Wednesday, March 16, 2011

You're Enjoying This Way Too Much.

Last week, I happened to catch the local news and they showed a dog whose owner had abused it, quite creatively and for a long time. As dogs will, it recovered and now has a very nice home filled with toys and treats. For a brief instant, I wanted the ability to rip someone's spleen out of their body and shove it down their throat. It was the video of the dog's tail, weakly wagging at its rescuer that drove me over the top. After all that, a dog will still trust people to make things better.

Rage, I understand. Vengeance, oh, I grok that.

This, not so much. It's a treatise on hell and hell and fiery punishment- everlasting- and I've seen it all before, until we got to this:

"Some people think that hell will only be experienced by the inner consciousness. But hell will be experienced by the body, too. Transcendent, eternal bodies are going to be given to the damned; they will suffer in those bodies forever.

Um . . . oooookaaaay. Why? Why would God, maker of heaven and earth, omnipotent and omniscient, need to give me a new "transcendent" body in order to torment me? It seems a bit, what's the word I'm looking for? Unnecessary? Sadistic? Bizarre?

Seriously, what is going on in the writer's mind that that makes sense and seems worthy of worship?

And this, regarding the degrees of hell:


"So, hell will be a place of unrelieved torment of body and soul in varying degrees. John Gerstner said, "Hell will have such severe degrees that a sinner were he able would give the whole world if his sins could be one less."

Really? After eternity? I guess that's why we have to have new, transcendent bodies, because in this current one, you can get used to anything inside of a few minutes, depending upon what it is, so I give it 1,000 years at the outside before everyone is hell is all "meh, whatever, just another day of fiery torment."

This makes no sense at all:

God never meant for hell to be for people. He made it for the devil and his angels. But people choose to go to hell by rejecting Christ. Some souls are suffering that torment right now, and have been waiting for their resurrected bodies for thousands of years. But even after they receive their transcendent bodies, they will be no closer to the end of eternal punishment than when they first entered hell. No wonder Jesus had to teach about hell!

God never meant for hell to be for people? God's omniscient, right? If he is, the above statement makes no fucking sense at all. Not one bit. If he isn't, well, that kicks the rest of your theology in the teeth. Either way, stoopid.

And, just to amuse myself, God and I talk transcendent, eternal bodies:

God: Here you go!

Me: Hey, neat, what's this?

God: That's your new, transcendent, eternal body.

Me: What does "transcendent" even mean in that context?

God: You know, tranning scendents.

Me: What?

God: Never mind, what do you think of it?

Me: Well . . . I'm a little underwhelmed, to be honest.

God: What? Why? It's transcendent, it's eternal!

Me: I was really hoping to get something better than this. This is just a human body. Like many others. Much like the one I used to have. Do you have anything in J├Ągermonster?

God: What?

Me: I was thinking gold, with red eyes and red hair. Maybe gold streaks in the hair. Of course, shark's teeth and long, pointed ears, and inch-long claws. That's just standard. I'd be equally satisfied either way with horns, but I'd really rather not be covered in fur.

God: Seriously?

Me: Transcendent!

62 comments:

  1. This hell-y line of thinking sounds absurd enough to be a Mr Deity episode.

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  2. Hi PersonalFailure, thanks for linking to my article. I think I can help you with a few of your quandaries.

    You said: "Um . . . oooookaaaay. Why? Why would God, maker of heaven and earth, omnipotent and omniscient, need to give me a new "transcendent" body in order to torment me? It seems a bit, what's the word I'm looking for? Unnecessary? Sadistic? Bizarre?"

    The answer to your question can be found in Revelation 20. The beginning of the chapter tells us there are two resurrections: the resurrection unto life and the resurrection unto death. These two resurrections are separated by 1,000 years, but both involve receiving new bodies as your former body will have been turned to dust as it rots in the grave...

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  3. Don't forget a hat, a nice hat at that too.

    And Mr. Edwards that does not answer the question. You are just saying she needs a new body to be tortured forever. First off there is no amount of "sin" that deserves eternal punishment, no finite thing we can do deserves that, so the punishment is unjust.

