The Burn in Hell Test

Okay, this article is about the test that Christians say humanity has to undergo in order to determine your souls destination after death. You can go to heaven or you can go to hell. They used to have a middle ground called purgatory, but it stopped being a cash cow for the church so they put a stop to that nonsense. Now we just have the basics – heaven and hell.

Heaven is the place you go to if you believe that Jesus was the son of God and if you try to live by the tenets set forth by the Christian religion.

On the other hand, if you’re an atheist like me or don’t believe that Jesus was the son of God, well you’re destined for some good old fashioned hellfire. Not for 10 years or even 100 years but for all time. All time is a pretty hard concept for the human mind to grasp. It’s like saying 100 trillion. Our minds can’t really picture those sorts of numbers. Even if we think about how long our planet has been around (somewhere in the vicinity of 15 billion years) our minds start to balk at the absurdly huge number. But somehow, Christians don’t have a hard time putting people like me there for all time because we didn’t believe in Jesus.

And the thing that bothers me is when Christians say something like, “Well, you don’t believe in Hell so why does it bother you?”

Yeah, I don’t believe in hell but that doesn’t mean I don’t resent the fact that Christians arrogantly believe I’m going to be tortured for all time either. I don’t even wish that sort of thing on my worst enemies. It’s like me saying that they’re going to get into a car accident in the next ten minutes and be left in a vegetative state for the rest of their natural lives. Do they believe it’s actually going to happen?

No, but of course they’re not going to like me much for wishing it on them either or for even entertaining the idea and I don’t blame them.

Hell is even worse than being left in a vegetative state for 30 or 40 years. It’s supposed to be a place of torture and ruin and it lasts forever.

So how does this omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, all-loving God determine who gets to go to heaven or hell?

It’s pretty easy actually. All you have to do is believe in Jesus and try to live like the Bible tells you and you’re given a key to the Pearly Gates. Don’t believe and to Hell you go, my friend! Seems fair, right? Believe go to heaven. Disbelieve and go to hell.

It seems pretty easy but the entire test is completely flawed and rigged. Let’s review why I make this assertion.

1) Religion is geographical and in most cases, people believe in the God(s) their parents do. So if you’re unlucky enough to be born in Egypt, you’re probably a Muslim and according to Christians, destined for Hell. It’s like this omnipotent God set up a sucker punch to knock you on your ass before you were even born.

2) Everybody comes from different economic backgrounds and have different opportunities. This is bound to interfere with their belief structures.

3) Babies or toddlers who die never had a chance to make up their minds. Guess they go to hell. How fair of God is that? But on the other hand, some Christian sects have realized that this is a serious flaw in their doctrine so they just say kids go straight to heaven. They get a free pass. When you think about it, according to Christian doctrine, they’re actually the lucky ones. They get to skip the bloody test and go straight to heaven.

4) Some people just can’t believe. Sure, they can tell people they believe but that doesn’t mean they actually do. Of course, God should have known this ahead of time but I guess He decided they had to take the test anyways. How loving of Him.

5) Everyone is born with different intelligence levels. I guess God gets to determine who has a better chance at passing his faulty, rigged test.

6) You know when you take the written portion of your driver’s license test, you can get a manual to study from so that there are no excuses for your failure, although thousands fail anyways? Same with Christianity. Except, they provide you with a 2000 year old book and tell you to believe no matter what. Imagine the look on someone’s face if they went in to get the drivers manual and were handed a crumbling book of 2000 year old texts that were written in a bunch of different languages by people who had never even seen a car?

Yeah…that’s fair. What? You don’t believe that Jesus died for your sins and was the son of God? Didn’t you read the book?

7) You’ve decided to save yourself and believe in Jesus. But wait! There are about 38,000 Christian sects within the Christian faith. What if you get it wrong and believe in the wrong one?

Don’t worry…just close your eyes and take a wild guess. It’s only your soul at stake after all.

8) You know how on most tests, there is a time limit of some kind? Not for the God test. You could check out at any time. You might get 80 years to figure it out or 10 years. Doesn’t matter though. You know the rules.

There’s a few of the ways that the Hell Test is completely flawed. The rules aren’t clear and you almost get sent to either hell or heaven arbitrarily because the Christians themselves can’t even make up their minds what the test parameters are.

And that’s ignoring the whole part that if God can see everything now and in the future, why even bother with the test anyhow? Just create the soul and look at it and send it where you already know it’s going. Just skip the whole middle thing where we struggle with disease, hunger and hardship. He already knows what we’re going to do anyways.

It’s also nonsensical to me that the most important thing that this God wants is belief and praise. Imagine for a minute that I’m God. It would be like me walking out into my backyard and seeing a bunch of potato bugs and screaming at them to praise me. Does that sound loving or just sociopathic?

Of course, the potato bugs have a leg up on me because at least they can see me.

