On 1/3/2013 5:47 AM, Craig Weinberg wrote:


    Personally, I believe
    that the "eternal torture" of Hell is not to be able to feel God's
    love and forgiveness. That would be Hell to a Jesus. He
    refers to being tossed out and undergoing a "weeping and
    gnashing of teeth".


Heaven and Hell were invented so that injustice, so obviously missing on Earth, could be redressed in an afterlife. I think it has a lake of fire because people didn't think 'not feeling God's love' was enough punishment for say Hitler. Of course then they got carried away by superlatives, "Believe in my god or he'll punish you worse than your god."


    Hindus and Buddhists believe in reincarnation, which from
    what we observe, is not always a pleasant life.


Personally I believe that Hell and Heaven are metaphors which extrapolate the ordinary high and low moods of human consciousness to a super-significance. God is a metaphor in the exact same way - an algebraic concept of X = Infinite proprietary superlatives. If you are in a world of competing polytheistic deities, each the representation of a personal superlative or sphere of influence (God of war, Goddess of beauty, etc), then the invention of a supreme ultimate deity who trumps all others in all categories is an excellent political strategy. It's a convenient way to consolidate allegiance and direct everyone's personal insecurities to a mass psychology solution.

Right. See Craig A. James book, "The Religion Virus" for a nice explication of 
this.

Brent


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