    Second it is sadistic and bizarre. Sadistic goes along with the unjust part and we can never forget that YHWH loves the smell of burning flesh.

    Third, if your body lasts a thousand years then why is not already eternal. You cite that it would turn to dust but it does that well before a thousand years, again you are making zero sense.

    Fourth and lastly, you have no evidence of anything you claim. You are asserting these are right. If you want to convince anyone here then you need to provide evidence.

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  4. "The answer to your question can be found in Revelation 20. The beginning of the chapter tells us there are two resurrections: the resurrection unto life and the resurrection unto death. These two resurrections are separated by 1,000 years, but both involve receiving new bodies as your former body will have been turned to dust as it rots in the grave... " - That's about as helpful an answer as saying something like "The reason the sky is blue is explained in Harry Potter book 5, where it clearly states that Harry is in love with Ginny because of her caring nature and her fair skin." a.k.a. totally missing the point.

    I believe PF's question was (as was all ours for centuries, at least) why does your God feel the need to sanction this torture in the first place.

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  5. It is sadistic and messed up. god made humans and created a horrible place for them to go if they aren't perfect enough for him, but then he sent his son to die in instead of us, so that we wouldn't "have" to go the the terrible place he made in the first place? Umm, whatever. If I believe in God, He's got to understand how the human mind works and get that it is much more complicated than that. Either God is loving and he will accept people regardless of their earthly issues, or He is a sadistic evil god that I wouldn't want to spend an eternity in heaven with anyways.
    Christians always talk about how we pray for a person to be healed, but they may not be healed in this life, but the next. Shouldn't it be the same way for spiritual healing? Why does the christian world limit salvation to the human life span?
    Blah,,,, I'm rambling now.

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  6. I would love to answer your comments, but it seems PF does not want me to participate here as she deleted part 2 of my comment to her. You are welcome to join me for a discussion at my blog, where I just posted an article in response to PF's article here: http://airo-cross.blogspot.com/2011/03/atheist-responds-to-everlasting-hell.html

    Feel free to copy and paste your comments over there and I'd be happy to address them. Thanks.

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  7. "That's about as helpful an answer as saying something like" - She deleted the second part, Rigor. You can find my comment in total in this article: http://airo-cross.blogspot.com/2011/03/atheist-responds-to-everlasting-hell.html

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  8. PF, wanna comment on you "deleting" his comment, because I don't believe it for a second.

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  9. Young Mom, I would especially invite you to post your comment here: http://airo-cross.blogspot.com/2011/03/atheist-responds-to-everlasting-hell.html

    And BeamStalk, want you join me so I can answer your questions?

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  10. BeamStalk, just go to the article and you will see it in it's entirety.

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  11. Huh. I just put up a long comment about how Mr. Edwards needs to stop whining and crying censorship. But it didn't get through.

    Halp! Halp! I'm being repressed.

    Either that or Blogger's having issues. Which was pretty much the point of my missing comment. The universe runs on irony, it does...

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  12. Crying? Censorship? I simply asked anyone to join me where the conversation is sure to be protected. I do not want to invest a lot of time replying to comments if they are just going to be deleted. The second part of my comment had posted originally, but disappeared a few minutes later. In fact, that is how I copied and pasted to my blog. So it's not a spam issue or a blogger issue. In any case, the door is open to continue this discussion at my blog. Hope you join me.

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  13. Crying? Censorship? I simply asked anyone to join me where the conversation is sure to be protected. I do not want to invest a lot of time replying to comments if they are just going to be deleted.

    No. You didn't. You simply suggested that an event that was probably a computer glitch was a malicious act of censorship. You then told everyone that you would only communicate with them on your home turf.

    There's a slight difference there.

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  14. Sorry buddy, NOT interested. Heard it all before.

