...I am sure they are happy that they are free from it and I am sure they don't want to go through it ever again.
You're sure? Well, that just solves it all, then. Really? Is that your reply: I am sure -- opinion backed up by what you perceive to be true in the minds of others. Are you becoming like Hal, now? Speaking about the mindset of others.
Let me put it another way: does a war truly end for all those who come home from war? Studies have shown that some soldiers bring home the war, and it is with them their entire life.
Also, one difference between any situation (I've already mentioned) in our finite existence and eternal torture is that there is no hope, there is no way out, there's no end, it doesn't stop, nobody can save you from it once it begins, otherwise it ceases to be eternal.
There may be truth in that, but then again, there might not be. That's an assumption with some weight but as An American Tail taught me as a child: never say never. If Satan tried to take the "throne", then who's to say it wouldn't in the future? Or, maybe Biblegod would be like our politicians and "change its mind" about the whole fire & brimstone thing.
See, I can assume, too. It's so easy.
Nor do you and that's kind of the point.
You're right, I don't. But Hal thinks that I couldn't last 10-15 seconds, which implies that probably no one else could either. See, he states his opinion as a fact, where as in concern to me, what I state as a fact should hold more water but in his opinion
that's not true. He's using condescion to state he's correct--are you?
I mean, I know what I'd do: I've been doing it all my life--why would I change my mind if presented with the choice: though, as others have pointed out: there really isn't a choice, and we'd all be going there anyway.
And you've yet to show a single example where you've been tested to know what you can endure and how you'd endure it. But even then, to say you can endure constant torture for even as little as a googolplex years and still feel it's better than being a sell out is a pretty bold claim and I don't think you've really had anything to back it up.
You want my personal baggage? Fine. Between 7-10 years old, I went to a babysitter. Her name was
Faye O------. She had a very nice husband, and son. Her mother was cruel but not as cruel as her. She made her own father use the bathroom outside. That meant he urinated, and defecated outside. Now, granted he was a mean old man, and probably treated her, like she treated me and a couple other kids she babysat but still...even when he died, which was outside where she made him be most of the time, she didn't call for someone to remove his body for more than 3 hours. She was busy watching her soap opera
; and she made a few of us kids stay outside to make sure any animals stayed away. I was 8 years old, athat time. She forced a few of us to clean her house, mow her yard, pull weeds, pick up cigarette butts, etc., and if we didn't do it just the way she wanted us to, she'd take a really thick belt, with a thick buckle, and spank us with it. Sometimes she'd miss our butts and hit our backs, and legs. She was so skilled at it, that she knew how to hit us without leaving much of a bruise on us. And, when we'd complain to our parents, she'd make up some convincing lie, and then we became liars and heathens.
My last year there, there was only two of us left. One of the previous children, a girl named Christy L-----, who I had my first kiss with, she ended up attempting suicide several times throughout her life based on the things Faye did to her. She was even on Oprah in the mid 1990s to speak about it. I didn't see the episode. The last time I saw her was in 1990. Haven't seen her since. One of the other boys, he did commit suicide based on what she made him and me do together, which I won't get into here. He was 11 years old when he committed suicide.
See, most of the kids she watched she took care of but some of us were "special", and she treated us like shit. Literally. See, we too could only use the bathroom outside. Behind the shed.
Now, I could say my life got better after not having to go to her but it actually got worse, in some ways. But unlike those uf us treated like shit: I did survive.
I told you some really bad things that happened to me there for 3 years but I left out the really horrible stuff. I saw her years later, and I would've killed her if my friend didn't talk me out of it. She's a person deserving of endless torture.
Again, this is the point. We'd have to make the decision without any of those tests to know how far we could take it, how far we could endure it. Yes, I'd suggest every man has his breaking point, just because there are men who have endured does not mean they have a breaking point, it just means it hasn't been reached. We have to consider what the psychological effects here, we have a basic fight or flight response system and when faced with constant threat that's our operating system. Our brain has coping systems, but that doesn't mean you're psychologically sound. You're looking at anxiety and then you're looking at depression and with those in mind there's doors open to other psychological effects. There's an eternity for them to manifest, to break you down. You may even get to that stage where you beg for forgiveness because it's a way out. In essence, taking the 'flight' response.
The insane have no mentality.
Get it? That much torture would drive one insane, and the insane don't think sanely. These questions wouldn't arise from a person after having a mind that's no longer there. The questions then become moot.
If knowing there is a god and we know which one and which version then pascal's wager does apply. I hate it and it does pain me to say it, but I don't think I'd take the 'torture' option just to find out I don't have the constitution I thought I had to withstand eternal torture. It's horrible thought having to kiss up to this deity, you might have seen in my posts my general dislike of bible-God and how horrific I think he is and even if given the opportunity (if he existed) I'd like to see him dead. Kissing up to that is a horrific idea. But I'd know that by giving in I'd have have plenty of time to come to terms with it. I'd already be self deluded by the time I've come to heaven. I'd probably find people I'd enjoy heaven with and find much to help me forget that I sold myself out. If the gift of heaven is eternal bliss, if that is the reward I receive then my initial conflicts of interest would pass. It even feels dirty saying it, but I feel that it is the honest thing for this hypothetical situation.
And that's the road you, Hal, and many others would take. It's not the road I'd take.
You have the knowledge that those who have suffered torture would avoid it, yet you'd take the choice to dive straight in? I'm not sure that you would. You know that you're up against an all-powerful, all-knowing being who is infinite and that he wishes to give you eternal torture, because in this hypothetical situation it has been revealed to you. You may not know what its like, but when it comes to that fight-or-flight response, I am sure you know what fighting means for you, even if you lack the experience of what it may even be like or can even comprehend the extent of it. You don't have to have been hit by a bus to know that when one's coming your way that your "fight" response is not a good idea. Subconsciously you'll know this too, which is why your natural response is to 'flight', if you wish to commit suicide you may try to override your subconscious to go for a 'fight' response.
And of course, once we know there's a god and we know which god and which version, suddenly pascal's wager starts to make sense. Are you going to want to take the risk to find out if you can take it? Without knowing your own abilities and without knowing your own thresholds?
I wonder: is one truly an atheist if they cave in when a dead end arises?