Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Atheist Experience: why children deserve eternal hell

This is an excerpt from the Atheist Experience TV show, episode #607 (2009), with Tracie Harris and Matt Dillahunty.

Note that I've had a problem recently with video clips on YouTube disappearing, often the whole YouTube account disappearing, but I couldn't find this particular clip on the Atheist Experience YouTube channel.

True, this is the Science & Reason channel, which seems pretty secure (18,087 subscribers!). But just in case, here's a link to the entire episode on Blip.TV. (Yeah, I don't know how secure Blip.TV is, either, since I'd never heard of it before. Heh, heh.)


TruthSeeker said...

They DONT go to hell!!! I haven't re-listened to lately, but I know where it is going. However, my husband has listened to it and we discussed it some time back. We are not atheists...but agree The Atheist Experince has a lot of great points that more Christians should listen to!!

I don't have a lot of time...so if you don't mind, I will just copy what I wrote a while back about this topic here below...

Reality is ....most Christians have misunderstood what the Bible really has to say about the matter. I strongly suggest you check out this web site called: "Does the Bible Really Teach Eternal Torment?"

...OR ...

this YouTube Channel:

I am not sure if you have a Christian background or not, but this Web Site / You Tube Channel is more geared to help people see FROM THE BIBLE how the doctrine of Hell is not even taught in Biblical texts! (It was mistranslated in the Bible by the translators and simply invented by the church around the time of Constantine!) Jesus NEVER taught about such a place!

Just a quick example of this ...Did you know that the original 3 Greek / Hebrew words that translators used in the Bible to translate into the English word "Hell" simply have nothing to do with what the word "Hell" really mean to us today?!
See: http://hell-misinterpreted.webs.com/hebrewgreekhellword.htm

The first word used for "Hell" actually came from the New Testament [N.T] Greek word: "Hades" ...(Old Testament [O.T.] Hebrew word was "Sheol." ) BOTH words meant "the grave" or "the ground."
The other Greek word translated for Hell was only used once in the entire Bible and it meant "pit"...
Lastly the 3rd Greek word mistranslated as Hell was actually the Greek word "Gehenna." Do you know what Gehenna was??? The garbage dump outside Jerusalem!!

Amazing how when Jesus talked about "Hell"...he only ever was talking about the "grave/ground" or literally the "city dump!" Crazy stuff, huh?! Pretty wild how the whole meaning of those words got all messed up 2000 years later to mean an "ETERNAL torture chamber in the afterlife!!" ...people insist the Bible is infallible, but it is not! It was written by man. Man can be inspired to write, but it's still man doing the writing! Check out this link...
for proof texts from the Bible that show the obvious mistakes made by translators: ...(just excuse the un-needed comments at the end of the video, that I think were unnecessary to make their point!)

It's ok to be wrong sometimes...that's what makes us human. And it's ok if the Bible is wrong sometimes too...or has some mistakes in it. That doesn't mean that the whole thing has to be discredited..although there is a lot of stuff that can be...especially in the Old Testament!..But that being said, it does have some very good standards to live by too!)
As the Bible itself says, "examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good" ~ 1 Thess. 5:21

Hope this helps!


TruthSeeker said...

Check out this link for present day photos of Gehenna....which is supposed to be an everlasting torcher chamber! lol.

Truth Seeker said...

Actually I found a much better source (than the one I listed above) for the proof texts from the Bible that show the obvious mistakes made by the scribes and translators. Check it out...

WCG said...

TruthSeeker, that's interesting, but I'm not sure what your point is.

You don't have to convince me that dead babies don't go to Hell. Matt and Tracie don't believe that, either. No atheist does.

They are arguing against what many Christians believe - and certainly, what most Christians have believed for the past 2,000 years or so. They're expressing astonishment that people can think that way.

You don't have to tell me that there are mistranslations and other errors in the Bible. The point is that people believe this stuff, because that's what they've been taught since infancy.

You might try to find the time to listen to this video clip. It's only 7 minutes long, and their argument is pretty clear.

One last thing. I see that you acknowledge that some parts of the Bible are wrong. So how do you decide which parts to believe and which not to believe? And why would you think that any of it is inspired by a god?

Sure, there are good things in the Bible, but there are also bad things in the Bible (just like every other book). People end up just picking out the parts they want to believe.

What's the point? If you can decide what's right and what's not without the Bible - which is exactly what you're doing - why bother with the Bible at all?

If you're like the vast majority of Christians, it's because you were raised Christian. If you'd been raised Muslim, you'd believe that the Koran was inspired by Allah. If you'd been raised Hindu or Wiccan or Zoroastrian, you'd accept the basic tenets of those beliefs.

