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Old 03-21-2002, 07:54 AM   #1
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Can atheists go to heaven???

Can atheists go to heaven???

So, I am an atheist, as many of you my know. Does this mean that when I die, I can't go to heaven???(Though I don't believe in any kind of heaven, I also can't exclude the possibility there is a heaven).
I mean, if there is some kind of God and he is good and omnipotent as many religions tell me, then he/she/it should also know that there is no reason for me to believe in him. Why? Because I never saw any proof nor did I ever sense the possible existance of a God, so it is perfectly logical for me (and I think for any sensible person) not to believe in him or worshipping him. Otherwise I could also worship the golden calf. Also I live a good life, have good moral standards, I'm quite good towards other people, humanity and nature as a whole.
So if I die and it happens to be that there actually is a God and a heaven and everything like that, why couldn't I get there?? Just because I don't believe in him or worship him??? Well, that would make God a bit of an ego-maniac wouldn't it? And I don't know if I want to worship him if he's that way, even if I do believe/know he does exist. Because with his goodness and omnipotence he should know that me not believing in him is the most sane thing for me to do......

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Old 03-21-2002, 10:31 AM   #2
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Vorsprung, I wish I could tell you that yes, you'll get to heaven, even if you don't believe in God, but I don't believe that's true. As a Christian, I believe that the only thing that saves is the grace of God - he gave us the opportunity to believe and have faith in his son Christ Jesus.
However, I also think that believers in the "big 3" (Islam, Judaism, Christianity) would all give you the same answer about heaven and belief. I think they would all tell you at least that a belief in God is necessary for entrance into Heaven.
Part of your question seemed to be based on the fact that you're a good person. Well, the Bible tells us that it is not our own works that save us, but the saving grace of God. See, God is perfectly holy, so he can't even abide in teh presence of sin. He knew that we could never be good enough on our own, so he sent his perfect son to die on the cross to pay the price for our sins. When we accept Christ, his blood washes away our sins, and we are forgiven for all sins, past, present and future. It is strictly by the grace of God that we are saved, not on our own power. If we relied on our own good works to get us into Heaven, none of us would get there. Here are some Bible verses for you. Please read this and seek God, for "he who seeks will find".

On "proof" that God exists:
For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this
knowledge in their hearts. From the time the world was created, people
have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his
invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse
whatsoever for not knowing God. Romans 1:19-20

on salvation:
For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your
heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by
believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, "Anyone who believes in him will not be disappointed." Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They all have the same Lord, who generously gives his riches to all who ask for them. For "Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Romans 10:9-13

God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesian 2:8-9

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoseoever believe in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

on the nature of God's love:
Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer
loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? (Even the Scriptures say, "For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep."?) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love.
Death can't, and life can't. The angels can't, and the demons can't. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can't keep God's love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39

on Heaven:
I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, "Look, the home of God is now
among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.? He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and its evils are gone forever." Rev 21:3

on hell:
And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was
thrown into the lake of fire. Rev 20:15


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Old 03-21-2002, 10:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by 80sU2isBest:
On "proof" that God exists:
For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this
knowledge in their hearts.
But doesn't this mean that God decides who believes in Him by putting that knowlegde into their hearts? Isn't it strange that God is punishing atheists by not letting them into heaven while He is the one who made them an atheist in the first place?
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Old 03-21-2002, 11:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by DrTeeth:
But doesn't this mean that God decides who believes in Him by putting that knowlegde into their hearts? Isn't it strange that God is punishing atheists by not letting them into heaven while He is the one who made them an atheist in the first place?
DrTeeth, God didn't "make them athiests". We all have our own free will. We make our own decisions. We choose how to live our lives. This verse simply says that the evidence of God is there; people have no excuse.

I don't believe that punishment is really the issue here. The spiritual order of things is that every single one of us deserves hell, because we have sinned at least once. God, by nature is holy, and therefore cannot abide in the presence of sin. So, we as sinful people, will get hell. And that's because there is no place in Heaven for sin. God can't even look at it. However, God "is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to everlasting life". He created a rescue plan, whereby all men can be made holy and be granted entrance to Heaven. That's how much Christ loves us - so much that he willingly laid down his life so that we could be with him for eternity. So, hell is where we will go if we "die in our sins" (read: die unforgiven) simply because that's the spiritual order of things. God's spiritual order of things also allows for forgiven people to enter his kingdom. The choice is yours; teh gift is free for the taking.

