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I think it’s important to realize that we are very fortunate to live in a time that we can think freely. It’s so easy to look back and wonder how could people believe rehoming bullshit of religion and how could they possibly believe in hell.

The truth of the matter is that hell was a real thing to people up until probrably 50 years ago. No I’m not talking about the fiery pit but hell on earth.

People were burned at the stake, beheaded, drawn and quartered , run out of town and shunned if they didn’t tow the religious line.

The fear of hell was literally put into people because they experienced it in their life if they weren’t a Christian or Muslim. Christianity has gotten better lately and wants people to ignore the past but for majority of it hasnt been much better than islam

abyers1970 7 Mar 6

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Not sure what your point is here. Hell was a retributive device if you WERE Christian.

With regard to life in general it has always been hard. Nothing to do with religion.

It’s not difficult to believe at all. The great delusion here is that free thinking exists. This may be so but free action does not. You are restricted by the social contract whether ethically or legally.

Your operable choices are frequently either/or not multiple if you wish to retain your place in society.


Free thought, and free speech, are recent phenomenon. And currently, only in the United States. And even here it is being attacked by those who should be praising it.

The assault upon Western Civilization has been propagated by the EU's insistence on unlimited immigration of people who are determined to bring their ignorance to Europe, an invasion of islam's army of crusaders of repression.

This is happening in Canada, and Australia,....

In Nigera, in december, muslims beheaded 12 christians. And, they held an auction to sell some of the girls they had stolen.

There is NOTHING American about islam. There is nothing liberating about islam. Islam is darkness.

35,000+ attacks since 911. The religion of pieces is not interested in enlightenment.

Why do you say in your opening remarks ‘only in the United States?”

@Geoffrey51 ummmm, the UK, home of raucous debate in their House & Commons? And the Magna Carta?


"The truth of the matter is that hell was a real thing to people up until probrably 50 years ago."
It is that way for a great many people today, complete with demons fallen angels and all of it. There are conservative areas of all christendom which still teach that way today, and those very sects also adhere to strict childhood indoctrination.

So a lot of people are raised with an utterly irrational, illogical, implausible notion of Hell, which nonetheless FEELS real to them. Like a form of PTSD.

"People were burned at the stake, beheaded, drawn and quartered , run out of town and shunned if they didn’t tow the religious line."
I suggest you take a hard look at rural areas of Africa and Asia if you think that is all bygone, its not. thankfully it is no longer common or even prevalent in most places. And that last bit "run out of town and shunned if they didn’t tow the religious line." we have right here in the states in many forms, from forms of Mormonisim, the the Amish and the Jehovah's witnesses to name a few (thats likely millions).

YOU indeed seem fortunate, I had to reason my way out and overcome irrational thoughts about it for a decade at least, 35 years ago . . .
It is still going on and why we need


all of that can still exist today to some extent...there is always the ability for propaganda to infect the minds of the masses and for unchecked power to arise and be used on those who do not conform to the powerful. this can happen in any country


people are still burned at the statek beheaded, run out of town and shunned. a certain wapo journalist was cut up a lot worse that into quarters pretty recently. and even back in the day, people could think freely. they just could not express their thoughts freely, and even in the united states, there are awful consequences sometimes for doing so. there is more information available to us than before, but there is also more misinformation. maybe we're lucky and maybe we're not, but we cannot say that today we may think more freely than before.


p.s. we are unfree in other ways, too, with consequences sufficiently dire. look up how many trans people are murdered every year for being trans. that's not about thinking freely but it's about freely being who one is. it's related.

Every month our BFF, Saudi Arabia, does public beheadings. They even behead witches. And if you read the evidence needed to be found guilty, it is similar to 17th and 18th century Europe and America (The Crucible covers it well).

@Beowulfsfriend I wiah i was surprised to hear it but no, i knew, and it sucks, to lut it mildly.



It's far easier to enforce a negative than a positive. Especially when the negative out weighs the positive. If you don't learn from the past you'll more than likely repeat the past, so, telling people to forget the past is stupid.


Religious fantasy and humanity's horrific behaviour aside, we are all unimaginably lucky to be here at all.
Among other improbabilties, what were the chances that your parents got together (and had that extra glass of wine that night) and their parents, and their parents and so on down through time?

I think it was Bill the Cat of the Bloom County comic that would sometimes fall into a numb stupor thinking about the wonder of it all.

Rather than complaining about people's past ignorance and misbehavior (however extreme) we should work to positively use the outrageous gifts we've been given.
Do good things.😎

Victims of child abuse and people trafficking are the lucky ones eh? Perhaps they could consider their ‘outrageous gifts’ and put them to some use!

Life is only wonderful if you are a middle class white male in the First World.

Naive complacency only enhanceds these other people’s terrors.


I love where you are going with this; but, we have always lived in a time in that we can think freely. Expressing those thoughts could make anyone a target. That being said, I feared year 2000 when I was a child in my guardians fundamentalist homes. Everyone would say that the world reached 1000 years old but there is no way that we will survive unitl 2000. They believed that Christ would return and all of John's visions from Revelations would take place. ... Never minding that our earth is exactly 4.543 billion years.


All religions suck at these lack of principles, people were linched and hanged in trees up to the 60s by christians, christians jailed muslims in Kosovo, Hindus are slaughtering muslims in India, we all know what muslims do to others. Chinese buddhists also slaughtering muslims in China. All religions are the same in criminality and happening right now.

Yes and in the most religious states too.

@abyers1970 Everywhere, secular governments too.