There are good things in the holy books of every religion, and there are bad things, too. And that's exactly what we should expect, because all of them are just books. There are good things in the Harry Potter books, as well.

Truth Seeker said...

Please excuse my ignorance of not knowing this was an "atheist forum." I thought it was just a discussion regarding the Atheist Experience video of children going to hell. I tried to write in a way that would help both Christians and non-Christians alike...because I knew you would have both types of people reading this...regardless if this is an atheist site or not.

My intention is to help Christians realize this doctrine of hell is "man-made" and not even taught in the Bible as they claim. I don't believe in attacking their beliefs completely, as you will never reach a Christian that way, so I like to use their own book--the Bible-- to help convince them. It's impossible to do so without it. I know how hard it is to convince Christians as I was one for over 30 years. It was being convinced "with the Bible" that an eternal hell did not exist that started my whole journey in the first place. From there, I saw how misled I had been by religion in other areas as well...So you are quite right in guessing I was brought up Christian. So as obvious as it is, my heart is to help Christians see just a bit more of the picture of the truth. I avoid the ones who want to debate and refuse to look at any evidence. Those Christians are set in their ways and most of them won't budge anyway, so what's the sense? But for the Christian who is questioning things...those are the ones who I am hoping to help.

Personally, I am agnostic now ...but am open to spirituality and the possibility of a God...just not the God of the Bible...or any other holy book. (Like you said all religions claim to have the right book)

As for the Bible...I think it's obvious that quotations like "love your enemies, do good to those who hurt you, forgive one another," etc...well, those are passages I would say are more what Christians can call "inspired" because they contain good common sense of good morals to live by. I understand using the word "inspired" is used more in reference in Christian circles to mean it is "from God"...but to each his own...someone else may take it to mean some positive advice that came from the heart of someone. Personally, I don't take the Bible as God's book...I see it as any other book which man wrote...with good stuff and bad stuff in it...man writing what they THOUGHT was from God perhaps.

I am more on your side than it may appear...other than I do not claim to be an "atheist"...I do think atheists have more FACTS & COMMON SENSE to go on than religious people do, so thus I am open to atheistic views too. But one thing atheism has not provided for me (that I have had personal encounters with) is an explanation of the "spirit world." So because I have no "proof" of the spirit world NOT existing, I can't be convinced there is "absolutely" no god...although I am open to the idea. I just don't know if the spirit world means there is a God or just human spirits who have passed over , or other entities altogether from other realms or dimensions or universes .
As for the video, as I stated before, I have listened to it quite a while back and know where they are going with this video. I was not addressing THEM...I was addressing the "belief of Christians" who would be watching this video and not understanding the gravity of their beliefs. Matt and Tracie have great points here.
My apologies for my post if it was not what you were looking for in a discussion.

take care!


WCG said...

Truth Seeker, I'm not sure what you mean by "atheist forum." This is just my blog. I'm an atheist myself, but you don't have to be an atheist to comment here.

This video clip from the Atheist Experience was obviously by atheists, and that's what I thought you were commenting on. But it's really no problem, one way or another. Your comments are welcome in any case.

I'm an agnostic, myself, but also an atheist. I mean, I understand that there's no way to "prove" any of this, and I'm certainly open to the possibility that some kind of god exists. (I'm not sure how you mean "spirituality," so that depends more on your definition, I think.) I would need very good evidence, of course.

But in addition to being an agnostic, I'm also an atheist. That's because I'm not a believer. I'm not a believer, because I haven't seen any good evidence to make me believe. If I don't believe, I'm an atheist by definition. It's as simple as that.

That doesn't mean that it can't be true, of course, just that I haven't seen any convincing evidence. (Note that evidence of the "spirit world" tends to be personal and with other, simpler explanations than postulating the supernatural. After all, so far, we've never discovered anything that's not part of the natural world. And extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.)

I was also raised Christian, so we do have many things in common. And I'm not against your goal of convincing Christians that Hell is just imaginary. But IMHO, the problem goes much deeper than that.

The big problem is with faith-based thinking in general. After all, if you can believe anything by faith, how can you say that others are wrong when they also believe because they have faith?

Not all believers fly passenger planes into buildings, but they all believe for the same reason. Fundamentally, the problem isn't just what they believe, but how they believe.

Of course, liberal believers are a heck of a lot easier to live with, I'll admit that. The world would be a lot better place if all believers were liberal believers. But I think they give cover to the extremists because they, too, say that "faith" is a valid way to determine the truth. It isn't.