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  15. Hey Justin,

    I'm a Christian too. I suggest you watch this video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrWUWGE45Ds

    I also suggest you read this book:

    http://www.whoreallygoestohell.com/


    God is not cruel, though you apparently prefer to believe that he is. I like Personal Failure's blog because she is quite astute at criticizing some of modern Christianity's biggest shortcomings and this obsession with eternal punishment is one of them.

    Your threats and warnings of eternal punishment and your accusations deleting of posts are not doing anything at all to make your faith attractive to others.

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  16. Also your blog has so much stuff on the main page that takes forever to load that it is very difficult to comment there....just saying. I shouldn't have to scroll down because your header graphic takes up the entire screen.

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  17. Fortunately, it doesn't matter what you accuse me of. In case it was a computer glitch, I apologize. If PF deleted it, I hope she is honest to admit. I will repost the second part in the next comment for your convenience. Surely there wouldn't be a second computer glitch, right? ;)

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  18. Justin's response post to this one is laughable. For all his talk about grace he clearly has no concept of it.
    I try not to read stuff like his blog, because it's "christians" like him that make me want to forget about even trying to be one. "foreverinhell" on the other hand, just provokes lots of thought and reflection.

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  19. Jason, where do rapists go when they die? How about child molesters?

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  20. Young Mom, what is your definition of grace?

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  21. You know, Justin, as someone who repeatedly has said really stupid things that I regret in the past, perhaps it might be a good time to just stop talking for a bit before you dig the hole deeper than you already have.

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  22. Not biting. That was my last comment.

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  23. Justin,

    there's a lot of problems with that question.

    a) I don't know because I'm still alive so I have no idea what the afterlife is like, not being omniscient and all.

    b) Even rapists and child molesters do not deserve to be punished for all eternity. The purpose of punishment is eventual rehabilitation, not some sort of vengeance. Eternal, everlasting, neverending punishment is both cruel and pointless.

    Many Christians have other interpretations of scripture and hell, including CS Lewis who is usually well regarded amongs evengelicals. Ever read the Great Divorce? His idea of hell doesn't sound much like what you describe.


    Why are you asking questions that I can't possibly know the answer to.

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  24. Hi Jason,

    I understand how difficult it is for you to understand the reality of eternal hell, because I assume, if I may, that you do not consider the Bible the infallible Word of God. Neither do you, if I may assume, consider the Bible to have clarity and be the foundation of objective, absolute truth. In your postmodern thinking, if you believe as Rob Bell, while there might be some sort of universal truth, no one can know it. So this is why you say you cannot possibly know the answer to my questions.

    If you cannot start with the objective, absolute, and clear truth of Scripture, which is "breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness," then you will have a difficult time understanding that not only is God love, but He is holy, righteous, and just. If it wasn't for the wrath of God and the justice of God, we would not know the mercy, grace, and love of God.

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  25. "Even rapists and child molesters do not deserve to be punished for all eternity. The purpose of punishment is eventual rehabilitation, not some sort of vengeance. Eternal, everlasting, neverending punishment is both cruel and pointless."

    Do you suggest life sentences for murderers is also cruel and pointless since the point is not rehabilitation but paying the consequences of their crimes for the remainder of their life?

    Let's back up a minute so I don't have to assume anything about your ideology: What is your view of Scripture? Is it without error, the source of absolute truth, and can we have clarity in understanding it?

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  26. Justin,

    The Bible was written by fallible human beings, translated several times over from a language that we don't speak, in a time and culture very different from our own. At the very least we have to work to understand it in the context that the 66 books were individually written as far as history and culture go, or we will come away with some gross misunderstandings.

    Also the Bible has a number of contradictions within it, so taking it all as literal infallible truth is rather difficult without some interesting mental gymnastic.

    A book that was written by various authors during various periods of history that has some parts that are meant to be historical accounts, some parts that are poetry, and some parts that are allegorical fiction, takes a lot of work and effort to study and understand properly.

    What you are doing is called Biblioidolatry. You have made the Bible itself into your god. You have made the Bible itself into an idol.

