Before I weighed the pros and cons of religion and decided that religions were, in fact, cons; I was a Christian with a big problem with a particular concept of Christianity--hell. I just don’t get it. If the dying find comfort in religion because it offers an afterlife, they must either overlook hell or be extremely optimistic of their own virtue. How spiritually confident must you be to go towards the light without at least some fear that said light isn’t an eternal flame about to be shoved up your ass?
We are talking ever-lasting torment. An infinite holocaust. I just read the “divine comedy” Dante’s Inferno and it wasn’t all that funny. Whenever I hear that there are “no atheists in foxholes” I think, I’m surprised there are Christians in foxholes. Non-existence seems like a walk in the park compared to being immortally wounded. Actually non-existence wouldn’t be a walk in the park, it would be nothing at all.
I’m not going into a rant about how a god who most everyone says is merciful and loving would allow a place like hell to exist. Or how counter-intuitive it is to accept that whatever we believe and however we repent in this insanely short life matters while the rest of eternity is locked into a designated realm of joy or suffering. Or how Satan was disobedient to God yet is granted many liberties and is permitted to rule the modern day Hades with God’s all-powerful hands inexplicably tied. Or how heaven could possibly be a perfectly happy place when it is populated with supposedly good souls who know that others are forever burning. I’m not going to rant about these things, but these are the issues that first made me uneasy with Christianity. It wasn’t evolution or failing morality or violent video games that made me an atheist; it was the Bible.