as Milosevic’s reasoning, or the Janjaweed in Darfur, or Hitler’s—ethnic cleansing. The Canaanites deserve to be killed so their way of life doesn’t survive to pollute the chosen ones’ culture.

I’m asking if you think genocide and slavery are evil. Earlier you said they were, and that they were the product of evil men. Now you’re saying they’re God’s will and you’re not going to “question” it because you’re a mere human who’s just following orders.

Do you think it’s good or evil to carry out God’s will? Should we be killing all the Iraqi and Afghan males and enslaving their women and children, without questioning God’s will?

Is your problem with genocide the fact that it involves the mass slaughter of unarmed civilians, women, and children, or do you have no problem with genocide per se, so long as it is sanctioned by your deity?

Supacase's avatar

Because you require submission, praise and blind faith. You are not above human emotion, which I believe any divine being should be.

Because you do not treat us with the respect you require us to show you.

For Satan: I thought you were simply a scare tactic.

Qingu's avatar

You know Satan barely figures into the Bible at all. In Job he’s like God’s annoying sidekick. In the New Testament Paul and others basically use him as an excuse (I mean seriously, “I was on my way to visit you guys but Satan blocked my way” ... it’s like Satan is Paul’s version of invoking road construction)

A lot of the characters often identified as Satan—the serpent from Genesis 3, the beast from Revelation—aren’t Satan at all. The serpent is just a serpent; there’s no indication it’s anything more. The beast and the other fun creatures in Revelation pretty clearly correspond to people in the Roman Empire when it was written (likewise with the Babylonians in Ezekial’s and Daniel’s apocalypses).

So I guess I would ask Satan how he managed to get so famous/infamous.

poisonedantidote's avatar

aren’t you supposed to already know that?

tinyfaery's avatar

To the god you are referring to I would say, because I would never choose to believe in such a hideous creator.

To Satan I would say. Why do we need a Satan when there is already a horrible god?

Zaku's avatar

@Qinqu Thanks for taking the time to study the Bible and share references to the ironic bits that don’t get much press in popular chats about Christianity.

As for how Satan got so famous, I know at least that he was a very popular theme in Renaissance plays.

wonderingwhy's avatar

I’d tell god the truth – “I had no need to.” same goes for satan.

Supacase's avatar

You know, @Ghost_in_the_system, I probably would be speechless and in awe. You are right.

Ria777's avatar

I would say, “I still don’t believe.”

denidowi's avatar

I would say, “I ALWAYS Believed”

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@Haleth I’m not claiming to know anything with this question. Take the question at face value. I’m only proposing a what if question out of curiosity mostly… I don’t claim to have scientific evidence of a God.. (personally, I think science.. being deduced and largely “created or analyzed or discovered” by man is potentially far too rudimentary to answer such a profound question as “Is there a God?”.. many are not able to open their mind to this possibility..

I also wanted to find out which people in the collective are able to put themselves outside of their own paradigm to answer a question.. Often I find that I am not able to do so and I have to catch myself and re-open my mind to the question… hopefully this thread provoked some such thought in someone’s mind..

FlipFlap's avatar

I would say, “Pffft!” and point my finger at you and say, “You must be talking to that one over there. I know you don’t mean me!”

Qingu's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater, do you really believe that it’s impossible for man to know if there’s a god?

You seem pretty confident that a huge number of gods are nonexistent. Do you think it’s impossible to know if Zeus exists because science is man-made?

nisse's avatar

I would tell satan: I died with 666 lurve, that must be worth something.

janbb's avatar

@nisse Oops – I just “GA’d” you and probably ruined your quip! Sorry ‘bout that.

SABOTEUR's avatar

I’d say, “Sorry, Sir! I didn’t understand free will came with stipulations!”

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@SABOTEUR That’s a good answer.. but it’s also the division by zero aspect imho. God isn’t forcing you to choose anything in this scenario .. only asking why you didn’t make one choice over the other.

SABOTEUR's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater: That’s way over my head. All I know is if God exists, and He wants me to “believe”, then it’s well within His power to “make it so”.

Besides, what kind of parent gives you permission to do as you will, then penalizes you for your choice?

As it stands, I do believe, but not for fear that I’ll be punished for making the wrong choice. I believe because given the information I’ve been exposed to, my limited intelligence convinces me that my choice is correct for me. I also believe that others with different information, with greater or lesser intelligence may very well decide quite differently.

Am I right? Am I wrong?

I don’t know.

