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★ Hell

190.  Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete.  The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted even for a single second that my conclusion was correct.  I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished.

 

And this is a damnable doctrine.  (God & Disbelief & Belief & Christianity & Hell & Doctrine)  ibid.

 

 

12,689.  Disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate but it was at last complete.  I indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity can be true.  For if so, the plain language seems to show that men who do not believe will be everlastingly punished.  And this is a damnable doctrine.  (Christian & Hell & Disbelief)  Charles Darwin

 

 

223.  If I were to construct a God I would furnish Him with some way and qualities and characteristics which the Present lacks.  He would not stoop to ask for any man's compliments, praises, flatteries; and He would be far above exacting them.  I would have Him as self-respecting as the better sort of man in these regards.

 

He would not be a merchant, a trader.  He would not buy these things.  He would not sell, or offer to sell, temporary benefits of the joys of eternity for the product called worship.  I would have Him as dignified as the better sort of man in this regard.

 

He would value no love but the love born of kindnesses conferred; not that born of benevolences contracted for.  Repentance in a man's heart for a wrong done would cancel and annul that sin; and no verbal prayers for forgiveness be required or desired or expected of that man.

 

In His Bible there would be no Unforgiveable Sin.  He would recognize in Himself the Author and Inventor of Sin and Author and Inventor of the Vehicle and Appliances for its commission; and would place the whole responsibility where it would of right belong: upon Himself, the only Sinner.

 

He would not be a jealous God – a trait so small that even men despise it in each other.

 

He would not boast.

 

He would keep private Hs admirations of Himself; He would regard self-praise as unbecoming the dignity of his position.

 

He would not have the spirit of vengeance in His heart.  Then it would not issue from His lips.

 

There would not be any hell – except the one we live in from the cradle to the grave.

 

There would not be any heaven – the kind described in the world's Bibles.

 

He would spend some of His eternities in trying to forgive Himself for making man unhappy when he could have made him happy with the same effort and he would spend the rest of them in studying astronomy.  (God & Praise & Worship & Forgiveness & Sin & Jealousy & Hell & Heaven & Unhappy)  Mark Twain, notebook

 

 

47,210.  All right, then, I’ll go to hell.  Mark Twain  

 

 

47,211.  Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.  (Hell & Heaven)  Mark Twain

 

 

47,212.  We are each our own devil, and we make this world our Hell.  Mark Twain

 

 

280.  If it were to be true, one would be living under a permanent surveillance, a round-the-clock celestial dictatorship that watched you while you slept; and could convict you of thought crime, could indict you for things you thought in the privacy of your own skull, and sentence you to quite a long stretch, namely an eternity of punishment for that.  Or dangle not to me very attractive reward of life of eternal praise and grovelling and sprawling and singing the praises of someone who you are ordered to love; someone whom you must both love and fear ... Compulsory love – how fascinating.  (God & Surveillance & Dictatorship & Think & Hell & Praise & Love & God’s Fascism)  Christopher Hitchens, interview Divine Impulses

 

 

8,902.  I don’t think it’s moral at all to lie to children.  When I meet people in holy orders I feel I am meeting someone who is paid to lie to children.  I don’t think that’s a moral calling or occupation to tell children that they should be terrified of Hell ... This is wicked.  It’s ruined the childhood of millions of children down the generations.  (Children & Abuse & Hell & Religion & Lie)  Christopher Hitchens, Freedom From Religion Foundation 2007

 

 

4,874.  To terrify children with the image of hell, to consider women an inferior creation – is that good for the world?  (Woman & Children & Hell)  Christopher Hitchens 

 

 

12,387.  Not until gentle Jesus meek and mild is the concept of Hell introduced.  Eternal torture, eternal punishment, for you and all your family for the smallest transgression.  I have no hesitation in saying this is a wicked belief.  (Jesus & Hell)  Christopher Hitchens, Christopher Hitchens v Reverend Al Sharpton

 

 

12,735.  Only when gentle Jesus meek and mild makes his appearance are those who won’t accept the message are told they must depart into everlasting fire.  (Christianity & Jesus & Hell)  Christopher Hitchens v Alister McGrath, Georgetown University Washington 2007

 

 

47,196.  Who designed Hell?  Christopher Hitchens, lecture The Moral Necessity of Atheism

 

 