    Well, I assume in most cases the point of a life sentence is to keep someone really dangerous off of the street so that they won't harm other individuals. If rehabilitation looks unlikely, that seems to be the only other recourse, to keep them away from people they can hurt.

    Your version of hell doesn't really have that purpose because well, people are being tortured forever and also they're already dead so who can they hurt?

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  27. Jason, how do you know God exists? How do you know Jesus is God? Or do you believe that? How do you know Jesus walked a perfect life and had a ministry of love and lived as a servant? Where do you get that information?

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  28. I believe all those things but I don't KNOW that they are true. I could be completely and utterly wrong. There have been many occasions where I have had deep intense doubts, but I don't think that doubting is wrong. Thomas had to put his fingers in Jesus's wounds. I can't really claim to know what hasn't been proven to me, but I do believe and yes, I believe because of the accounts in the Bible, but there are many things that I believe that come from sources that were written and created by fallible human beings, like pretty much everything we know about history. Claiming that I KNOW things that I can't really know for sure, because I wasn't there would be kind of arrogant.

    Just because I don't believe the Bible is perfect and infallible doesn't mean I can't believe it has meaning and truth.

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  29. What is truth, Jason? And how do you know what parts of the Bible to believe and which ones to not believe? Is it possible that your belief is wrong? Is it possible that your belief is keeping you from the God of the Bible? How do you know?

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  30. Well Justin,

    a) I don't claim to know everything or always be right. I trust that God has enough grace to forgive me when I am wrong. So yes, its possible for my belief to be wrong. I've been wrong about so many other things in life that I'm sure there are many things that I'm still wrong about. Do you think you're always right? Do I really want to know the answer to that?

    b) I take what Jesus says above all else. If something in the Bible doesn't really match up with the way Jesus said to treat people I can pretty much assume that human error and bias getting in the way. I worship Jesus, not the Bible.

    Also I study a lot. I took a lot of religious studies classes in college. I read a lot of Bible commentaries and books by religious scholars. A lot of those books have told me that certain Bible stories weren't ever meant to be historical accounts but were allegorical stories meant to convey some greater truth. The historical and cultural background cited usually leads to this being a pretty safe conclusion.

    c) I trust that God is forgiving and compassionate enough to forgive me when I'm wrong if I'm truly trying my best to seek truth and live in a righteous and compassionate way. If God is not willing to forgive me when I'm making my best effort then He'd probably send me to hell for some other reason anyway.

    d) I don't believe Christian faith implies I need to shut my brain off.

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  31. Jason,

    a)I trust what the Bible says when Jesus said you must repent and believe the Gospel. It doesn't matter what we believe, Jason. What matters is whether or not our beliefs are true.

    b)If you pick and choose what to believe from Scripture, how do you trust that Jesus said anything that Scripture shows? In any case, could you provide an example of something in the Bible not lining up with what Jesus said (or in your case, what you assume were the words of Jesus, but you can't know for sure?)?

    Also, why is it that you trust what people have told you from commentaries, who are, as you say, infallible men? Why do you take their words over the God-breathed Word of the Creator of the universe?

    c)But Jason, according to Scripture, your best effort is not good enough. None of our best efforts are good enough. Do you hope to be good enough to go to heaven?

    d)Me either, in fact, my faith is very reasoned and logical since faith and logic come from God.

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  32. Jason- Thanks for being rational and admitting that none of us "know". I don't know if you've tried to "talk" with a person with Justins issues before, but so you know, you will never get anywhere productive, I grew up with these people, so I know.

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  33. "What matters is whether or not our beliefs are true."

    Irony meter gone. Dammit, can I get a warning before statements like this?

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  34. Justin,

    "It doesn't matter what we believe, Jason. What matters is whether or not our beliefs are true. "

    These 2 sentences contradict each other.

    "If you pick and choose what to believe from Scripture, how do you trust that Jesus said anything that Scripture shows?"

    How do you trust that Jesus said anything that the Scripture shows? You don't know that anymore than I do. Hint: "The Bible says He said it and so that's how I know that the Bible is right about what He said" isn't an answer.

