A little back and forth on Twitter today between American Atheists and some people about belief in hell. It started with an observation that belief in hell is inconsistent with belief in [god's] unconditional love, which set off some “not all Christians believe in hell” pushback. So AA said
I suppose in that case, those Christians believe everyone goes to heaven?
@awhooker Not necessarily.
@AmericanAtheist What do they believe happens to those who don’t?
@awhooker No idea. You’ll have to ask a Christian what he/she/they believes.
Each individual will have a different conception of the afterlife. But not all Christian denominations believe in hell.
For example, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventism, and Christadelphianism don’t ascribe to such a belief.
Nothing remarkable about any of that, it’s just that it struck me what a footling, pointless, empty, ungrounded way of trying to get understanding it is. It’s all floating around in the air, tethered to nothing. It’s all just making it up.
With other kinds of conversations and arguments and attempts to get understanding, the parties are attempting to consult something – information, knowledge, data, evidence in the case of factual disputes, or values, rights, laws, politics in the case of disputes over principles, or both combined in many cases. But then there’s this weird other category where everything is just claims, and people believe them or they believe different ones, but in neither case is there anything more than just claims. These over here “believe” everyone goes to heaven while those over there “believe” some people go to heaven while other people go to hell. There are no roots on “believe” – it just dangles there, connected to nothing, leading nowhere.
Nothing new in that. It just annoys me afresh at times, the way people will take seriously states of affairs like “Each individual will have a different conception of the afterlife” as if that’s reasonable as opposed to an incoherent anarchic babble.