Muslims are being rejected everywhere because they carry the most profound ignorance. Islam is darkness. No one who is aware of what has happened when islam has come to conquer, wants muslims in the neighborhood.

@Jacar all religions are ignorant, all have their own darkness, they all suck ass!

Even Chinese atheists (communist party) are killing and imprisoning musies and some xtions and, even some practitioners of Qi Gong (I do it - it is like a slow version of Tai Chi). The Chinese have a Qi Gong master with 60 million followers - too scary to allow someone like that around.


The only reason Christianity "has gotten better lately" is because for us here in first world countries it's not politically in control anymore. Give the church its power back and we'll see just how sweet and accepting it is.

Agree. There are still Christians that think we should go back to Old Testament justice.

The Rwanda war was all about Catholics killing Catholics , encouraged by the priests.

@Jacar no it wasn’t. It was about retribution after the Belgians left bringing an end to colonial rule and the preferred treatment of the Tutsi over the Hutu.


Are you fukin' kidding me! Why are you willing to debate the issue? Consider this; belief without evidence is religion.


I hear your every word. My childhood religious friend still thinks that I am "angry with god" and he believes I am going to hell if I do not change my ways. Meanwhile, he wants desperately to be a little spark sitting around the feet of god who is the big spark. Back when we were both 13 he would think his god was a bearded old man in the sky.


Science is about the search for truth and knowledge, supported by evidence. Technology is about profiting from that science.

The two are not necessarily sympathetic to one another. Science when done correctly demands adherence to exacting strictures and tenets. Technology demands adherence to market share and profits with varying degrees of scientific methodology.


In that sense, we are at least a half century behind western Europe.


I have to admire the Freethinkers of the 18th and 19th centuries (the golden era). They through out religion before scientific answers to basic questions of the world. People like Thomas Pain. Charles Darwin, Galileo,Isaac Newton. They went against the church before there were answers

Incorrect. Darwin for instance was a member of the Church of England up to his death. He wrestled with his science and his religious beliefs throughout his life, but refused to give up all the way to his deathbed.

Newton and Religion
The sheer scale of Newton's investigations into Church history, prophecy, and natural theology demonstrates that religion was central to his life. He grew up in a religious environment, and his uncle, stepfather, and early patron were all Church of England clergymen.

A few years after Newton’s Principia was published in 1687, the classical scholar and theologian Richard Bentley posed a series of penetrating questions to Newton about its religious implications. Newton responded by reassuring Bentley that one of the reasons for composing the Principia had been to invite intelligent people to consider the nature of God more closely. Through these exchanges, Bentley forced Newton himself to think much more carefully about God’s role in maintaining the cosmos.

In order to teach at Cambridge. Newton would have had to put up a theist front. In the end his beliefs put him into a nonorthodox classification. They were marginal enough to have been heretical at the time.

If I'm not mistaken, the Golden Age (Age) came about 400 years after Galileo.

“Great is the power of steady misrepresentation.” Charles Darwin
"But I was very unwilling to give up my belief... Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted even for a single second that my conclusion was correct. I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all of my friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.” Charles Darwin, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809-82
"I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created parasitic wasps with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars." Charles Darwin

@Archeus_Lore Thank you for those quotes.

Charles Darwin flunked out of medical school his first semester. his embarrassed father, a famous surgeon, sent Charles to Christ's College at Cambridge to study and become an abbot. True story... few know though. He basically stole the Evolution work from a man employed by the Darwin Family, Alfred Russel Wallace who was "coincidently" studying finches in Central America under their employ. SMH

@t1nick ~ Yes, Galileo live in the century before Newton, who lived in the century before Paine, who lived in the century before Darwin. Spanning the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries.


Incorrect. Wallace was several years younger than Darwin. Wallace took his journey of exploration nearly a decade after Darwin did. Darwin had already written the Origin of Species when Wallace returned to London.

This is a wonderful example of the contemporaneous evolution of a scientific principle. Knowledge does not occur in a vacuum. Darwin and Wallace's contemporaneous development was foreshadowed beforehand given the plethora of work that proceeded them (eg Lyell, Linnaeus, etc.). The time was ripe for this advancement and they were in the right place and the right time.

Wallace quite possibly could have been attributed with originating the concept of evolution had he spoken first at the Royal Society of London, but Charles spoke first.

True Darwin was an indifferent student at Cambridge, (much like Einstein was in his undergraduate work) when he was getting his undergraduate. He found his calling in Naturalism onboardi the Beagle. I consider Darwin in the same light as Newton or Einstein, or Stephan Hawking. His powers of observation, for taking disparate pieces of evidence and connecting the dots puts him up their among the greats.

Your true story is just one more conspiracy theory and untrue like most conspiracy theories. Publically, Darwin never abandoned the church. He questioned the church in his private writings, but ultimately could not publically denounce. A sign of the historic times and the danger of being shunned and his reputation destroyed.

@ExculpatoryLover I've heard that before. However, I believe it is still in the area of opinion. Darwin did, however, bring the theory of evolution to public light and even today some religious people choose creationism over evolution.

@ExculpatoryLover Yes, I was referring to the 19th century as recognized as the golden age of reason. But ever since the renaissance there have been courageous smart thinkers that bucked the church and risked public and church punishment.

@t1nick Thank you for your erudite posts. It’s important that the fact of a matter is laid out to counter some of the folklore and, on some occasions deception, peddled here.


Yes, and many christians don't even believe their own religion. There still there for the right to bully others.

Yes it’s like a religious Trump card. I’m a Christian and if you disagree with me you’re going to hell

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