Imprisoned by confusion

I am a 16 year old from Utah. As most are well aware, Utah is the center for Mormonism. My family however, nor I are Mormon. In fact both I and my family seriously disagree with Mormon beliefs. Moreover my mother and stepfather are devout protestant Christians. I was baptized, and raised as a Christian also. I don’t think I ever truly connected with the ideology of Christianity, but it wasn’t until 3 years ago that I truly began to question “my”, beliefs. Since I have spent great deals of time studying physics, mathematics, evolution, and as many have, I saw the simple terror that lie before me. There was a desert where I looked for God. No evidence, no true logic or reason behind this God. And everywhere where God was supposed to do good in this world, I saw only suffering. No men are created equal. You see all these advertisements, films, even news, with some church being built in a third world country, then being destroyed but terrorists, militants. And I ask, “where is these peoples God, does he simple stand by while they are murdered, does he stand by while so many suffer, yet they still pray to him.” I don’t think any God would do that. I think he would actually do something about it. My only conclusion to this is that there is in fact, no God. But I also found another horror awaiting me. What if I’m wrong? What is there really is a God, and everything I was taught was true? Then I will be in Hell. No matter that I’ve never committed any atrocities, never killed, raped, disowned someone because of their beliefs. And honestly I don’t mind people having religion, or worshipping their God. I just want to be left alone in my own beliefs. What I seek is this, some consolation, that I’m not going to go to Hell, because this “God” has never revealed himself to me, or anyone for that matter. That it is somehow not a bad thing that I think for myself. the fibers of my mind unravel at their seams, as I am ripped apart, and imprisoned by this confusion. I am fearful, I will not lie about that. I fear Hell, not death. Simple oblivion would do just fine for me. But how can I know that? I do not.

Posted: March 30th 2013

George Locke

Why concern yourself with the Christian hell? Why not worry about the torments promised you by Islam, Buddhism, or, say, the ancient Greek idea of Tartarus?

Of course, nobody believes in Tartarus any more. You don’t have to take that possibility seriously. But why should Jahannam or the Christian Hell be any different? Because people still believe in them? Well, people do believe in them, but why?

There is no good reason to take the afterlife seriously. How can our awareness survive death? All indications are that consciousness is produced by the brain. If your brain is dead, how can you be conscious?

Even if we were somehow to survive death, how could we possibly know what the afterlife be like? The dead do not speak to us, and what other source of information could we have? Scripture? Revelation??

Hell is certainly a terrifying idea, but it’s nonsense. I am sure that with time, this fact will sink into your bones and you won’t worry about it so much.

See these related questions: What can I do about my fear of hell? Do you ever worry that you may be wrong?

Posted: April 9th 2013

See all questions answered by George Locke

Blaise www

This is a question that has been asked for millenia, and there’s no perfect answer. The best anyone can do is present you with some concepts that might help you think it through for yourself.

Start with statistics. You ask, “What is there really is a God, and everything I was taught was true? Then I will be in Hell.”, but have you considered the likelihood that everything you’ve been taught was true? The vast majority of humans who have ever lived believed in a metaphysics that was completely different from christian dogma.

Given that no faith has any more evidence to support it than any other, you are really asking if the number of people believing a dogma might make it right. However, even if this were true, the numbers would suggest that the christians have it wrong. What if everything a dark-ages Viking was taught was true, and you will never get to Valhalla? What if the muslims have it right, and you won’t get your 72-virgin surprise in heaven? What if the ancient Greeks had it right, and you are headed for an underworld of constant sadness?

If this logic works for one religion, it works for all of them. Therefore, shouldn’t one believe in every religion? Or, you could say that since none of them are more or less provable than the others, they are probably all false.

Posted: April 8th 2013

See all questions answered by Blaise


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