    "In any case, could you provide an example of something in the Bible not lining up with what Jesus said (or in your case, what you assume were the words of Jesus, but you can't know for sure?)?"

    Jesus wasn't really big on stoning adulteresses. The Old Testament said "hell yeah, be sure and find an extra big rock."

    Jesus said "Turn the other cheek." The Old Testament said "Eye for an Eye. Tooth for a Tooth."

    Old Testament said do not do any work on the Sabbath. Jesus was ok with healing on the Sabbath. Also taking grain from the field because He was hungry.

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  35. "Also, why is it that you trust what people have told you from commentaries, who are, as you say, infallible men? Why do you take their words over the God-breathed Word of the Creator of the universe?"

    Those men happen to know more about the history and culture behind those particular scriptures as well as the original language it was written in so I assume they probably are more qualified to give me an accurate interpretation. Also I read bookos by a bunch of different people in case they disagree so I can make up my own mind.

    Do you listen to your pastor when you go to church? How do you know he is right? Couldn't he be mistaken?

    "Do you hope to be good enough to go to heaven?"

    Nope. I trust that He is merciful enough to let me in and lots of other people who you think are destined for the furnace including our hostess here.

    "Me either, in fact, my faith is very reasoned and logical since faith and logic come from God. "

    That logic being, "I know this book is true, because this book tells me that what it says is true."


    Young Mom,

    yeah, I don't really expect him to listen to me, but I feel like providing equal time against his brand of Christianity.

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  36. Hooray! He stuck around! It's time to poke away!

    Now, I'm not Jason (I don't even play him on TV), but I'ma give this one a whirl. Why? Because I can.

    a)Jesus emphatically did not say you must repent and believe the Gospel. The Gospel did not exist at the time. In fact, when speaking of judgment, he said that he would separate people in to the sheep and the goats, with the great distinction being whether or not the individual in question helped those in need. He also explicitly said there would be those who protested that they had preached in his name, but that he would say that he did not know them when the time came. As this sounds like a works-based salvation and most definitely not a faith-based system, how do you square that with the idea that only belief matters?

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  37. [Part 2. Holy crap, Blogger is buggy today.]

    b)Jesus never preached free market capitalism. In fact, he said that rich would have as easy a time getting in to heaven as a camel through the eye of a needle. He also told a rich man who was doing everything right that he had to sell off all his possessions and give to the poor.

    I assume, then, that you have sold off all your goods and taken to living in a socialistic grouping with your fellow believers in the way described in Acts 2. If you have not done so, why are you picking and choosing which Scriptures to follow?

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  38. [Part 3. Censorship!]

    c)In truth, Jesus set the bar pretty low. He declared the year of the lord's favor at the start of his ministry. He then pretty much explicitly claimed that a single act of kindness was enough to reach heaven (the Good Samaritan, the sheep at the Throne) while a lifetime of callously ignoring the poor would get you thrown in to perdition (the story of Lazarus and Dives). That doesn't sound too bad, really.

    Also, he said that he came to fulfill the law and not abolish it. Therefore, I'm assuming you don't eat shellfish or trim your beard and make sure to ask all the women in your life whether or not they're menstruating before you touch them lest you become ritually unclean.

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  39. [Part 4. And we're done.]

    d)Circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because...

    In all seriousness, though, the Bible says pi is exactly three and bugs have four legs. Using Biblical logic you'd be laughed at by mathematicians and entomologists alike.

    Also, according to the book of Daniel, Darius was the Persian king who conquered Babylon and was then replaced by Cyrus the Great. This is wrong. Cyrus conquered Babylon and Darius I came after the king who came after him. Also, if you look at the books of Ezra and Nehemiah you get two different stories of the return of the Jews to the Holy Land under two different Persian kings (one of whom didn't even exist). Historians, then, join mathematicians and entomologists in laughing at Biblical reasoning...

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  40. *stands and claps*


    ..and the historian knows a bunch of stuff I don't know. (-:

    That again is why I read Biblical commentaries and other such books.

