Author Topic: Belief in hell in the Netherlands  (Read 618 times)

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Offline Fiji

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Belief in hell in the Netherlands
« on: October 10, 2012, 05:52:43 AM »
Wait, no, I'm not claiming hell is in the Netherlands! ... though there is a place in North Brabant called Helmond ... Hel = Hell, Mond = Mouth
So ... OMNEG! Hell IS in the Netherlands (hell ... or Buffy)

Anyway! There was a recent study done into the belief in a literal hell among the Dutch. In total some 25% of the Dutch believe in hell. Among the non-religious (or the non-church going ... I got my info second hand and the article used the two terms interchangeably) it's 10% and among the actively religious folk it's 56%.
This may seem like quite a low number, given that belief in heaven is damn near 100% among church goers (well, duh). But you need to keep in mind that this is the Netherlands we're talking about. Just under 50% of the religious folk are Catholic, I presume that belief in hell is close to 100% among these. But the other "just under 50%" is a particular brand of Protestantism where hell is almost completely ignored. All carrot, no stick. Satan is presented as a real entity but rather than lord over hell, he's just the guy who keeps you from reaching paradise. (what's supposed to happen to you when you don't reach paradise ... I don't know, go ask a Dutchman)
So, I guess the Catholics make up the vast majority of those 56%.

The study also showed that crime rates are lower in places where people believe in hell. And here I need to tread carefully as the article only used a few blanket statements here. So I don't know what was compared with what.
Still what does this say for our dear friend Pascal? Just believe in god because the potential reward is infinitely great ... Seems that in real life, people don't care all that much for Pascal's infinite carrot[1]. So, his wager becomes ... "Better believe in god because then you get to be afraid of eternal torture" ... that version of his wager makes even less sense than the original one.[2]
 1. now that sounds dirty!
 2. can sense be measured into the negative?
Science: I'll believe it when I see it
Faith: I'll see it when I believe it

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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Belief in hell in the Netherlands
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2012, 06:39:26 AM »
The study also showed that crime rates are lower in places where people believe in hell. And here I need to tread carefully as the article only used a few blanket statements here.
Hmmm... Mexico 4.6% atheist - crime rate -> horrible.
Honduras 97% Catholic - Highest murder rate anywhere in the world.

I think what you see in The Netherlands is the effects of good government and education and low poverty levels.

Having said that, I do not see godbothers in general as revolutionaries or kicking against the pricks - they do tend to be conservative (with a small 'c'). It is difficult to say if this is a cause or an effect.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”