I can only go with what makes sense to me.

fireinthepriory's avatar

@SABOTEUR Here, here!! Best argument for believing in God I’ve ever heard, sir.

dalepetrie's avatar

God, as you know, I did not believe in you “specifically”, but as I’m sure you also know, I have always believed that anything, even your existence, is possible. But allow me to answer your question by asking a few of my own. First and foremost, why would you, a being of infinite wisdom, infinite power, the creator of all, even care if any one of the 7 billion people on the planet earth did or did not believe in you? Do you not exist if we do not all believe? If you wanted to be certain that I believed, why did you make your existence so implausible to the beings to whom you gave the ability to reason and the capacity to doubt? Why did you imbue me with logic then make all the evidence related to the big existential questions point to an answer other than you? Unless you meant for me to doubt, why would you have made your followers accept you as a matter of blind faith, rather than the reason and logic, the capacity for which you put inside each of us? And had you really wanted me to believe, why couldn’t you have put at least one other person on Earth who could have answered these questions for me, so that I might have opened my eyes to your existence? I have chosen to believe only what can be proven and to treat everything else as a theory, because that is how you made me, that is because of the ability to think, to question and to reason which you have given to me. I have believed, because it is logical to do so, that if you truly did exist, and were truly all powerful, that you would not also have an ego so great to allow you to punish people who were good and decent but who did not believe in you, while allowing people who were evil and who hurt others to enter your kingdom if they gave themselves to you. An all knowing, all seeing, benevolent creator would not make that mistake, and if I as a mortal can see that, I had to assume that if you did exist, you too would be rational and intelligent enough to see that as well. If I am wrong, and if I must suffer for being wrong, all I ask is that you answer these questions for me. I will however take comfort in the fact that I have lived a right and just existence.

Haroot's avatar

“You gave me as much reason to as any work of fiction.”

denidowi's avatar

@dalepetrie – I don’t think you are allowing for the other HALF of the equation – namely, Satan.
The choices are there for Everyone to make, but it seems that because it is generally the easier path to follow, most choose Satan’s path to confusion, doubt, crime and lies etc.
So YOU tell me.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Christian God: Why didn’t you believe in me, Simone?
Simone: Because I didn’t need to, next
(the next referring to the next god – you don’t think that your god is the one and only, do you? that’s laughable)

Satan: Why didn’t you believe in me, Simone?
Simone: I gave you a child, didn’t I?
(jk on that…Satan wishes he’d be so lucky)

Fyrius's avatar

“You know bloody well why.”
He’s omniscient, after all.

Like many others here, I would contend that I drew the most reasonable conclusion from the data he supplied to me.
If he appreciates reason, I don’t think he would condemn me for that.

If he doesn’t appreciate reason, that’s my cue to stop caring about what he does and does not appreciate. I’d remind him that reason has given us science, which makes it possible for us to avert and soothe damn near all the premature death and pain and misery his omnipotent kindness decided not to save us from. I’d call him out for creating a universe full of violence and suffering and expecting us to believe it’s all like that because he’s such a nice guy, and if he only wanted life forms that never made up their own minds in ways he doesn’t agree with, he should have stuck with the amoeba.
Yeah, I’d probably get a bit angry if he says that.

At any rate – I would continue when I’d calm down – I lived my life doing my best to be a good person.
If heaven is only for people who believed in the right set of unsubstantiated dogmas, who were lucky enough to be born into the right culture and were too stupid ever to reconsider, then good fucking riddance. I wouldn’t be convinced anyway that any amount of fire and brimstone could be much worse torture than having to put up with that lot for all eternity.
Christians on earth aren’t that bad, but up there I’d never hear the end of how they were right and I was wrong. And I’d spend at least the first few decades defending that I was wrong for the right reasons and I would prefer that to being right for the wrong reasons any day of the week.

Rarebear's avatar

I’d say, “If you’re really an omnipotent God then you already know. If you don’t know, then you’re not a God.”

ninjacolin's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater: “You know me better than anyone. If the evidence was sufficient for my belief to occur, I would have believed.”

Ivan's avatar

If you died and met (fill in the blank: random deity) face to face and he asked you “Why didn’t you believe?” What would you tell Him?

benjaminlevi's avatar

I didn’t believe in you for the same reasons I didn’t believe in Allah, Thor, Zeus, the flying spaghetti monster…

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@benjaminlevi
yeah maybe we can call a conference or something so that we don’t waste our breath on all of them – set up a power point, you know?

