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Archive for the ‘Hell’ Category

Hopeless

Q: Does God ever give up on some people? I have a cousin who just laughs whenever anyone starts talking about God, and he says he’ll just take his chances when it comes time to die. Several of us in our family pray for him regularly but he looks like a hopeless case to me. — S.Y.

A: The possibility that any gods exist is extremely remote. The chances that the god you believe in are even more so. It then follows that heaven and hell do not exist and your cousin is not in danger of eternal punishment in any hell. Belief in gods and religions initially arose as attempts to explain the existence of the physical universe and mankind’s place in it and as a way to impose order and rules on society. Since these roles are no longer necessary (thanks to scientific discoveries and the emergence of democracy throughout the world), established religions attempt to maintain their status and power by dictating their (oftentimes ridiculous) rules under threat of eternal damnation. If the word “hopeless” were relevant here, it would apply to your belief that prayers to your god will have any effect on our reality.

Billy Graham’s answer.

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Burden

Q: Our son died from an overdose of antidepressants. He had struggled with depression for years, and maybe it finally got to him (although maybe it was accidental – we’ll never know). He was a sincere Christian, but if he did take his life, does it mean he committed the unforgivable sin and lost his salvation? Obviously, this burdens us very much. — E.N.

A: I am very sorry for your loss. As a father, I can’t imagine the pain you are experiencing. You should be comforted by knowing that there is no rational reason to believe hell exists.

Religion (especially established churches like Catholic and mainline Protestant) has been using fear to control their faithful for millennia. Using the fear of eternal damnation in hell, they have been able to wield immense political and social power. A growing number of people are now realizing that belief in a god is irrational and have been able to break free of the tyranny of Christianity and organized religion. Belief in hell is not rational. If you come to recognize this, you may be heartened by the realization that your son has not been condemned to hell, regardless of the circumstances of his death.

Billy Graham’s answer.

Feel free to leave your answer to this question in the comments.

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