Why I can’t believe in Heaven and Hell


March 20, 2014 by Devin

Imagine someone came up to you and asked, “You know how there is a bunch of poverty, famine, and genocide in Africa right now? Are you okay with that?” If you are a normal, sane person, then you will probably answer, “No.”

But suppose they gave you a million dollars (that you could in no way use to help alleviate the problems in Africa). Would that change your answer at all? What if they gave you your dream job? What if they gave you the ideal family and a group of friends that would always be there for you? Would these change your answer at all? Would being in a good situation make you more accepting of a bad situation happening to someone else?

Let’s change the question a bit, mainly because there are a lot of innocent people in Africa. Suppose someone came up to you and told you that inmates in prisons across the country were being beaten and tortured for no real reason. They were being waterboarded without anyone actually looking for information. Every day unspeakable acts were being inflicted upon them. Would you be okay with this?

Again I ask, would you be okay with this if you had a million dollars? Your dream career? A loving family?

If you cannot tell, what I just presented to you was the basic reasoning for why I cannot believe in Heaven and Hell both existing. The idea of a utopian paradise where I live in perfect happiness while at the same time knowing that people are suffering is dreadful to me. It sounds terribly dehumanizing, as if I am forced to give up my sense of empathy and sympathy in order to benefit myself. No matter how good Heaven is, it cannot counteract the suffering that people are receiving in Hell.

This is why I am glad that Fred Phelps is not going to go to Hell. For those unaware, Fred Phelps was the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church, the people infamous for their messages of hate to just about everyone, focusing mainly on an anti-homosexual message (“God Hates Fags,” etc.). As of writing this, he is on his deathbed and has been reportedly excommunicated from the hateful church he led.

I have no desire to see Fred Phelps punished. I suppose that there might be a sense of justice in that, but I would get no pleasure from that. As a Christian, what I learned from Jesus was to love everyone, especially those who harmed me. And while Fred Phelps has not harmed me personally, I aspire to have the love that reaches everyone regardless of what they have done, even as an atheist (perhaps especially).

More than anything, I see a need for pity beyond justice. Pity for a man who devoted himself to a life of hate and will die in that. Pity for a man whose legacy was denied even to that small group of people that used to accept him.

This is not to say that I do not feel for those he harmed. I have homosexual friends who struggle with being accepted, both being accepted in the community and accepting themselves, and I am angry that they have to deal with these issues.

But I don’t want to play the blame game either, for doing so rarely actually solves the problem. People burning in hell for the crimes they committed do not make the crimes any less significant. You cannot heal a wound with another wound. Ultimately, the “justice” that Hell supposedly enacts is foolhardy.

I can accept the idea of Hell, and I can accept the idea of Heaven, but I cannot accept the idea that they coexist. Such a reality would mean that Heaven was filled with people who did not care about those in Hell, and that sounds like an awful group of people to spend eternity with.

6 thoughts on “Why I can’t believe in Heaven and Hell

  1. L.L. says:

    you do not need to worry, there will be few people in heaven, and though they will be rejoicing because they actually made heaven they will not rejoice in those who did not (where did you evilly get that ugly idea? from satan who told you to make you hate God and Christians, you see satan fills you and that is why you think those thoughts). all those you despise for not caring about those in hell will probably not be in heaven, so your thinking is all wrong. your hating on the wrong the people and accusing hell bound for not caring about sinners (your in that group). this is the twisted lie of deception that comes from the pit of hell itself. born again Christians are the only ones who care about those going to hell (and try to keep people out of hell) and also those who suffer on earth yet you despise and hate on them. probably you have never met a true believer and if you did you would find something to hate them for because in your heart of hearts you just do not want to love God and respect good Christians. i do not see any muslims who care about eternal destiny or new agers or jews or buddhist, etc… yet you do NOT attack them? why is that? its just the Christians you hate because they spread light and truth. who are the missionaires? who feed the poor and educated the poor and provide medical care? the only group is the Christians. i do not see jews, muslims, buddhist, new agers, pagans, etch doing any of those good deeds………… yet you only attack Christians, why is that? seems evil is heavy in you.
    as things go i have to ask do you care about others going to hell? the answer is no you do not. yet you expect others to, how evil and hypocritical of you. you do not even care for your own salvation and eternal destiny but your evilly and selfish expect good Christians to care about both, yet you do not. can you see your double standard? can you see your utter evil? can you see satan in you? can you see how destructive and horrible you are? can you see your ruin everything that is good? can you see how you are the parasite and have not good use on earth? repent before its too late, then you can help others realize their darkness. do what you expect others to do.

    • L.L. says:

      ps if your were doing good deeds and saving souls you would not have the time to write such lies that destroy the only good people on planet earth, born again Christians. you will have your heyday. when Christians are raptured you will have a dark world filled with non-believer who have no morals values and law abider like yourself. it will be happy day for sinners who love corruption sin and selfish folly. sadly most evil sinners will not enjoy those times as much as they think … as they will be dealing with others completely out themselves like them. no one to care, no one to trust, complete lack of love, and chaos (great sin filled place you would appreciate).
      this is proven over and over in real life. liberal evil sinners hate living around their own kind, they need good people around them (who they hate). conservative safe happy healthy places are parasitically invaded by liberal dark evil ones and in a short manner of time what was once beautiful is destroyed. the good people leave, and where ever the good people go the evil ones follow for the benefits. immigration we see today is this theory played out, also played out is the great conservative cities that are ruined by the dark liberal sinners. then liberal cannot understand why good conservative do not want to be around them (evil to the core are libs).

      • tim m. says:

        LL: I’m sorry, but your entire response is a fallacy. You are speaking a lot of terrible things to someone that you don’t even have the slightest clue about. However, I’m sure your belittling of other major religions as well as your irrational connection between liberal thinking and Satan has made him repent. Good job. You’re a soul winner.

  2. TBeckett says:

    Appreciated reading your thoughts here; I frankly don’t see a way around this apparent inconsistency (even as a “born again” Christian).

  3. […] many Christians actually devalue the life of a person because of their theology. I wrote about this before, but the gist of this issue is this: if you are happy that people are suffering in hell, then there […]

  4. megpie71 says:

    Coming in incredibly late: my only comment on the death of Fred Phelps was this – I hoped that the god who judged his life was more merciful than the one he believed in.

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Paul Johnson's comedy blog: I didn't get into comedy to be rich or famous. All I've ever wanted was to be loved...by somebody rich and famous.

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