Struggling with hell/satan/evil stuff. I am fully convinced it's not real but I'm still struggling to free myself from the fear. What are some good tips.
I enjoy the structures and pathways one can explore in regard to explanation. Fear I was able to leave behind (somewhat perhaps ), by meditation. Things actually got better for myself fearwise when I started paying attention to what and how I fed myself.
What happens to you after you die? My research tells me that your body is buried, cremated, or disposed of in some manner. This means the matter eventually or directly goes back into its elemental form and gets redistributed to the Earth. This may take some time as if you are put into a coffin the coffin has to disintegrate for you to escape it. The energy that is in your body at death is transformed either into matter, your dead body or escapes into the Universe, it probably stays locally (by this I mean within the realm of the Earth). Time for matter is like the time you experience while alive. Time for energy (traveling at the speed of light, all electro-magnetic energy travels at the speed of light) is instantaneous. This means that the photon one would see from the start of the Universe some 13.8 billion years ago, in terms of that photon is instantaneous. At the speed of light there is no passing of time. So what this means for one who is attempting to ask a question about what happens after death is still a mystery if there is something other than the mass of material in your body or the energy existing while one is alive. It could be said that the actual molecules or atoms that were once in a persons body will again enter another persons body through food or something else that one puts into ones body. We cannot actually track individual atoms so to say this is not really a stretch. It has to do with the mathematics of large processes. We are all star stuff and we will go back to that at some point.
If you have recently made the decision to leave religion behind, don’t be so hard on yourself to forget everything and live in your new life. It will be settled quicker than you might think. But, let it happen intellectually and emotionally within your particular personality...no need to fear anything! You are taking charge of your own life, and that must be possible, as many many people before you have made that transition with success. I am one of them. Best of luck.
As an African, my belief, conviction and ability to verbally express that there is no God, come from freeing myself from idiotic utterances.
Many Africans are genuinely terrified, that some unseen ever-present deity will come down and strike them dead, if they renounce the existence of this fake parasite, called God.
So, see all around you, the presence of Science is in everything, not Gods.
Take this moment and believe in only what you see and can be tested
Ask yourself, how many other books, have you read that 'prove' the existence of God.
Ask yourself, how many people who died, that you knew who came back to prove or dispel the reality of God. Heaven and Hell. How many people ? Be bold and desentisize yourself and come out of this slavery.
The 1st hardened catholic I de-converted thanked me because after I showed him the way from the darkness of superstition to the light of reason and truth, he no long feared hell. Before de-converting, he would often awake in the middle of the night from a hell nightmare.
Your question is a common question:
The bible itself is the best cure for this. It does not hold any truths revealed by any god. It is full of contradictions, just as the god described in its pages. There is no reason to take any of it literally.
It was the Christians who turned this character into what it became--the evil fallen angel that god gave reign over the earth. Seriously, what kind of fair and loving god would do that? Also, the serpent in the garden was NOT the Satan; this was alleged by later Christians.
Jesus supposedly believed in hell, but words attributed to him were written decades, even centuries, later by people who were, by then, Christians--not Jews (as Jesus was).
If this god created hell, why did it wait so long to threaten its creation with it?
'Who Wrote the Bible,' by Richard E. Friedman and "101 Myths of the Bible," by Gary Greenberg.
As for evil. Good and evil are human constructs. What is good or evil has changed over time and still varies among cultures.
We are products of our nature, culture, upbringing...
There is no malevolent force acting on us, causing us to do bad things, nor a benevolent force encouraging us to do good things.
The cure is education. Read and listen to (my recommendations) Hitchens, Bart Ehrman, Jerry Coyne, deGrasse Tyson.. there are so many. History, think about the history of life on earth, and then there is science. Humans are the creators. We created the supernatural where all gods reside. Good luck! GROG
Fear for mos tpeopel comes from a lack of knowledge. As i tis impossible to find actual facts of an afterlife to prove one way or another about hell and what comes afterwards... if anything, , then you have to educated yourself on the origins of the stories of a hellish afterlife.
Most people are surprised to learn that the Jewish (Hebrew) faith did nto originally include hell. As it turns out the Zoriastrians conquered the Mews, and the "war in heaven" and stories of the origins of hte devil and hell were co-opted (plageurized) from Zoriastrain beliefs.
Every story religious or otherwise is built on previous stories and themes of other societies and other religions. For instance the story of Noah is the fourth (known) and most recent incarnation of the flood story, and the only one that has only one god.
The story of Jesus, was one of many savior/messiahs and was also taken form previous stories and themes.
