If God exists, why do so many people doubt?


I sincerely doubt that atheists who make sincere efforts to love their neighbor are going to Hell. Purgatory more likely.


I’m not talking about people who have never heard of the Church.

Okay, so having sex with man I have a crush on, assuming I was gay, will send me to hell for all conceivable eternity if I don’t repent. Great! Yeah mercy is His surname. Don’t bother creating me then!!!


A good, moral person would not go to hell, even if he doesn’t believe in God. Atheism by itself is not grounds for damnation.


Yeah but homosexual sex is!


With full knowledge that’s it’s wrong and freely chosen and not repented if until death, yes.


So God creates homosexuals and then denies them sex under the worst imaginable penalty. And THIS is a God of mercy?!


Have you ever read some basic theology? Where are you getting this stuff? I’m not trying to be patronizing. These are basic questions. But they are BASIC.

Who goes to Hell? Well, according to the Catholic Church, you have to have 3 elements to commit a mortal sin:

  1. It must BE a very serious matter. (In other words, if you think kissing your girlfriend is a mortal sin, it doesn’t matter–because it’s NOT a mortal sin.)
  2. You have to KNOW it’s a serious matter. (So if you do something that is a serious intrinsic evil–let’s say get an abortion–but you honestly (honestly meaning you have actually done a lot of serious reasoning and reading about the subject are aren’t simply trying to find an excuse) think it is OK, then it’s not a mortal sin.
  3. Complete approval of your will. (This is a key concept–think of all the things that affect your will: genetic disposition; how you were raised; how bound you are by your own habits; how knowledgeable you are about your own choices; etc. etc. You should quickly realize something very important–which one of us is TRULY free? There is a school of thought that says nothing we do on earth is TRULY free. It’s only after death that we are free. This school of thought would say that at the Last Judgment, God will ask you if you REALLY wanted to do x, y, and z. And at that point, being truly free at last, you will either embrace your serious sins–thereby saying to God, “Yes, please. Send me to Hell!” or you will say “What was I thinking? I reject my sins! How could I possibly have done that?” Whether you believe this school of thought or not, free will is an essential element. And of course only God can properly judge how free you were when you decided to sin.

So I answered this already, and apparently you haven’t read my link to a very short article. If you are an atheist and live a good life (by the light of your own conscience), will you go to Heaven or Hell? Heaven, of course. How could it be otherwise?

Then you start giving concrete example: homosexual sex, sex outside of marriage. Would doing these things send you to Hell? You are wasting your time asking us here. Only God knows. Or as Pope Francis quite rightly said, “Who am I to judge?” A pope is not God. Only God knows. Yes, they are serious matters that are considered mortal sin. But did you REALLY think they were mortal sins? Did you give the complete free assent of your will? Only God knows the answers to those questions–you don’t even know yourself.


Well, I’m a heterosexual, and I’m not having sex. And I’m not dying for it. :slight_smile: (I don’t think so, anyways.)

But if a person has same sex attraction, it must be a terrible suffering to bear. It would indeed be a big cross. Any my first reaction would be to be angry with God for giving it to me OR thinking God must not exist, because a good God would not do something so terrible like that.


But he DID explain himself. And you have free will either to believe in that explanation or not.

“Incapable of understanding Him”? Not at all. Anyone with a normal mind can understand him and his revelation. Understanding Him COMPLETELY? No, we can’t.


Yeah I never said that. I said having sex with her was a mortal sin outside marriage, just like masturbation

Bingo. That was the point from the beginning. Why won’t God tell us?!

It’s not even a question of atheism or not. Assuming He exists, what kind of God is he?!


Why should I give my life to someone who didn’t even bother to lift a tiny finger to explain himself fully?


And yet you’re a Catholic?


Right. :slight_smile:

This is an initial impulse or thought that one may choose to say with or move past by extending out the thought process a bit further. (I’m goofing off at the moment on another thread. But shall return to this thought, unless someone else can relate to what I"m saying and finish the thought process for me…)


Powerful stuff. Great post.


Where are you getting this stuff? Again, not the Catholic Church.

Back to the 3 elements: Is it a serious sin? Yes–the Church says it is. Do you KNOW it’s a serious sin? Maybe–but maybe after serious analysis and thought you conclude that it is NOT a sin. In your own conscience you think it’s OK. Then it’s not a sin. And do you give free consent? How free are you in this case? It depends on the person. But I suspect few, if any, people would have perfect freedom of choice. Then it’s not a mortal sin.


Look, technicalities won’t get me away from the point that some form of consensual homosexual sex between loving humans could make them end up in hell for ALL ETERNITY.


You don’t seem to be thinking about the responses to your posts. The point I was making is simply that something has to be, objectively, a serious sin. If it’s not, it doesn’t matter if you think it is–it’s not a serious sin.

I’ll try one LAST time: it’s quite simple. God HAS told us over and over and over what to do. go back to your example of homosexual sex. Has God said it’s forbidden? Yes. Has the Church said it’s a serious sin? Yes. There’s no way you can say God hasn’t told you. He has. But then, as I said, it gets more complicated. It’s not simply a black or white thing–nothing is! It becomes a question of your own conscience and of giving free assent of your will. And only God can judge those things. Now if you’re worried about stuff like that, why push the boundaries? Simply don’t do things God has told you not to do. It’s not that hard.


These are not “technicalities.” They’re the basis for ethics. COULD homosexual sex result in you going to Hell? Certainly. So could a whole host of things. WILL it? You don’t know. You seem to be searching for the impossible–you seem to want God’s judgment immediately. God has told you what to do. Either do it or not. If not, you are trusting that God will excuse you on grounds you cannot be sure of. Quite a risk. But don’t blame God, blame your willingness to take the risk!


What on earth does THAT mean? “Give my life…” Are you becoming a monk or a hermit? “Didn’t even bother to life a tiny finger to explain himself…” Really? How about the Bible? How about the Church? How about dying on the cross? Seems to me God’s gone to quite some lengths to explain himself.

It’s been lovely chatting, but I have to get on with my life. Good-bye for now.


Just to address this one thought, Curious…

It’s basically saying to God at the last moment, “You know God, I know better than you do, and I don’t accept your will.” If one doesn’t repent for that behavior before they die, they can’t be a part of Heaven, it would make for a dissonance that would not be possible as we define Heaven as a place of harmony and union with God.

I think God in his wisdom must give a person enough time in their lifespan to make up their mind about it. It’s a finite amount of time for the human person to decide.

It’s up to a person, including you, to decide each day what you want to do, the choices you will make, to be more specific. Humans are in every moment making choices, though our habits can play a part in how free that choice is.

Going without sex really is not so horrible. There is a freedom in it to love in a higher way. That’s what I think, anyways.


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