Truth Seeker said...

Again...forgive my lack of realizing this was a BLOG and not a Forum...sometimes I get the 2 mixed up. lol (never done much of either ;)

Thankyou for welcoming my posts. To be honest, I am at a whole new level and am still "de-programming" ...so some of my terminology will still come across like "Christian"..as that is what I have been for about 33 years. Now being 37..that's most of my life! :P lol. How long were you a Christian for and what denominational name you were involved with?...if you don't mind my asking! I grew up Baptist, then Word of Faith and then Non-Denominational.
I agree with your label of "agnostic/ atheist"...according to how you have described it, that may be me too!...but it's still sounds odd to me when I say it. You have no idea of how much I was a "Jesus Freak." I actually have this name Truth Seeker to disguise my true identity because I am still involved in a Christian organization as a volunteer. Although the pastor knows I have changed my views, I am not allowed to proselytize my new beliefs there or on my Facebook account since it affects so many people connected to that ministry...and to be honest...I don't want to! I would rather forgo the "persecution." So in order to share my new beliefs I had to create a new Facebook account, You Tube channel, etc. (Sad I know.) My husband and I have been so hungry to discuss our beliefs with people of like-mindedness..but still have not really found anyone to really relate to in our city (except his brother)...so it has been quite a lonely, yet intriguing new journey. Bart Erhamn is one of our favourites...if not our favourite. Have you ever heard of him or any of his books? We also like a lot of the Atheist Experience videos too. Although I have not listened to many of them...my husband is an avid listener and fills me in often. lol.


Truth Seeker said...

I understand my saying I believe in a "spirit world' due to a couple of my experiences sounds odd...I know there are a LOT of crazy experiences out there, and MOST of them can all be explained with psychology, etc. I don't expect you or anyone else to believe in it as a result of my personal experience...because I have NO physical proof to show for it...but that's ok. It's a more "personal" belief. My husband is a lot like you. He has not had any real experiences of a spirit world and thus you two sound identical in saying that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." While at the same time my husband understands my experiences were very real to me and he is open to the possibility...but,like you..he would need his own evidence on that one...otherwise he believes that there is probably a logical explanation. BUT even with me believing in a "spirit world" this does not convince me that a God definitely exists, but perhaps "may" exist...but I am not even real sure about that. I am just so curious now about what IS out there...since all I ever "thought I knew of the sprit world" got all messed up when the Bible got discredited. lol.
I think science has some possible evidence for a spirit world though.... IF I am remembering correctly...don't quote me..but I believe Einstein said energy doesn't die..which would give possibility for human spirits to live on, since we are made up of energy. Michio Kaku also gives possibilities of aliens, black holes, parallel universes, time travel, etc...and since all of these are possibilities, I don't think my belief of a spirit world is so farfetched...as a my idea of a "spirit world" (or unseen world) could be made of any of this things.
ANYWAYS, sorry if I rambled on about the spirit world...as obviously that is not the topic of your BLOG! ;) I just wanted to share a bit about my journey...since I don't have many people to discuss it with.

I agree with what you say in regards to it's not WHAT Christians believe ..its' HOW they believe. That is very well put. It's a amazing how closed off Christians can be when hearing anything other than what can be validated by the Bible! Anyways, I really appreciated your response and what you had to say.

If you are on Facebook...please consider adding me as a friend...always looking for people of like-mind!!
BeaTruth Seeker

Nice connecting with you!...

Truth Seeker

WCG said...

Truth Seeker, I went to a Methodist church as a child, but I don't remember ever being a Christian, exactly. As far back as I can remember, I had doubts. If you're interested, check out my Non-Belief post on that. (The whole series is here.)

Re. the rest of that, if "energy doesn't die" (which I don't think is what Einstein really said), does that mean that fires never go out? That a computer program never stops running, even when the computer is destroyed? We're made up of matter, too, not just energy.

And note that we can't explain a lot of things, not yet. But that just means that we don't know everything. (Why should we?) It doesn't mean that anything in particular must be true. That's the "argument from ignorance" logical fallacy.

I know that Michio Kaku is a brilliant man, but theoretical physics must be backed up by evidence. And I wouldn't just listen to one theoretical physicist, anyway. So far, there is no scientific consensus on those cutting edge ideas in physics. (I've been told by a theoretical physicist that he could only explain those ideas through advanced mathematics, which I don't know.)

Still, the point is that all of these "possibilities" could be true, but that doesn't mean they are true. The Flying Spaghetti Monster could be true, but, obviously, that doesn't mean that we should all worship his Pastafarian goodness. :) Not without a lot better evidence, anyway.

