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How come atheists do not accept that religious believers want to help others to be saved from eternal damnation?

God is not mean. Though he created Hell as well as Heaven, He has given us a means to access Heaven if we would only listen to His Word. If you love someone else, you would want to make sure that they would go to Heaven, just like you would want to protect them from any other devastating event like a preventable disease. Atheists are wrong in not protecting their loved ones, especially their children, in this way.

Posted: June 1st 2007

George Locke

It’s easy to see that there was a good intention behind the Inquisition

Intentions aren’t everything.

Posted: November 19th 2007

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SmartLX www

I do understand that religious believers want to save others from damnation, the way I accept that they believe in God. I just think that they’re wrong; there is nothing supernatural to be saved from and no god to be saved for, and the pursuit of salvation is the perpetuation of a whacking great falsehood.

It’s a bad bet even if one acknowledges the possibility of judgement because, as I explained in the Pascal’s Wager question, saving someone according to one religion pretty much invalidates the person in the eyes of every other one. Assume there is a god, and there are infinity-minus-one chances in infinity that you’re backing the wrong horse. I’m not a gambling man, and I’m not gambling with my loved ones either.

In the words of Stephen F Roberts, “When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

Posted: November 18th 2007

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jonecc www

One of the reasons why religion is so dangerous is that it encourages people to do terrible things for noble reasons. Augustine, for instance, supported the torture of heretics on the grounds that if they recanted they would be spared infinitely greater tortures in the afterlife.

And I entirely fail to see why the God of hellfire could be characterised as not “mean”, given that his own followers believe that he is planning a bonfire which would make Auschwitz look trivial.

Posted: June 10th 2007

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bitbutter www

If a person sincerely believes in hell I believe that the only ethical way for them to proceed is to do all that they can to prevent their loved ones ending up there. In fact if hell exists it is a very noble thing to dedicate your life to trying to save others from eternal torment, just as many evangelists do.

The trouble is that this noble behaviour springs from a false premise. Thankfully there is no good reason to suppose that hell exists. Efforts to 'save souls’ turn out to be a tragic waste of very precious time—especially when they are 'successful’!

Posted: June 4th 2007

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