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  41. *stands and claps*

    You're too kind.

    Although I got that slightly wrong. Ezra takes place under Cyrus, Nehemiah takes place under Artaxerxes. Both of those guys were kings (many, many years apart...). Esther, on the other hand, takes place under Ahasuerus, who did not exist and wasn't an alternate spelling of anybody. It's possible that it's just a mistranslation of Artaxerxes, but I know of no scholarship that claims a relationship.

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  42. Geds, you were kind you left out the reasons astrophysicists laugh at the Bible.

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  43. "What matters is whether or not our beliefs are true." Yes, that is funny. It should have read, "what matters is whether or not the object of our belief is actually true." In other words, believing something does not make it true. Our beliefs have no bearing on truth, although relativists would have you believe otherwise. Truth is reality. So the question is whether your belief is based on reality, or are you believing an illusion, eg a lie?

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  44. Our beliefs have no bearing on truth, although relativists would have you believe otherwise. Truth is reality. So the question is whether your belief is based on reality, or are you believing an illusion, eg a lie?

    You do realize the extreme irony of the fact that you are asking that question of others, right?

    The truth of reality is that the Bible has very little factual, historical, or scientific basis. Believing in and following the Bible as an infallible document requires you to ignore the vast amount of historical and scientific knowledge that contradicts its contents. The universe did not pop in to existence 6000 years ago. There was no global flood. There were not vast numbers of Israelite slaves in Egypt. The Persian kings did not appear in the order given by the Bible. There was no census of the whole world declared by Caesar Augustus.

    That is reality. And just because you believe that the Bible's reality is the real one, that doesn't mean it can suddenly become Truth.

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  45. Jason said: "How do you trust that Jesus said anything that the Scripture shows? You don't know that anymore than I do."

    Yes, I do, Jason. There are many things that give the Bible credibility: historical authenticity, scientific accuracy, archeological evidence, and fingerprint of God known as prophecy. Moreover, and personally speaking, I can attest to the reality of God by His authority over my life, causing me to be born again, freeing me from the bondage of sin, and giving me the ability to seek after His holiness and love Him and others with all of my heart, mind, soul, and strength. None of this would be possible without the Holy Spirit within me.

    Jason said: "Jesus wasn't really big on stoning adulteresses. The Old Testament said 'hell yeah, be sure and find an extra big rock.'"

    Actually, Jesus is God. He is the God of the Old Testament and the God of the Old Testament. Men could not live by the Law, and those who sought to keep the Law to earn their salvation without saving faith, their hearts were hardened and they abused what was given to them. I'm sure you've heard of some of them before, the Pharisees. When these Pharisees, in their hypocrisy, rebuked the adulteress, they did so with logs in their own eye. They did not see themselves as sinners, and as such would not be saved by the grace of God. Jesus did not come to the world to condemn the world, but to save the world, because the world was condemned already. So He told her neither does He condemn her, but He commanded her to go and sin no more. If she looked upon Him as the Son of God and repented from her sinful lifestyle, she was promised eternal life. But her forgiveness was conditional upon her repentance.

    Jason said: "Jesus said "Turn the other cheek." The Old Testament said "Eye for an Eye. Tooth for a Tooth."

    Jesus also said, "you have heard from those of old, 'you shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that whoever looks upon a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." So Jesus actually upped the stakes. He goes on to say that unless you forsake everything you cannot be His disciple. So what are you holding onto, Jason, that is so precious to you to keep you from submitting to the lordship of Christ? What sin is so important to you that you are willing to forsake your soul to be happy in this life? Is it the sin of your pride, the sin of creating a god in your own image? The same sin that Rob Bell is committing, thus breaking the 1st and 2nd Commandments?

    Repent and believe the Gospel.

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  46. Jason said: "Nope. I trust that He is merciful enough to let me in and lots of other people who you think are destined for the furnace including our hostess here."

