Sejame wrote:Whether there be a Heaven and Hell or nothing at all I'm still going to treat other people with respect and live a good life. I don't need a warning to do that.
QFT. Nobody should. It disgusts me that so many people WOULD need a warning.
It's so unfair how it's so difficult for me to find a fellow atheist IRL to talk to, whereas on the internet it's a good deal more difficult to find someone who isn't either agnostic or atheistic.
I have an anecdote. Atheists/theists/agnostics all welcome to address it if they so wish.
Me and my best friend are both big TV-watchers, and even though we don't always watch the same shows, we still tend to share a lot of whatever we're watching with the other, over MSN and such. I recently picked up "Reaper", a dramedy about a young man whose soul has been sold to the devil. (It's completely addictive -- I watched the whole series over a matter of days.) And like always, I told her which parts were hilarious, which characters were awesome, etc. In particular, my favourite character is, yes, the devil. (He's awesome
.) On my end, this has absolutely no religious or moral meaning. He's just an awesome fictional character, one that's not even particularly evil in comparison to a lot of fictional antagonists. But whenever I brought him up, she seemed genuinely uncomfortable. She's Muslim, and I don't have a lot of clear ideas about what her religion believes. I asked her, and as it turns out, she believes the whole kit & caboodle. Fallen angel, rebelled against God, now hangs out in another plane of existence (hey, at least it's not underground) called Hell, that place where you go when you die to be tortured for all eternity if you were a bad person while living.
This just seems... very odd to me. When it comes to God, in whatever capacity one believes that he exists, his existence can't be proven or disproven, one way or the other. But Satan, Hell... I'd thought that these concepts were beyond belief at this point. They're something out of Gary Larson comics, out of amusing TV shows on the CW, out of gaudy Halloween costumes.
So my poorly-lead-up-to question is, where does abstract religion concept end and pure, silly fiction begin for you?