terça-feira, 14 de maio de 2013
I keep wondering to which point this gruesome concept of hell can affect one’s individual psyche. I was raised in a very fundamentalist/baptist environment and was indoctrinated from early childhood with the concepts of salvation, eternal damnation in hell etc. I totally identify with the first statment in this post, when you say it’s impossible for you to absolve any theistic doctrine with everlasting punishment amongst its set of basic dogmas. As a Brazilian former christian/pastor (Rubem Alves) pointed out: ‘What would be of the church if it wasn’t for hell?’. In principle, I think any religion or supernatural belief may have some inner damaging potential, since your way of seeing reality may get impaired to some point. But there may be some positive sides to it to, for instance, if someone prefers believing in the existence of a post mortem life better than the present and feels better believing that way. But any creed involving the teaching of eternal torture as punishment to non-believers can do massive psychological disturbance to any person. I’ll give a brief account from my own experience: as a child I learned to see non-believers as doomed to hell, and therefore evil doers and sinners, followers of Satan (they knowing that or not). In my teens I got to be very disturbed in mind and anti-social, completely frightened. As an adult I became a depressed man with suicidal tendencies in my early thirties, with panic disturb bouts, and I’m quite sure all this emotional misfortune was directly linked to the way I saw human existence, including mine, at the time. The concept of hell was the core of everything, as far as I look back at it. There’s plenty more to say about it, but to make it short I found myself definitely as an agnostic by the end of 2008 in my middle thirties. This deconvertion may have been ignited by the harmful mindset the concept of hell caused me to suffer. But it eventually led me to resort to reason and evidence in search of what could make more sense, of what could be more plausible and realistic in order to get on with life for the best. But I still suffer the consequences of the concept of hell. Not that I still believe (the idea of this punitive and ‘loving’ god is absurd to me some years now), but because my whole family and most beloved people in my life still believe in it. What’s worse: they’re terrorized by the idea I’m one of the bound to hell unbelievers. That’s what makes me sad sometimes, that is, it seems I was the only one who could leave the Matrix. At least I feel lucky for having left it.