Ivan's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir

Included in this power point will be a thorough explanation of how Pascal’s wager is bullshit. It will only take half a slide or so.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Ivan you got it, you work on that one

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

I’m not quite sure why everyone is insisting that I’m limiting this to one God. In fact, I specifically said to at least one person that this question could be answered based on a deity of your choosing. The idea of a one and only God is a completely different question.

I see the vague relation.. being that your answer may slightly differ based on the God being answered.. but… couldn’t people just choose one and answer instead of flaming everyone who believes in a one true God? Just sayin…

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater well, that’s why we are doing a conference.

Qingu's avatar

@denidowi, actually, the choices aren’t between God and Satan.

As it turns out, they’re between Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu.

Silly Christian, you thought out of all the religions in the world, the one with the 3-in-1 Jewish zombie and the talking snakes and donkeys was the right one? Bahahaha! No, it’s actually Zoroastrianism.

Why did you choose Angra Mainyu, the Destructive Spirit, instead of great and holy Ahura Mazda, our lord and creator and savior?

Qingu's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater, because the premise of this question is a Pascal’s Wager and you know it.

And Pascal’s Wager is a fallacy based on the false premise that there are only two choices—the one true god and Satan.

There isn’t “one true god.” There’s thousands of gods out there, hundreds claiming to be the “one true god.” If you’re arbitrarily going to choose just one of these you need to explain why you’re choosing that one out of all the gods on the table.

dalepetrie's avatar

@denidowi – sorry, but I have to be honest, your quip made zero sense to me. I’m not sure how I’m not allowing for Satan, I’m simply stating what I would say to God if I died, He was real, and He asked me why I didn’t believe in Him. If Satan is part of the answer that God would give to me, say for example, faith is actually more logical than what we call logic and the only reason we don’t see it is that Satan has created confusion so we think up is down, left is right and so on, OK, fine. I do not presume to know what God’s answer would be to my questions, where and how Satan would fit into the big picture. And another thing that confuses me, based on your quip, you seem to think that “most” of humanity follows Satan’s path….WOW, I don’t know what to say about that. It must be tough going through life believing that most of the people you meet are inherently evil.

Fyrius's avatar

@Qingu
I’d like to add that if you think Pascal’s Wager makes sense, then you have no excuse not to wear a tinfoil hat.
There either does or does not exists a conspiracy to read your mind by means of rays that tinfoil can block, and either you do or you don’t wear a tinfoil hat. If there’s no conspiracy and you have a hat, the worst thing that could happen is that you make yourself look like a dolt. But if there is a conspiracy and you have no hat, they’ll eavesdrop on your thoughts.

denidowi's avatar

@dalepetrie – I believe it was the Master Himself who said in counsel to His disciples:
“Call no man good…” and “For ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God”
But I am sure that you, yourself, realize that you sure do have forces pulling you towards taking the easy way out in many situations – which you realize is not usually the right way.
I’m sure your life would have realized that by now… and I am equally sure that you have seen even yourself make wrong moves, judgments and actions at times.

So I don’t believe you will find we are so different – you and I – after all

Fyrius's avatar

@denidowi
Side note à propos of “taking the easy way out”: I believe that in many situations, it is faith that is the easier option, and doubt is the right thing to do that takes more of a spine. It’s definitely more work to examine the facts and it often takes more courage to face what they mean, than to tell yourself that notion A is always absolutely true everywhere and stop worrying.

Qingu's avatar

@Fyrius, eh. Faith can be difficult. Obedience to Yahweh seems especially problematic.

I mean, could you go into a city in the promised land and not only kill all the soldiers, but then spear all the women and drop the little babies on stones, per God’s command in Deuteronomy 20:16 to “let nothing that breathes remain alive” in such places?

Not committing genocide would be the easy way out for me in that case.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Thanks for the answers guys, it was very interesting. Personally, if I were to meet a being of such power, benevolent or otherwise. I think I’d be speechless.. but when words returned to me after time..I would either be completely thankful that it was the God I always believed in.. or remain in respectful awe of whatever God it happened to be.

To those talking about Pascal’s Wager.. uh.. no.. this is just a what if question.. it need not be so over-analyzed. I think there is a basic misunderstanding of the premise of Pascal’s Wager anyway if you think it is in any way a part of this question.

