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marnixR
Post  Post subject: the new hell  |  Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:45 am
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it would appear that more liberal-minded Christian theologians have redefined hell as "being separated from god"

I must admit that I don't understand this : how can separation from god be considered a punishment (after all, isn't hell supposed to be some sort of punishment ?)
if you're an atheist then you're presumably already separated from god in your current life, and I must admit that as far as I'm aware this hasn't led to any hell on Earth for me - so how would the same separation in the afterlife (if there is such a thing) all of a sudden become a punishment ?

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geordief
Post  Post subject: Re: the new hell  |  Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 10:52 am

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marnixR wrote:
it would appear that more liberal-minded Christian theologians have redefined hell as "being separated from god"

I must admit that I don't understand this : how can separation from god be considered a punishment (after all, isn't hell supposed to be some sort of punishment ?)
if you're an atheist then you're presumably already separated from god in your current life, and I must admit that as far as I'm aware this hasn't led to any hell on Earth for me - so how would the same separation in the afterlife (if there is such a thing) all of a sudden become a punishment ?

Maybe they are not trying to equate "hell" with a punishment -more a missed opportunity . There seems to be a line of thought in Christianity that it is possible to "know god" directly.

Mumbo Jumbo in my opinion but it would then surely logically follow that the absence of this state also exists (well it doesn't need that logic to be true anyway) and ,therefore they are free to ascribe whatever attributes to it they want.

Who can fathom (know) the mind of theologians or religious propagandists? ;)


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: the new hell  |  Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:08 am
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this is a nice (even if a bit partisan) description of theologians :

the philosopher Andrew Bernstein describes such theological analysis of arcane and unevidenced claims as “ the tragedy of theology in its distilled essence: The employment of high-powered human intellect, of genius, of profoundly rigorous logical deduction—studying nothing.”

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scire
Post  Post subject: Re: the new hell  |  Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:08 am

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marnixR wrote:
it would appear that more liberal-minded Christian theologians have redefined hell as "being separated from god"?

Well, it's like this: God's a poor programmer and he creates his child objects with a strong references. When one of those objects gets separated from the root object, he doesn't do proper garbage. This causes havoc in the whole system.

This could have been all better if he had done a better job of writing a more internally consistent specification.

Or maybe...just maybe, the current book is a RFC and just awaiting for final approval from the specification committee.


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anticorncob28
Post  Post subject: Re: the new hell  |  Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:03 am
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They've realized that NOBODY, not even really horrible people like child molesters and terrorists, deserve hell as traditionally described by major religions: being lit on fire and tortured continuously without rest for an infinite amount of time. Unsurprisingly it's the more liberal-minded ones who realized this first. (How anybody could believe in such a punishment in the first place is beyond me.)

So their more moral punishment is "separation from God". I've had Mormon missionaries describe it to me (I talked briefly about my encounter with them on the thread "What are you doing right now"; you might have seen it).
They said that when you die, you go to spiritual paradise or spiritual prison. Spiritual prison isn't a lake of fire; it's a prison like the ones here on earth, where not only you are separated from God but you feel the emptiness and desperately want to unite with him. You spend eternity in regret and feeling trapped/lonely/depressed, again wishing you could be with God.

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: the new hell  |  Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:30 am
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oh, I see : hell is some sort of anti-Prozac, or Harry Potter's Azkhaban

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wireless
Post  Post subject: Re: the new hell  |  Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:57 pm

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Good God. I will take an extra stacker in the morning. :D


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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: the new hell  |  Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:28 pm
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Somehow that sounds worse than the old fire and brimstone. I'll take the ancient Greek afterlife over that any day.

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: the new hell  |  Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:19 pm
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Do we get to pick and mix our torture? Is it like tapas?

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geordief
Post  Post subject: Re: the new hell  |  Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:05 pm

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Rory wrote:
Do we get to pick and mix our torture? Is it like tapas?

I am surprised Marnix implied it was a new doctrine . My memory may be hazy but I thought I had been aware of this approach to Hell more or less since I was taught religion -so going back around 60 years.

Perhaps it is new to some Protestant religions. I would be less familiar with them but I don't ever remember being frightened of fire and brimstone -it was always being cast out from the presence of god.

Isn't that what is supposed to have been Lucifer's punishment ? Maybe he got special favours ;a sort of liberal Scandinavian penal model with free porno magazines provided by the warden when one of the missuses was not "visiting":D


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: the new hell  |  Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:21 pm
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i didn't mean new as in expounded yesterday, more like being a mid-20th century development

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geordief
Post  Post subject: Re: the new hell  |  Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:49 pm

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marnixR wrote:
i didn't mean new as in expounded yesterday, more like being a mid-20th century development


OK . How did you come to notice that ? You can't be so old. Did you read that somewhere? Or did you just notice that references to a fiery hell lessened in reports after that time?


