How many times do I have to be damned for all eternity, I wonder?  Is that like having 6 consecutive life sentences?  Is there ever any break between suffering, or is it non-stop misery for all time?  How will my body hurt if I don't have one?

A theist asked a ridiculous question about us being able to see in 3D and how that could only have happened if we were created by God yadda, yadda, yadda.  She asked me a question, so I answered it to the best of my ability.  Then, when she didn't get the answer she wanted, she damned me to suffer for all eternity because I "refuse to believe the truth!"

And then I got the well-now-you've-heard-the-truth-so -you-can-choose-to-damn-yourself bit.  I take great delight in saying, "No, I don't believe.  I won't believe.  I can't believe."  They seem to think there is some magical switch by which I can manifest faith in something that sounds completely absurd to me.  I know I could allow myself to be indoctrinated, but that seems, at the very least, like it would be going mind-bendingly against reason and sound judgment.  

Am I to leave these at the door then?  Do I just forget a lifetime of being who I am, learning what I have learned, and here's the important part... to avoid the suffering that comes from lack of faith in their deity?  Do I do this to make them happy?  What if it destroyed my psyche?  Would they care?  What do they really want, I wonder?  What would satisfy them?

Then she told me my heart was closed to Him and that I have made a choice to deny Him.  This woman knows nothing about me.  I try and try to let Christians like her know who I am.  The fact is they don't seem to care, even though they say they are doing this because they care.  It saddens me that people do this to other people.  

I cannot be where I am not at.  I can only be where I am.  As far as this issue goes, they, their deity, their literature, and my life experience have utterly failed to convince me any god exists, let alone Jesus.  Threatening me with suffering doesn't change that.  What I think she was trying to offer me is a way to deal with the inevitable misery that happens in life.  I get that.  It sounds nice, but I still don't believe it.  

Views: 421

Comment by joshua james on July 15, 2012 at 1:15am

i believe you get a half hour break for anal fisting. if you're into that stuff then thats a break, i guess

Comment by Diane on July 15, 2012 at 11:34am

I suppose it would break up the monotony anyway.

Comment by Brian Daurelle on July 15, 2012 at 2:57pm

You seem secure enough in your convictions-- perhaps it's time to stop acting like the victim here and view this situation from a different viewpoint. What I would see here, as an observer, is a woman seeking validity for her comforting delusions in confirmation by others. Think of what an existential threat your easy lack of faith must represent to someone who believes that the only route towards morality, happiness and salvation is through belief in a certain jewish zombie. By adopting this attitude, you'll shift the paragidm away from the struggle between evangelist and bull-headed gentile, which is a major source of purpose and validation in many believers' lives.  As soon as you stop subscribing to the worldview of the religious, in which an atheist is an anomaly, you may perhaps start to see the motives and insecurities behind this woman's faith, and may find yourself in a position to help her start shedding her superstitions. 

Comment by Diane on July 15, 2012 at 3:37pm

You've got some good points, Brian. I really don't want to feel, be, or sound like a victim. Part of what I was doing was ranting a bit here so I wouldn't rant at her.

What would be even better, if I get your point correctly, is to be able to have a discussion with someone like her without having the need to rant. I've moved in that direction, yet I can see I have opportunity for growth here.

I'm not sure about trying to help anybody shed their delusions, at least on purpose. I understand that if I can shift my way of thinking in the way you suggest, it might have that effect anyway. And besides, I think it would be a better place for me mentally. I am surrounded by evangelical Christians. I like to think I've done well, but I can do better.

Thanks for the input. As I said in my post, I can only be where I am right now, but it is helpful to have a vision of where I would like to be.

Comment by James Cox on July 15, 2012 at 5:04pm

I have been condemned to hell as many as three times in a week, which I think was a record. If I stay home, tend my garden, putter in my shop, read books, play with our puppies, and love my wife, it can be months before my next 'cursing to hell' event. The closest I get to a good cursing at home is 'why did you leave dishes in the sink?' It helps to have married a newage, prissy white light kind of gal, thank you 'god', ok what ever...;p)

Being accussed of having a 'hard heart', happens rairly, I think even my local christian friends realize that I am a rather nice guy, I just don't have any 'good' christian sense.

I am not very good at using the common metaphorical language that allows such an obvious hand-shake between christians. I am about as close as you can get to a 'christian' illiterate, and if I can even talk to them at all, I need to use more practical english, which might sound broken and sparse, since about ~30% of the lexicon is missing!

If we could encode evolution into the christian lexicon, we might succeed in a communication bewteen what seems to mutually alien species. But I expect that such a communication would involve a real Godel's Incompletness limit. ;p).


Comment by Milly on July 15, 2012 at 5:24pm

What I've found useful is when someone tells me "You're going to hell because you've rejected our savior!" is to simply look at them with a look of pure incredulity and say, slowly and gently as though speaking to a small child, "No, I can't go to hell, because it, like god and heaven, doesn't exist."

After that, the conversation can go one of two ways. The theist can go off on a long rant about "my eternal damnation" and how "accepting Jesus into my heart will save me" or the theist will look dumbfounded for a moment, then make some weak, final argument and leave.

In case of the first scenario, one can simply laugh or roll one's eyes, internally ridiculing the theist, but still give the theist the illusion that they have won. :)

Comment by James Cox on July 15, 2012 at 5:30pm

Allowing a theist to 'save face' might be a nice way of building a world where every nitch is safe.

Comment by Doug Reardon on July 15, 2012 at 6:43pm

Anytime you blow a theist's arguments out of the water they inevitably retort: "I'll pray for you."  Which is christianese for "fuck you!"

Comment by Diane on July 15, 2012 at 8:47pm

I don't necessarily like to debate them, but I do like to answer their questions if I can.  I go back and forth between wanting to not even bother with them to wanting them to clearly understand that not everybody believes in a their deity or any deity at all.  I want to be true to myself and have a voice.


Comment by Unseen on July 15, 2012 at 11:17pm

Most theist descriptions of Heaven sound pretty hellish to me.


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