@Qingu Thank you for keeping the conversation going despite my lack of participation in response to you. I do appreciate the provocation of thought.. even if I disagree with it.

dalepetrie's avatar

I definitely have to agree with @Fyrius, especially as it relates to the Christian faith. How easy would it have been for me, growing up in a Christian family, in a Christian society, to just follow along and accept the answers to all the big questions which were just laid out for me…all life’s mysteries wrapped up in a neat little bundle known as religion? How much grief would I have NOT been subjected to if I hadn’t had to tell my family that I thought the whole idea was ludicrous? How much easier would it be for me to always do the right thing if it were more to me than just a matter of doing the right thing, but a matter of existential consequence? I tend to believe that most people are inherently good, but most people are also inherently self-serving, such is human nature…survival of the fittest leads us to serve our own interests above others. This doesn’t make people inherently evil, just inherently human. I don’t believe people need to have some mythical red creature with horns and a pitchfork guiding them to serve their own interests, but I do think for some people, the ability to empathize is weaker than for the rest of us. It is the human trait of empathy which makes us good people, it makes us want to do unto others as we would have done onto ourselves, not religion. If you NEED some deity to tell you that, if the ONLY reason you treat people well is because YOU are afraid you’re going to Hell, then that really makes you a far worse person in my book than someone who does not believe but who treats others with kindness, respect and dignity, simply because it’s the “right” thing to do as a human being.

ninjacolin's avatar

If god exists he simply hasn’t been very convincing, that’s all there is to it.

Fyrius's avatar

@Qingu
Fair enough.

denidowi's avatar

@dalepetrie – I could certainly agree with the last half of that last entry.
We should be motivated enough towards other people’s needs as well as our own to do the right thing generally, out of love and out of responsibility to a community: we should not necessarily be motivated by any desire to avoid ‘a hell’.
Personally, although I think it is good to want to live with God Forever, I do not think that this should be our PRIME motivation either, for good.
I AM Christian… in fact the LDS Church… and although I certainly want to go to Heaven to live with my Eternal Father Forever, I still think that the first motivation for doing the right and helping others should be the Love we want to develop for them.
Good should primarily be the result of our personal Charity for others – for life in general, which charity “seeketh not her own”” ... but is freely given.

denidowi's avatar

@Qingu – so you’re saying that “Zorro” is God??
I always DID kinda Dig that Zorro character… I hope he’ll take that into consideration when he whips out that sword of his in Judgment, although holy writ tells me there, that his “word is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword“LOL ;)

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@dalepetrie There is far more to the deity I believe in than the propogation of fear. I can’t speak on behalf of all religion.. but for me.. if that’s all it was.. I think it would have the reverse effect as it apparently has on you.

@ninjacolin If it were in His design to create robots who automatically believed in Him, he would be a far less impressive being, imho.

ninjacolin's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater For me, the issue is that he’s only as impressive as he is convincing. Actually, i think that’s just how it is for anyone. No one is impressed by anything they find impossible to believe.

dalepetrie's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater – I’m not trying to imply that there isn’t more to deity than propagation of fear, just pointing out that aspect of it, that it is one facet that makes “going with the flow” and following what my family and society went with, easier than questioning what I was told.

denidowi's avatar

@dalepetrie – Again, it takes ALL kinds to make a world… and believe me. all kinds, including myself, are ‘out there’LOL!!! ;)
There are the fear-mongers in ANY belief system.
They also exist in atheism… just on different points of life – that’s all.

On the other hand, I know that many Christians, for instance, will tell you that they do not worship God to satisfy any ‘fear’ aspect, despite your own experience, or what you NOTICED of it, in your childhood.
All kinds exist in all societies.

dalepetrie's avatar

@denidowi – just to clarify, I don’t think most Christians don’t worship out of fear, I think worship is a function of faith. I just recognize that within Christian dogma, there exist certain tools to keep one from questioning the answers as it were. Nor do I think that everyone just worships they way their parents did by default. I’m just saying that for those of us who have independently come to the conclusion that the idea of God defies logic and is contradicted by information we know to be factual, not to mention how fanciful many of the bible stories are if you simply look at them objectively, for those of us who just don’t have this inherent quality of “blind faith” keeping us from even entertaining the idea that maybe religion is a fallacy, the fear based elements are a barrier to being able to apply logic to religion. When one applies logic to religion, religion does not come up looking very good, but religion is not about logic, it’s about faith. So, if you’ve never felt something or seen something that convinces you that religion has the answers, one becomes more reluctant to question religion if one is scared that one will suffer an eternity of hellfire if one does question religion.

