Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Is the Christian doctrine of heaven a bribe, and does the doctrine of hell commit the scare tactics fallacy?

1. Some people maintain that, in religions that teach a belief in heaven and hell, that heaven is a bribe and the doctrine of hell commits the scare tactics fallacy. Is this a reasonable statement, or not? 
Here is a discussion of the scare tactics fallacy. 

14 comments:

oozzielionel said...

It depends on if it is true.

Victor Reppert said...

Doesn't it depend on whether it's sincerely believed? If I warn someone about a danger based on what I sincerely believe to be true, can I commit the scare tactics fallacy?

im-skeptical said...

The NRA uses scare tactics to get people to buy guns. Millions of people repeat the same arguments because they sincerely believe them.

Benjamin Thompson said...

It seems to me the scare tactics fallacy is centered on the vagueness of y when y is a consequence of x. In the case of hell, x would be refusing to repent of one’s sins and y would be receiving eternal (or at least long lasting) punishment. Perhaps it could be argued that merely calling hell a place of punishment for the wicked is too vague because it doesn’t clarify exactly how people will be punished nor why we should think people will be punished to begin with. I take a more Eastern Orthodox view of hell and I think we have good reason to think some sort of punishment will be dealt to those who have committed immoral acts without being forgiven of them. After all, it is difficult to see how justice could in any sense be a moral reality if it is not enforced.

planks length said...

Hell is what you get when you reject Love - that's it. It's not a threat, just a statement of fact. We see it all around us.

We all face the same choice (and yes, it is a choice): Embrace Love, or say hello to Hell.

No one should feel "threatened" by Hell, unless they freely, consciously, and purposefully choose it. As Lewis wrote in his novel The Dark Tower, "No one gets sent to Hell; they go there under their own steam." (Not an exact quote. It been many years since I've seen the book. But I believe my memory is fairly close to what he wrote.)

Likewise for Heaven. There's no "bribe" involved - it's what you get, in this life as well as in the next, when you embrace Love and act on it. As the Catholic social activist and lay philosopher Dorothy Day wrote, "All the way to Heaven is Heaven, because Jesus said 'I am the Way.'"

BenYachov said...

Hell is a place where there is a sumptuous banquet yet everyone who is present there has stiff arms that cannot bend. Try as they may they cannot feed themselves. They are all very hungry. So they get angry & start beating on each other & screaming and cursing & hurting each other.

Heaven is a place where there is a sumptuous banquet yet everyone who is present there has stiff arms that cannot bend. Try as they may they cannot feed themselves. They are all very hungry. So one goes up to the table picks up some food and feeds the person next to him/her & that person returns the favor & everyone else follows suit.

BenYachov said...

God in the Classic Sense is Life Itself and Love Itself.

If you embrace Life and Love you get Life and Love. Just as if you embrace breathing you get an air full in your lungs. If you reject breathing you get suffocation.

If you reject Life Itself and Love Itself you get an existence void of those things. Otherwise known as Hell.

im-skeptical said...

"Hell is a place where there is a sumptuous banquet yet everyone who is present there has stiff arms that cannot bend. Try as they may they cannot feed themselves. They are all very hungry. So they get angry & start beating on each other & screaming and cursing & hurting each other."

So, hell is where the right-wingers live.

BenYachov said...

What does politics have to do with anything?

oozzielionel said...

A scare tactic is when one person seeks to manipulate another based on fear of an imagined future event. To qualify, the one threatening must know that the threat is not real and convince the victim that the threat is real.

If the threat giver believes the threat to be real, it cannot be a scare tactic. It is a sincere warning. If the person being threatened does not believe the threat to be real, there is no scare.

A tactic implies that it is a strategy to manipulate based on information known to be false.

If you warn someone about a danger based on your sincere belief that it is true, you are not using a scare tactic. However, you may fall into manipulation by misrepresenting the threat by introducing enhancements. You could accuse Dante of scare tactics by imagining various tortures. Or he may have missed the worst as suggested by Ben.

Sincere belief does not make something true, it only speaks to state of mind. It would not be unreasonable for someone who does not believe in Hell to accuse someone who speaks about it to motivate another, of indulging in scare tactics. It is likewise reasonable to the person speaking to deny that it is a scare tactic.

I am surprised that scare tactic qualifies as a fallacy. It does not seem to related to logical validity.

planks length said...

I'm intrigued by the the thought that Heaven and Hell might possibly be the same "place". What makes it either one to any particular individual is his reaction to being there. If ultimate reality is Love, then to the person who rejects Love, anything and everything - reality itself - is hell. Alternatively, he who embraces Love will experience everything as Heaven.

No scare tactics - just telling it like it is.

im-skeptical said...

oozielionel,

"I am surprised that scare tactic qualifies as a fallacy. It does not seem to related to logical validity."

Is emotional appeal a fallacy? It is not related to the truth of the argument, but it is not valid logic. Scare tactics fit the same mold.

Steve Finnell said...

WHO IS THEIR GUIDE FOR TRUTH? BY STEVE FINNELL

The apostle's guide for truth. John 16:13 "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth.....

When the apostle's spoke or wrote they spoke with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The apostle Peter said "There is an antitype which now saves us, namely baptism...(1 Peter 3:21)(NKJV)

Who guided Billy Graham to say baptism is not a requirement for salvation?
Billy Graham Quote: “You may know that we urge immediate and extensive Bible study for each convert. As the Scripture is reviewed, the place of baptism will surely be discovered. If baptism were a requirement for salvation, we would certainly say that. But you couldn’t support that knowing, for example, that the thief on the cross had no opportunity for baptism or church membership. Yet on his confession, paradise was secured. Jesus said to him, ‘Today shalt thou be with me in paradise’ (Luke 23:43).”

The apostle Peter said.... "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38) NKJV)


Who instructed Max Lucado to say salvation precedes water baptism?


Max Lucaod Quote:
In a television interview in Nashville, Tennessee, July 2, 1997, Max Lucado said:
I BELIEVE IN BAPTISM. JESUS WAS BAPTIZED. THE BIBLE TEACHES BAPTISM. I JUST DON'T BELIEVE THAT BAPTISM SAVES YOU. I BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST SAVES US. AND BAPTISM IS ONE OF THOSE WAYS WE CELEBRATE OUR SALVATION. IT'S REALLY THE INITIAL STEP OF THE FAITHFUL BELIEVER.

Should men use Billy Graham and Max Lucado as teachers of truth or should men the the Holy Spirit, guided, apostles as teachers.


Does the Holy Spirit give one truth to the apostles and a different truth to contemporary preachers?
YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http//:steve-finnell.blogspot.com

Theresa Gomes said...

Has the Christian church been teaching something false concerning final punishment all these centuries? There is a lake of fire. The question is: what happens to those things/persons that are 'thrown' there? If the Bible doesn't teach eternal conscious torment, then why do so many Christians? Take a second look at where tradition has abandoned the Scriptures: http://thinkabouthell.blogspot.com