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Old 03-21-2002, 11:13 AM   #5
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So you don't think this free will you say people have is influenced by (a) God?
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Old 03-21-2002, 11:15 AM   #6
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every man has his free will and he decides what to do (or what not to do)

we have to take responsibility for our actions.

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Old 03-21-2002, 11:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by DrTeeth:
So you don't think this free will you say people have is influenced by (a) God?
The Bible tells that the Holy Spirit lives in Christians and of course influences them. But, I also believe that the Holy Spirit is not limited to influencing Christians. I think the Holy Spirit is always whispering to people, trying to bring them to acceptance of Christ. But I also think that Satan and his minions are also out there, telling us the exact opposite; live for self, deny God, you don't need him. If people don't believe in God, that's the influence of Satan's lies, not God. God wants us all to know him and to share in his kingdom.




[This message has been edited by 80sU2isBest (edited 03-21-2002).]
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Old 03-21-2002, 11:25 AM   #8
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Then what's the point of being a good, moral, decent human being if nothing we do in life MATTERS?? It really bothers me that the only way to get rescued is by surrendering to Jesus. This just seems like blackmail to me.

I am not quite an atheist, I would consider myself an agnostic. I am willing to be convinced one way or the other. I really really do wish I were religious, it would make life so much simpler and I wouldn't always have to worry that I am doomed to hell, simply because I wasn't raised a Christian. It's so unfair. Yet I can't just believe in something wholheartedly based on being told this is how it is!!! Well, I'm doomed to hell anyway I guess so I might as well enjoy my life while it lasts.
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Old 03-21-2002, 11:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mrs. Edge:
Then what's the point of being a good, moral, decent human being if nothing we do in life MATTERS?? It really bothers me that the only way to get rescued is by surrendering to Jesus. This just seems like blackmail to me.

I am not quite an atheist, I would consider myself an agnostic. I am willing to be convinced one way or the other. I really really do wish I were religious, it would make life so much simpler and I wouldn't always have to worry that I am doomed to hell, simply because I wasn't raised a Christian. It's so unfair. Yet I can't just believe in something wholheartedly based on being told this is how it is!!! Well, I'm doomed to hell anyway I guess so I might as well enjoy my life while it lasts.
I never said that nothing in life that we do matters, and I don't believe that way. We do good because that's what God desires, and that is what helps people. But what I did say is that good deeds won't get you to Heaven, because no matter how many good deeds you do, you'll never be what God requires - perfect. It's not blackmail; God didn't abritrarily say "Oh well, let's make perfection a requirement, so that Heaven won't be overrun with people who have done good". Perfection is a requirement because to be in God's presence requires a perfect spirit. Like I said, it's God's nature that he can't abide sin. The one thing that God can't do is go against his nature. It's who he is. Salvation is a free gift. You don't have to do anything at all to earn it, but just accept it. When you accept Christ, all sins are forgiven, and your spirit is made perfect. Would you rather be judged according to what you do? Not me. If I was judged accorsing to what I do and think, there's no way in hell that I would go to Heaven. I've committed so many sins and thought so many bad things, I could never measure up. I would say teh same thing about you, I would say the same thing about every person that ever lived.
No, what to do about those who have never heard? God is just and God
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Old 03-23-2002, 04:13 PM   #10
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foray;

Please excuse my bad phraseology, but what I MEANT to indicate was that the Universe IS a manifistation of God, however, He (or It, as I prefer to call it) is more than that. I don't see how you can find it all that difficult, when you consider the Holy Trinity; God is the Son, the creation, but he is also God the Father, as well as the Holy Spirit. Here he isn't two things at the same time, he's three! So, really, my theory is not so far-fetched when you put the Holy Trinity into context.