But I’m not trying to say that fear ONLY exists within Christianity or religion, nor am I saying that Christianity and/or religion are ONLY about fear. Just pointing out one small aspect from my point of view, namely, and this is ALL I mean by this observation, that it would certainly have been easier for me to NOT examine the faith my parents tried to instill in me, I mean even if one small part of me thinks that I am condemning myself to an eternity of unimaginable suffering by simply asking questions, I become a lot less willing to ask those questions. But no, it’s not what religion is about, and it is not the sole providence of religion, never meant to imply that, nor did I think I had…my apologies if any of you took me to be making a blanket statement like that…I simply would never make such a blanket statement, the world is not black and white.

denidowi's avatar

@dalepetrie – Yes; well, my Friend, even by the way you speak concerning how religion was presented by your ‘mother’faith’, it was certainly not a representative view to foist that fear aspect upon you quite as it happened in your instance. These threads exist, but the real Christian focus is upon the Positive of following God not as much, the negs for not doing so… and what WAS there in neg form has certainly turning quite to a different perspective today.
This is even more the case in ‘my’ Church today – the LDS [Mormon] faith

Qingu's avatar

@denidowi, Zoroaster is the prophet of the good god, Ahura Mazda. He’s not actually God.

You know, sort of like how you believe Joseph Smith was God’s prophet. And like how you believe the Mormon church leaders all became God’s prophets in the 1970’s when God told them that they should reverse their policy of not letting black people join the church leadership. (Your God seems to work in mysteriously convenient ways…)

dalepetrie's avatar

@denidowi – Not so much about how my mother presented religion, just “it is what it is”, the concept that I hear from basically all the Christians that I know, all the services I’ve attended, etc. is that the rules are, you have to accept Jesus as your savior in order to get into heaven, that’s just Christian dogma. If you don’t go to heaven, generally you go to hell. That’s all I refer to. I don’t look down on Christians and I know that a lot of good comes from the community of church and such, I’m just saying that there are things built in to religion to keep you from questioning what it says.

denidowi's avatar

@Qingu – Oh… that’s poor Luck!!
I thought you were referring to ZorroLOL!!
Much the pity ;) i kinda liked the Zorro idea better.

@dalepetrie – thanks for that.
Yes; I think you’re right there generally=speaking. I know that is not the belief of the latter-days Saints however.
We believe, as i understand it, that hell is endured by “the wicked” for 1000 YEARS – then they are released from Satan’s chains, having paid the price of their sins in the flesh, but go into a lower Kingdom than that of God, their Father.
Note: we are not clear whether a person must suffer this ‘1000 yr Hell’ merely because he did not believe in Christ. The doctrine does not seem clear enough on this.
The description for those suffering a hell is “the wicked”, who loveth and maketh a lie, adulterers, sorcerers, thieves, scandalous, murderers, etc – Genuine mischief-makers it seems to me

laureth's avatar

This is the first I’ve ever heard that Hell is only temporary. Usually I get told I’ll burn for eternity. May I ask where the basis is for it in the Gospel (or wherever it’s found)?

ninjacolin's avatar

I’d like to change my answer. I still agree with them before, but now I believe there’s a better way to express it:

Why didn’t I believe in you? Because beliefs are caused, they aren’t freely or whimsically chosen. Nothing caused me to believe in you until this very moment, otherwise, I would have believed in you earlier. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a cloud to surf on and 77 virgins to deflower.

Fyrius's avatar

@laureth
I think he’s talking about purgatory. It’s another papal invention you won’t find anything about in the bible.

And I always find it funny when people say they’re not sure about the details of something like what happens to you after you die. They say that like the rest is factually established.

denidowi's avatar

@laureth – I think if you read Doctrine and Covenants Section 76, you’ll find some very astounding prophetic revelation on the After-life that would be well beyond anything you have previously read.
Good luck with it.
BTW, if you can’t get it from your local library, it is a Publication of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints…

And to answer @Fyrius ‘s interpretation, NO… absolutely NOTHING like the Pope envisions… NoLOL!

Janka's avatar

“If you wanted me to believe, why did you not answer my prayers in my youth, and give me a living faith? Why did you instead give me a brain and reason and evidence that lead me another way?”

I probably would not dare add “What the **** kind of benevolent, all-powerful being are you supposed to be? Any 10-year-old would do a better job.” But if I did, it would be quite appropriate, given the above.

Coexist's avatar

“Not enough evidence.”

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