47,249.  The clear awareness of having been born into a losing struggle need not lead one into despair.  I do not especially like the idea that one day I shall be tapped on the shoulder and informed, not that the party is over but that it is most assuredly going on – only henceforth in my absence.  (It's the second of those thoughts: the edition of the newspaper that will come out on the day after I have gone, that is the more distressing.)  Much more horrible, though, would be the announcement that the party was continuing forever, and that I was forbidden to leave.  Whether it was a hellishly bad party or a party that was perfectly heavenly in every respect, the moment that it became eternal and compulsory would be the precise moment that it began to pall.  Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

 

 

47,279.  When I was a child and I was told about Heaven and Hell I couldn’t form a picture of Heaven because I was told well what it would be is eternal praise, everlasting praise ... Sounded like Hell to me. (Heaven & Hell)  Christopher Hitchens, Freedom from Religion Foundation 2007

 

 

95,943.  It is only in the reported observations of Jesus that we find any mention of hell and eternal punishment.  (Religion & Hell & Jesus)  Christopher Hitchens, God is Not Great p175 

 

95,957.  However, I am still granted free will with which to reject the offer of vicarious redemption.  Should I exercise this choice, however, I face an eternity of torture much more awful than anything endured at Calvary, or anything threatened to those who first heard the Ten Commandments.  (Religion & Jesus & Hell & Christianity)  ibid.  pp209-210

 

 

108,209.  Did you really say not imposed?  What if you reject this offer?  What are you told? … If you accept it, you can have eternal life … What a horrible way to abolish your own responsibility … I don’t want it: oh you don’t?  You can go to hell.  (Jesus & Hell)  Christopher Hitchens

 

 

366.  A man can have but one life and one death,

One heaven, one hell.  (Religion & Life’s Like That & Death & Heaven & Hell & Life After Death)  Robert Browning, In a Balcony

 

 

381.  While utterly discarding all creeds, and denying the truth of all religions, there is neither in my heart nor upon my lips a sneer for the hopeful, loving and tender souls who believe that from all this discord will result a perfect harmony; that every evil will in some mysterious way become a good, and that above and over all there is a being who, in some way, will reclaim and glorify every one of the children of men; but for those who heartlessly try to prove that salvation is almost impossible; that damnation is almost certain; that the highway of the universe leads to hell; who fill life with fear and death with horror; who curse the cradle and mock the tomb, it is impossible to entertain other than feelings of pity, contempt and scorn.  (Religion & Hell)  Robert Ingersoll, The Gods 1876, The Gods and other Lectures 1879

 

 

384.  I cannot believe that there is any being in this universe who has created a human soul for eternal pain.  I would rather that every god would destroy himself; I would rather that we all should go to eternal chaos, to black and starless night, than that just one soul should suffer eternal agony.  (Religion & God & Pain & Hell & Gods & God’s Fascism & Disbelief)  Robert Ingersoll, What Must We Do to be Saved? 1880 section X The Evangelical Alliance 

 

 

392.  The God of Hell should be held in loathing, contempt and scorn.  A God who threatens eternal pain should be hated, not loved – cursed, not worshiped.  A heaven presided over by such a God must be below the lowest hell.  I want no part in any heaven in which the saved, the ransomed and redeemed will drown with shouts of joy the cries and sobs of hell – in which happiness will forget misery, where the tears of the lost only increase laughter and double bliss.  (Religion & Hell & Heaven & God's Fascism)  Robert G Ingersoll  

 

 

400.  It makes man an eternal victim and God an eternal fiend.  It is the one infinite horror.  Every church in which it is taught is a public curse.  Every preacher who teaches it is an enemy of mankind.  Below this Christian dogma, savagery cannot go.  It is the infinite of malice, hatred, and revenge.

 

Nothing could add to the horror of hell, except the presence of its creator, God.

 

While I have life, as long as I draw breath, I shall deny with all my strength, and hate with every drop of my blood, this infinite lie.  (God & Religion & Hell & Lie & God's Fascism)  Robert G Ingersoll

 

 

401.  If there is a God who will damn his children forever, I would rather go to hell than to go to heaven and keep the society of such an infamous tyrant.  I make my choice now.  I despise that doctrine.  It has covered the cheeks of this world with tears.  It has polluted the hearts of children, and poisoned the imaginations of men ... What right have you, sir, Mr clergyman, you, minister of the gospel to stand at the portals of the tomb, at the vestibule of eternity, and fill the future with horror and with fear?  I do not believe this doctrine, neither do you.  If you did, you could not sleep one moment.  Any man who believes it, and has within his breast a decent, throbbing heart, will go insane.  A man who believes that doctrine and does not go insane has the heart of a snake and the conscience of a hyena.  (God & Hell & Children & God’s Fascism)  Robert G Ingersoll, The Liberty of Man, Woman and Child

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