    Consider the person closest to you in life. The person you love most. If John Doe brutally assaulted this person, tortured them beyond belief, even raped them multiple times, then sliced their wrists so their life source would slowly be drained away until they died - does this person also deserve the mercy of God, Jason? What makes you any different than this cold-blooded murderer? Why should you go to heaven and John Doe not go to heaven? Or do you believe John Doe will go to heaven also? Because God is merciful?

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  47. Justin said: Nothing in response to anything I've said. Why? Because his statements are mere assertions based on (recently invented) tradition. His Bible cannot stand up to reality.

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  48. Sin of pride? Sin of pride? Really?

    Do you realize how incredibly self righteous you sound in that paragraph where you boldy proclaim that you KNOW you are right and I am wrong and there MUST be something keeping me from accepting the Truth? ...and then you go and accuse me of the sin of pride?


    I'm done talking to you. I'm done arguing with you. It is not worth my time. I have fun video games to play so that is what I shall do.

    See ya in hell, Skippy.

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  49. See ya in hell, Skippy.

    Fist.

    Pump.

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  50. "See ya in hell, Skippy."

    No, you won't. May God draw you into His grace, Jason. Take care.

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  51. Holy mother of Whedon that was entertaining to read. Bravo Jason and Geds for the ruthlessly rational responses, and bravo Justin Edwards for sticking around for the debate and making a show of it.

    Justin, for future reference: you need to learn the difference between an assersion and an argument. For instance: "There are many things that give the Bible credibility: historical authenticity, scientific accuracy, archeological evidence, and fingerprint of God known as prophecy." is an assersion. You state it as if you expect us to respond with, "oh, well then, that settles that, budge over and make room for us on the Jesus couch."

    The problem is, we don't react like that. We're doubters. Remember Thomas? We're like him. We expect your assersions to be backed up by real evidence. And the things you mention are only convincing if you've already been convinced. Here, I'll show you how I react to these four incontrovertable proofs:

    Historical accuracy is about what one would expect from a text written 2000 years ago and maintained religously (Oh god, it's a pun...) since then. The gospels are quite accurate in their particulars. The story of Exodus, in contrast, is laughable at best.
    Scientific accuracy... pfff! Ah, much lulz. The bible is scientifically accurate? Biologists everywhere beg to differ.
    Archeological evidence. You mean the archeological evidence that the egyptians didn't own slaves?
    Prophesy: Cold reading is the fingerprint of God? Does that mean that God has been invisibly feeling up horoscope readers all throughout history?

    Such reactions are the reason you need to provide evidence to support assersions like this. If you'd said "Read Random-Bible-Verse 6:96, where God says: "Lo! And in the of the eighteenth-hundred and fifty-nineth year a bearded ape shall give unto you a
    comprehensive discussion of the mechanisms of change in life" I'd have given you credit for a) prophesy and b) scientific accuracy. Or I'd point out that there is no Gospel of Random-Bible-Verses.

    Instead, all I got was a blanket assersion that such evidence existed. Well, I've looked into it. I've been looking into it in my free time for the last 5 years. I've yet to see anything that supports your assersion, so you're going to have to support it yourself, 'kay?

    "Consider the person closest to you in life. The person you love most. If John Doe brutally assaulted this person... [mind skips the torture porn in self defense] ... does this person also deserve the mercy of God, Jason?

    Vengeance says no: burn him. Mercy says: this person is sick and insane. Isolate him and don't let him hurt anyone else. Teach him better. Give him a chance to see himself through the eyes of others, to come to regret his actions.

    So, I suppose the question, Justin, is this: does your God play as Paragon or Renegade?

    What makes you any different than this cold-blooded murderer?

    He has brown hair. Duuuh.

    Oh, also the murdering and the killing and the gnh-hyyven.

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  52. @Quasar-

    "So, I suppose the question, Justin, is this: does your God play as Paragon or Renegade?"

    Haha.... guess what video game I stopped talking to Justin to play in my earlier post? (-:

    Both my God and my Commander Shepard are Paragons.

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  53. "Both my God and my Commander Shepard are Paragons."