It's always very easy to believe what we want to believe, and since none of us wants to die - indeed, it's hard to imagine just ceasing to exist - it's particularly easy to believe that we don't. But there's no evidence of that - no good evidence, certainly. IMHO, people cling to straws because they don't want to accept the truth.

This is a huge step to take for people who've been raised to believe in life after death. If you'll forgive me, I suspect that you've started on this journey to atheism, but that it's (understandably) hard to leave behind everything from your Christian upbringing. So you're trying to cling to what you can.

Luckily, I never had that problem, because I could never understand why people could believe without evidence. I clearly remember believing in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, but there was lots of evidence for both of them. It wasn't good evidence, as it turned out, but hey, I was just a kid.

But everyone I knew believed. No one admitted otherwise, anyway. Why was I different? I have no idea. But I never had to make such a difficult journey as you're on, because I never believed in that stuff. I always needed evidence. I don't know why.

I admire "truth seeking," because the truth has always mattered very much to me, too. But I think you have to ask yourself, what's the best way to determine the truth - and especially to distinguish truth from wishful thinking?

So far, the scientific method is the best way we've ever discovered for doing that. There are many parts to the scientific method, there are several reasons why it works so well, but at heart, it relies on independently verifiable evidence. Without that, it is very hard to tell what's really true and what isn't.

Truth Seeker said...


Hey, sorry it took so long to read your post...been busy.
I understand what you are saying as an Atheist. That's why I am going to stick with Agnostic. ;)

...Honestly, the reason for retaining my belief in the spirit world is NOT just because (quote) "its' hard to leave everything behind from my Christian upbringing, and thereby I'm clinging to what I can." As I stated earlier, I have had some very real experiences with the spirit world...one in particular I can't explain with psychology, or rational reasoning...and I haven't found any intellectuals who can explain it either. So until then, I do not plan to write it off. I know I probably sound like I am off my rocker, but that's ok. I get that reputation comes with such claims...(and perhaps I should not have brought up the topic here since the topic had nothing to do with it. lol. :P)In order for you to understand better, I would have to get into my personal experience(s) to really give you an understanding, but I don't think that will matter anyways because I can't provide actual evidence and that's what you need as an Atheist, and with all respect, I understand that.

Unfortunately, the predicament that I am in is I am stuck in the middle of two extreme passionate belief systems. First, you have Religious who insist there is a spirit world, but it absolutely must include a deity God among other spirits that can all be explained with the Bible or some other spiritual book...Then you have the Intellectuals that don't believe in anything spiritual without actual physical evidence... Sooo, I am left like a fish out of water when relating to either group. It would probably be a whole lot easier if I just to stuck with one group or the other..but according to MY experience(s) I just can't do that. I would only be doing it just to fit in ...and I refuse to believe in anything that way again. I honestly want to know the TRUTH...and sometimes there is more to TRUTH than what can be PROVEN by science. ..perhaps, science just has not discovered it yet. :P ...One day we shall all know for sure what's out there!...but until then, I don't think any of us will ever truly know.

WCG, I admire your passion to stick with the evidence. I wish more people I knew were as passionate about science and facts as yourself. I love the stuff. It's just FOR ME...I still have some unanswered questions before I can settle on anything. Hope you understand where I'm coming from.

Take care!

WCG said...

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy? Maybe. But I'd need evidence of that. :)

You say "the spirit world," which implies that you know what it is. I wouldn't have a problem with "I don't know," but I would need good evidence before accepting the existence of an entire other world.

Well, no problem. If everyone thought alike, the world would be a dull place. And as a private person myself, I understand wanting to keep personal things to yourself. (My own experience with the spirit world was easily explained, or I might feel more like you do.)

Thanks for the comments! I hope you'll drop by again sometime.

Truth Seeker said...

Hey...sorry for the delay...

I call it "the spirit world" because that is a term I am familiar with. As I stated before, I don't know what's out there or what it all is. BUT, based on my experience(s) I choose to believe something exists out there...whatever it is! I think the universe is a lot more complex than we could ever imagine...like you said, if we all believed the same the world would be a dull place :P

My experience is not so personal that I cannot share it...I just don't think it will make a difference at this point because I know you need tangible evidence. I understand how your experience can be easily explained...mine cannot...and it was not experienced alone. Until one has a true experience with it, it really is something hard to believe in ...especially as an intellectual...because tangible proof is really an important ingredient! So I COMPLETLY understand and respect your position. Really. (Thanks for respecting mine as well. :)

Take care!...enjoyed our chat!