I'm having an epic email discussion over at my blog.

Helen wants to save me, of course.

I told her I thought that the idea of hell made God a sort of monster, and I explained it pretty thoroughly.

Well, now of course, she says God doesn't want me to go to hell, etc. etc.

I asked her who made the rule that if I don't love God I go to hell.

First email: you don't have to love god, you have to believe in Jesus.


OK, who made THAT rule?

Next: It's when you blaspheme, you go to hell.


OK, who made THAT rule?

Next: (finally) Not God. You chose to go to hell because you don't believe in Jesus.

(Not the answer to the same question, of course, but ok.)
Who provided the 2 choices? Who is offering the two options?

I am trying to squeeze it out of her. By admitting that God has ultimate responsibility for the suffering in hell, I think she has to take responsibility for finding that eternal torture to be just and right.

And by doing that, I want her to understand, just a little bit, why I do not worship her favorite God.

It's just taking a lot of influence. I may need a waterboard. Anyone have one cheap?

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I asked her who supplies the choices; she said "God did." I thanked her for finally admitting it.

I replied with an analogy of God being like a candidate who sends voters for the other candidate to a prison with torture. I told her we have to take responsibility for the implications of our beliefs.

I'm waiting for another response. Of course she must know I was trying to trap her, otherwise she wouldn't have been so evasive.
Ii agree with you.
Would a good,just,all loving god create a place such as hell and send people and unborn children there?
I think not.
My usual angle on these discussions is a bit different. I find theists to be extremely evasive about the whole "if god this, then that" thing. They manage to justify it all with a bunch of nonsense from their nonsense text, so then we get down to the more immediate issue. Why does she believe in god in the first place? or in the bible? Has anyone other than another human being ever told her she has to? Who told them to believe in god? If the same people told her something more difficult to believe, like "tomorrow your cat will turn into a glass of water", would she believe it? Why or why not? She uses her reasoning to decide what to believe all the time, why would she suspend that use when it comes to something as important as instructions by which she must live her life?

...and go from there.

Theists are so weird. Good luck.

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