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: the new hell  |  Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:42 pm
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it came from a remark made by Jerry Coyne in his book "Faith versus Fact", backed up by a number quotations from "modern" theologians

he sees it as the way non-fundamentalist christianity has tried to adapt to modern times and mores, and how some theologians now state that hell is no longer the place of fire of fire and brimstone but merely "being separated from god" - it's the latter statement that i don't understand + doesn't make much sense to me

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geordief
Post  Post subject: Re: the new hell  |  Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:05 pm

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marnixR wrote:
it came from a remark made by Jerry Coyne in his book "Faith versus Fact", backed up by a number quotations from "modern" theologians

he sees it as the way non-fundamentalist christianity has tried to adapt to modern times and mores, and how some theologians now state that hell is no longer the place of fire of fire and brimstone but merely "being separated from god" - it's the latter statement that i don't understand + doesn't make much sense to me

I guess I am indoctrinated so that it "makes sense" to me. I was never really exposed to the "fire and brimstone" outlook and ,since I was a believer at a young age I accepted the "exclusion" rationale without hesitation.

It was only when I ceased to be a believer in that (RC) religion that I felt inclined to question any constituent parts of the belief (although,in all honesty I never had the inclination to revisit that edifice and so maybe they still stand in my mind like Coventry Cathedrals for lack of interest )

So maybe I still accept these old constituent parts of the ideology even though the shell of believing in the whole has disappeared .

What did the Jesuits say ? "Give me the boy ....and I will give you the man" or something along those lines.


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: the new hell  |  Posted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:00 am
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having been born in Belgium, i automatically joined the ranks of catholics at the tender age of a few days old

can't quite remember whether hell was emphasized in any way at all, but the overall impression i had was of an unpleasant place - and obviously the cartoon version did show sulphurous flames, but i'm not sure whether that was ever part of the indoctrination at school

anyhow, as soon as i left all that behind and stopped believing in the afterlife, then heaven and hell became equally non-existent places

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geordief
Post  Post subject: Re: the new hell  |  Posted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:28 am

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marnixR wrote:
having been born in Belgium, i automatically joined the ranks of catholics at the tender age of a few days old

can't quite remember whether hell was emphasized in any way at all, but the overall impression i had was of an unpleasant place - and obviously the cartoon version did show sulphurous flames, but i'm not sure whether that was ever part of the indoctrination at school

anyhow, as soon as i left all that behind and stopped believing in the afterlife, then heaven and hell became equally non-existent places

Did the growth of information technology from the 19th century to the present give a vivid picture to Europeans of a "hell on Earth" and did that steal the Christian Hell's thunder?

The man in the street got a front row seat to the dismal events taking place (esp WWI I would say). Did that experience take away the force of the old fire and brimstone hell and will it come back as our daily communal experience becomes more psychologically bearable (even is an SM way something to look forward to? )

Has the fire and brimstone version of Hell held up better in the States for example which was far more cushioned from the effects of WW2 than Europe?


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: the new hell  |  Posted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:27 pm
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you're possibly overthinking that one

I think it's more to do that if you're born into a religion that's all-pervasive you don't need to be fanatic about it, since it comes without any effort
probably that's why Catholicism didn't need to be sold in Belgium with any visions of a firy hell, since that tool was not needed where herd instinct did the job just fine

that's probably also why many Western European countries have secularised so easily, because for many people belonging to a certain religion was never a conscious decision

I have the impression that in the US the type of religion you adhere to defines far more where you belong in society, and people tend to stick with their religion because it's what defines the community around them to which they want to belong - in short, not having a religion is not belonging, whereas in Europe letting go of your religion did not cut your ties with society, since most of them were on the same journey to secularity anyway

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geordief
Post  Post subject: Re: the new hell  |  Posted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 3:35 pm

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marnixR wrote:
you're possibly overthinking that one

I think it's more to do that if you're born into a religion that's all-pervasive you don't need to be fanatic about it, since it comes without any effort
probably that's why Catholicism didn't need to be sold in Belgium with any visions of a firy hell, since that tool was not needed where herd instinct did the job just fine

that's probably also why many Western European countries have secularised so easily, because for many people belonging to a certain religion was never a conscious decision

I have the impression that in the US the type of religion you adhere to defines far more where you belong in society, and people tend to stick with their religion because it's what defines the community around them to which they want to belong - in short, not having a religion is not belonging, whereas in Europe letting go of your religion did not cut your ties with society, since most of them were on the same journey to secularity anyway


Yes but didn't this change (or re-emphasis) of doctrine come from the top down?

What might have prompted this reinterpretation(relaxation?) of doctrine?

Was the hierarchy responding to the mood of the times and realising that with so much living hell on display that there was less mileage in fire and brimstone as a tool for keeping the membership interested.

I realise that life was very hard and brutal in earlier times but was it less of a mass communal spectacle? People were more isolated and their outlook on the world was more indirect.


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: the new hell  |  Posted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:40 pm
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yes, I think the Vatican does follow the mood of the moment, albeit at a distance of a few decennia
in the end even the enforcers of the faith feel when they're too much out of kilter with the rest of the world

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: the new hell  |  Posted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:25 pm
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Probably when their membership comes down to a dog, a banana and an inflatable dinghy.

Oh, time to modernise again. What's this I hear of round wheels?

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Zinjanthropos
Post  Post subject: Re: the new hell  |  Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:11 am
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What about Satan? He's just softening the Catholics up, via Vatican minds, for the real deal. Hell must need the surprise factor. More fun that way. Besides it's almost Halloween.

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: the new hell  |  Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 7:14 am
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i hear that Satan has a nice villa in Antigua

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