As you learn more about the origins of the stories, you will strt to see them as what they are... just stories. REalize that the above videos only reference known origns of stories, and there are soem origins which have been lost because they predate written language, or they were lost an int efire of the Alexandria library (which I believe was set by Christan extremists of th etime).
Reason it out. Where’s the proof for any of it? You will read that every belief is rooted in someone’s vision.why his and not mine then? Garbage. We no longer need to live in the mythological age. We’re well read and learned. Science leading the way in almost every discipline.
I don't believe in a soul. I mean, where is it? How does it interact with the body because if it doesn't interact with the body how could it learn/change/evolve? And if it can't do that, what's the sense of it? Why is there no evidence whatsoever that a soul exists despite research. Who have souls, people, dogs, cockroaches? It's all bullshit, when you're dead you're dead: no heaven, hell, ghosts, spirits etc. Just dead. And you won't care, because you'll be dead.
Yes, you have been indoctrinated for all those years. It's understandable to struggle with long held beliefs.. However the more you read and think critically and rationally you will come to appreciate the truth and wonder how you were take all these years. You are no longer a sheep being told what to believe. You can think for yourself.
Fear is an emotional reaction, and can be difficult to counter with logic. A phobia (which I know is somewhat different than what you're talking about here) can be very strong even with someone who intellectually knows it's not reasonable. In this case, you know hell is not real, but the emotional reaction persists.
In my opinion, knowledge combats fear, so reading and learning as much as possible on a subject may help. In this case, reinforce your existing knowledge that hell and satan do not exist.
there is no "hell" in the original Bible, that is the invention of scribes xlating the Bible into English for us, Gehenna is a place on earth, and Sheol is just the grave, and Hades is a greek god whose mythology has no punishment in the afterlife attached to it. The Bible even says If you dig a pit for others, you end up in it yourself eh? So if you like Quote any instance of "hell" you can find and we can look at it, bc trust me our concept of hell is not on There ok, except possibly for Abaddon, the "place" reserved for evil spirits? But just like heaven, that is not meant to be taken so literally yeh? the kingdom of heaven is within you etc
The problem is with untrue thoughts that reside in your subconscious mind. What I’ve learned is to write down my thoughts about some situation and to analyze each of those thoughts, and determine if they are true or false. For many of our thoughts we don’t really know whether they are true or not. But those uncertainties have bred spinoff thoughts that are false, and which spark fear, guilt, and general unhappiness or depression.
By writing it all down longhand, all levels of your consciousness will get the word and you’ll instantly feel better—at least that was my experience.
For a detailed guide read Help Yourself to Happiness by Dr. Maxie Maultsby.
I like Mark Twain’s analysis. He said that if things really were as the preachers claimed, that not believing would land you in hell, then there was no help for it. He would just have to go to hell because it is impossible to force yourself to believe stuff.
The more convinced you become, the easier it will fall away in time. Listen to the arguments of AronRa, look up debates with Chris Hitchens, also Seth Andrews and Mat Dillahunty are always good.
A great YouTube atheist to check out are the cartoons of Non-Stamp Collector. Give them a look if you haven't already.
Eventually reason will free you from the remnant fears.
Time will help you with this. I studied for the ministry and what helped me the most was to investigate fully how and when we got the bible as we know it today. Once you understand that you see how believing everything we do today is like deciding on what happened 300 years after the fact. If you can grasp it everything then looks like a fairytale. Imagine beliefs from our own 1700's as being real today. The fact that there was said to be a fountain of youth in Florida did not make it so. People believed it and actually tried to find it. This is the distance we are talking about with our beloved holy book as it came long after the time of Jesus.
If the above alone is true why would I worry about hell, satan, and evil stuff? It is all made up.
I used to have this fear and what helped me when I would have a "moment" was going over and over the idea that the god in the bible is not in any way a moral agent. Most everyone in the world, myself included, is far more moral than "him". If "he" is not a moral agent, and if everyone one else is more moral than this creation, then I should not fear being judged by "him". If "he" is the bar for morality, then I have exceeded "him" by every measure and I have no reason to fear punishment. All I can do is try my honest best to be a good person and do the right thing (even when it's the harder thing to do). The fact that I try to do good for the sake of being good, and not for punishment or reward, is already more moral than any christian's excuse for morality. So long as I always keep a "moral horizon" in front of me and always try to reach that measure, then I feel I am doing my best at being a good person. Also the fact there are sooo many different versions of "hell" depending on the religion.
Also watch those videos NoMagicCookie posted. They are all great at dealing with this question. Just know it takes time, and I wish you the best of luck.