"How about thinking that 'Good' is an attribute of God rather than a creation of His? If I were a child artist, my art might be imbued with a certain child-like quality. I did not make myself a child, I just happened to be a child. "

Indeed, I do believe good is an attribute of God, however, just as in the child example that you effectively stated, 'good' doesn't do the child justice - he or she is so much more than that. Within that child there is also bad, there is love and hate, disobedience and friendship etc. Good is an attribute, but only that.

"Perhaps one cannot say that God created Good because that would indicate a sense of Time. I mean, Good is something that simply is, and it stands outside of Time. To be created would mean it would have to undergo change, right? But Good cannot change, just like Love can't change. Good was always there with God, only it wasn't separate from God. Good is God and vice versa."

I don't agree with you here though. You are assuming, I think, that good is everywhere somehow. It isn't - animals don't put issues in moral dignity pants as humans do, for all we know, they have no concept of morality and a sense of right and wrong, good or bad.
I don't think that good is something that simply is, because whose definition of 'good' do we rely on? WHAT definition of good is there, and what 'good' is constant? Good means different things to different people and beings, it can't be measured as something universal that applies to all, it is too diverse. There are constants, God being one of them, but the concept of Good changes along with society all along, it isn't constant.

Good post though, foray.

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Old 03-23-2002, 04:20 PM   #11
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looks like a good chunk of this thread just disappeared into never-never land. Where is page 2?
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Old 03-23-2002, 04:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4:
looks like a good chunk of this thread just disappeared into never-never land. Where is page 2?
Too true, thats what I was thinking!
Hmm... maybe its an act of God.

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Old 03-23-2002, 08:51 PM   #13
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Yeah, I want to know if 80s ever answered my question.

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Old 03-23-2002, 09:56 PM   #14
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No Anthony, you misunderstood. Of course I can understand that God can be more than one thing, but if I recall your post correctly, you in effect said that 'God = The Universe' as well as 'God < The Universe' hence the discrepancy I thought I saw.

The eg of a child was just that, an eg. I wasn't taking into account the attributes of a child.

Man's concept of Good may change. I don't believe Good actually changes. If it does, we're all done for.

I'm done with this thread anyway. 2/3 of it is gone. Vors hasn't even replied.

Thanks Ant//

foray.

Quote:
Originally posted by Anthony:
foray;

Please excuse my bad phraseology, but what I MEANT to indicate was that the Universe IS a manifistation of God, however, He (or It, as I prefer to call it) is more than that. I don't see how you can find it all that difficult, when you consider the Holy Trinity; God is the Son, the creation, but he is also God the Father, as well as the Holy Spirit. Here he isn't two things at the same time, he's three! So, really, my theory is not so far-fetched when you put the Holy Trinity into context.

"How about thinking that 'Good' is an attribute of God rather than a creation of His? If I were a child artist, my art might be imbued with a certain child-like quality. I did not make myself a child, I just happened to be a child. "

Indeed, I do believe good is an attribute of God, however, just as in the child example that you effectively stated, 'good' doesn't do the child justice - he or she is so much more than that. Within that child there is also bad, there is love and hate, disobedience and friendship etc. Good is an attribute, but only that.

"Perhaps one cannot say that God created Good because that would indicate a sense of Time. I mean, Good is something that simply is, and it stands outside of Time. To be created would mean it would have to undergo change, right? But Good cannot change, just like Love can't change. Good was always there with God, only it wasn't separate from God. Good is God and vice versa."

I don't agree with you here though. You are assuming, I think, that good is everywhere somehow. It isn't - animals don't put issues in moral dignity pants as humans do, for all we know, they have no concept of morality and a sense of right and wrong, good or bad.
I don't think that good is something that simply is, because whose definition of 'good' do we rely on? WHAT definition of good is there, and what 'good' is constant? Good means different things to different people and beings, it can't be measured as something universal that applies to all, it is too diverse. There are constants, God being one of them, but the concept of Good changes along with society all along, it isn't constant.

Good post though, foray.

Ant.
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Old 03-23-2002, 10:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Yeah, I want to know if 80s ever answered my question.
I answered every question asked of me unless it was in the last day or so. When did you post the question, and what was it?
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