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25 February 2014 @ 06:26 am
The hell you say  
I grew up secular, and my introduction to the concept of Hell was A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. My immediate reaction was, "These Christians are bloody savages!" I have a mathematician's understanding of infinity, and the idea of an alleged deity torturing people forever, for real crimes let alone for pulling their pudding, struck me as monstrous, especially if, as John Calvin believed, He created them so that they couldn't help pulling their pudding.

Of course, I have since learned that many Christians have managed to retain the good parts of their religion while believing that Hell is metaphorical, or there really isn't anyone sentenced to it, or it isn't forever. People are always capable of being better (or worse) than the systems they belong to.

To my utter lack of surprise, a study has shown that belief in Hell makes people less happy.

Thanx to andrewducker
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Arthur and Kevin's Nellorat: ack!_bill-the-catnellorat on February 25th, 2014 10:35 pm (UTC)
At least (most) second worst, after the New Age belief that you choose suffering or invite it by wrong thoughts, and it is possible to live a completely illness-free and suffering-free life if one is sufficiently enlightened. (This sounds like a straw-person argument, but I know someone who really does believe that.)

At least with original sin, the world is flawed, and I'm not choosing to have diabetes!