No fear of hell

Dear Bible God,
In the Ten Commandments you included thou shall not kill. Shortly afterwards Moses is slaughtering men, women and children left and right except for the virgins. You go down to talk to Moses, but not to condemn anything that he did. You speak to him about how to divide the virgins, cattle and all the money pillaged from the butchered Midianites. You tell Moses how much money, cattle and slaves should go to the soldiers, priests and the vault clearly demonstrating where your priorities are. And all of this killing and theft was because another group of people had a different religion. Bible god, what kind of moral compass are you? It is you who will execute judgment of all people?

Jealous and angry men made a jealous and angry god to justify their angry and jealous acts of savagery. You would expect rituals of men like this to be barbaric. You would expect crude celebrations of god killing children except those protected by lamb’s blood. You would expect children stories of god committing genocide against his own creation perceived as pleasant normalcy. It is no surprise that eternal torment was invented by these primitive men for anyone who dared oppose their claims of divine authority over all things. As an advocate for reality based living and free thought, I detest the invention of hell. This marketing tool of sick men has chained the minds of billions through fear.

It should never be forgotten that an unsightly little stone cutter named Socrates rejected the mighty Zeus. This was one of the charges against him when sentenced to death. He rejected him because Zeus was unjust. Anyone who’s studied Greek mythology can tell you Zeus was far more interested in being a horn dog than serving as a moral compass. Socrates envisioned a virtuous god; a moral standard far beyond the reach of fictional characters such as Zeus or the god of Abraham also known as Allah.

Many Christians also imagine a virtuous god. In place of the angry god of Abraham is an image of a young white man with a beard and a halo; a fantasy of goodness and perfection deserving the projection of love and worship. The mirage is more important than the Bible. They don’t allow the Bible to prevent them from accepting the realities discovered by science such as evolution and the very old age of the earth. They reject the notion that people of all other beliefs are going to hell as that would be a contradiction to their virtuous image of god. They create Saints to provide examples of good moral character, examples that are severely lacking in the Bible where villains are celebrated as heroes.

And then there are those who believe that everything in the Bible must be taken literally. They don’t reject the insanity and bigotry, they embrace it, they connect with it, and they submit themselves to it. They justify every crime and insanity. It’s OK for god to kill people because he made them. Wouldn’t an all-powerful being be able to make talking snakes? There you go, since god can do it there is nothing that should be questioned no matter how crazy it seems. People shouldn’t complain when god kills them because, after all, he made them. These so called fundamentalists carry on the ignorance and bigotry of the original angry and jealous men. They try and dictate that anyone who doesn’t believe as they do will go to hell.

So what are we to believe? Should we have faith that unspeakable terror awaits those who refuse to grovel before the angry and jealous god of Abraham? Should we accept that horrible suffering awaits those who couldn’t care less about the stories made up by apostles after the crucifixion? Should we believe that misery and anguish will come to those who have the wits to realize that the “great sacrifice” story is absurd? It’s long past time for the human race to grow up and not be afraid anymore.

Hell is so offensive, irrational, illogical and unreasonable it can be difficult to articulate a respectful and rational response to the “what if you’re wrong” question for non-believes that’s been wondering around the Facebook and YouTube communities. If by some cosmic perversion the god portrayed in the Bible was real, it wouldn’t change anything for the rationalists. We would willingly go into hell and suffer for all eternity with our people in defiance of an evil god. But take comfort, there is nothing to fear. The god of Abraham is not real, not a chance. If there is some kind of greater intelligence responsible for the grandiose physical and biological universe, it certainly isn’t one that was conjured up by ignorant bigots claiming to have divine authority thousands of years ago.

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”
― Marcus Aurelius

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