    Coincidence! Mine too! (although in my case, Shepard is my god.)

    That said, though, the theology of Hell certainly doesn't seem very Paragon to me, and the cynical "we're all completely reprehnsible sinners" contrasts rather sharply with P!Shepards almost-naive-at-times idealism. There is no Paragon action that involves torture, of any kind. [spoiler] Even Saren, genocidal murderor-of-millions, is offered the chance to redeem himself and return to society.

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  54. I'm a latecomer to Mass Effect and am at the moment still on the original at Virimire, but yes occasionally I do not choose the Paragon dialogue because it is almost too idealistic. As a result Shepard's paragon meter is full and her renegade meter has a little tiny bit of orange at the bottom.

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  55. Jason: You need to get yourself some Bring Down the Sky DLC.

    And, yeah, you're playing it the way I play it. Paragon options generally get you where you want to go, but sometimes you just need to say, "Fuck it."

    Really, often times the difference between Paragon and Renegade is looking at the option and thinking, "Really? Who would say that?"

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  56. PF;

    so what i'm reading there, then, is that Hell is just going to be what i'm already living. just in a different body. same shit different body?


    Justin: Hell is mentioned THREE TIMES in the Bible - once to show a rich man that allowing a starving man to DIE ON HIS DOORSTEP was bad; once to tell "everyone" THAT NOT BEING GENEROUS AND CHARITABLE IS BAD; and once as a mention of "instant total death" [this is in Revelations - the "Pit of Fire" is supposed to be "life snuffed out; no more afterwards"]


    i have ZERO clue why Christians run around screaming "Hell! Hell! you're going to Hell!" when Jesus *NEVER SAID* that people would go there without his "grace" - he said being a selfish heartless bastard would do so, but he did NOT say it was for "forever".

    FURTHER, Jesus wasn't trying to make a NEW religion. he was just trying to fix the old one. the only reason there IS a new religion is Paul and is lust for power and misogyny.

    FURTHER FURTHER, the 1st commandment is "thou shalt have no other Gods BEFORE me" - not "thou shalt have NO other Gods". it's perfectly FINE to have other Gods, so long have YHVD or Yaweh or Jehova or whatever you call Him/Her/It is FIRST.

    go and READ that Bible you're tossing around - read what it REALLY SAYS about Hell, about love - and MOST FUCKING ESPECIALLY ABOUT *NOT JUDGING*. since you've sat here and acted the Pharisee.

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  57. "You need to get yourself some Bring Down the Sky DLC."

    It came with my copy. Already played it (-: Working on downloading most of the Mass Effect 2 DLC so I'll have it before I even start.

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  58. "since you've sat here and acted the Pharisee."

    That describes every evangelical fundamentalist Christian I have ever talked too.

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  59. It came with my copy. Already played it (-: Working on downloading most of the Mass Effect 2 DLC so I'll have it before I even start.

    Oh, right. When you get EA Games on not-Steam they do things in a not stupid way. I keep forgetting that bit...

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  60. Beam;

    i know, right? it's INFURIATING - who the hell are THEY, to judge ME?
    i was once told, by my best friend [who is a recovering fundy, but at the time was just a fundy] that i was a "better Christian" than most ACTUAL Christians she knew, because i actually did what Jesus said - and could i PLEASE "acknowledge" that i "WAS a Christian" so that i could "witness" to the rest of her fundy church?

    i cracked up - because most fundies REFUSE to follow Jesus' example and the path he meant for them to walk, and me showing up wasn't going to do a DAMNED thing but get me stoned [metaphorically, at least]. but i did eventually talk her into NOT being a fundy, and she's now a LOT closer to a real Christian [defined as "being Christ-like] than she was back when she was preaching judgement and damnation.
    so that makes me happy.


    a thing that somehow got dropped from my last comment - i have to wonder if HERE and NOW isn't *Hell*. it FEELS like it...
    sigh

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Forever in Hell by Personal Failure is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at foreverinhell.blogspot.com.