I’ve been told that this test is ‘just’ and God is all-loving. I don’t see it. I see a rigged test with a certain outcome that the tester already knows in advance. That’s not just. That’s just illogical.

And yes, it pisses me off just a tiny bit to know that Christians everywhere are thinking behind their eyes that I’m destined and deserving of eternal punishment.

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Comparing Least Religious Countries With Most Religious – Do We Need Religion to Thrive as a Society?

In a previous article, a few posters suggested that religion was needed in order to maintain a thriving country. I disagree, but statistics should be able to show us whether or not that assertion is true or at least if it’s likely to be true.

According to Gallup here is a list of the least and most religious countries. Underneath each country I will use Wiki to list the GDP, literacy rate, homicide rate per 100,000 and life expectancy to show somewhat the financial prosperity, education, violent crime rate and health of its citizens. When available, I will also give the rating of each country in brackets. For example, if the literacy rate says 99% with a (20th) beside it, it means that it ranks 20th overall in the world with a 99% literacy rate.

Let’s get started.

11 Least Religious – Listed From Least Religious to Most

Estonia 14% religious

GDP – 24.65 billion (98th)

Literacy – 99.8% (3rd in the world)

Life expectancy – 71.4 years (104th in the world)

Homicide rates per 100,000 – 6.7

Sweden 17%

GDP – 354.7 billion (33rd)

Literacy -99% (42nd in world)

Life expectancy -80.9 years (20th in world)

Homicide rates per 100,000 – 1.2

Denmark 18%

GDP – $313.8 billion (46th)

Literacy – 99% (28th)

Life expectancy – 78.3 (36th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 – 1.1

Norway 20%

GDP – $276.5 billion

Literacy – 99% (20th)

Life expectancy – 80.2 (13th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 – 0.8

Czech Republic 21%

GDP – 260.6 billion (42nd)

Literacy – 99% (20th)

Life expectancy – 76.5 (44th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 – 2.2

Azerbaijan 21%

GDP – $46.38 billion (76th)

Literacy – 99.5% (13th)

Life expectancy – 67.5 (124th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 – 2.4

Hong Kong 21%

GDP – $325.8 billion

Literacy – 94.6% (76th)

Life expectancy – 82.2 (2nd)

Homicide rates per 100,000 – 0.6

Japan 25%

GDP – $5.4 trillion (3rd)

Literacy – 99% (20th)

Life expectancy – 82.6 (1st)

Homicide rates per 100,000 – 0.5

France 25%

GDP – $2.7 trillion (5th)

Literacy – 99% (20th)

Life expectancy – 76.4 (45th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 – 1.6

Mongolia 27%

GDP – $9.4 billion (150th)

Literacy – 97.5% (59th)

Life expectancy – 66.8 (128th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 – 13.1

Belarus 27%

GDP – $116 billion (60th)

Literacy – 99.7 (7th)

Life expectancy – 69 (117th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 – 8.3

11 Most Religious – Listed From Most Religious to Least

Egypt 100% religious

GDP – $500.9 billion (27th)

Literacy – 66.4% (156th)

Life expectancy – 71.3 (106th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 – 0.7

Bangladesh 99%

GDP – $104.9 billion (45th)

Literacy – 55.9% (163rd)

Life expectancy – 64.1 (142nd)

Homicide rates per 100,000 – 2.3

Sri Lanka 99%

GDP – 59 Billion

Literacy – 94.2% (81st)

Life expectancy – 72.4 (91st)

Homicide rates per 100,000 – 7.2

Indonesia 98%

GDP – $1.0 trillion (15th)

Literacy – 92% (91st)

Life expectancy – 70.7 (110th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 – 8.9

Congo 98%

GDP – $4.15 billion

Literacy – 81.1% (127th)

Life expectancy – 55.3 (164th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 – 18.8

Sierra Leon 98%

GDP – 1.9 billion

Literacy – 40.9% (174th)

Life expectancy – 42.6 (190th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 – 34

Malawi 98%

GDP – $8.272 billion

Literacy – 73.7% (139th)

Life expectancy – 48.3 (179th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 – 18

Senegal 98%

GDP – $11.12 billion

Literacy – 49.7% (171st)

Life expectancy – 63.1 (146th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 – 14.2

Djibouti 98%

GDP – $1.738 billion

Literacy – 70.3% (146th)

Life expectancy – 54.8 (165th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 – 3.5

Morocco 98%

GDP – $153,257 billion (54th)

Literacy – 56.1% (162nd)

Life expectancy – 71.2 (107th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 – 0.5

United Arab Emirates 98%

GDP – $201 billion

Literacy – 90% (102nd)

Life expectancy – 78.7 (31st)

Homicide rates per 100,000 – 0.7

And just for kicks and giggles, let’s look at the average between the two when it comes to homicide rates for the people who always say you need religion to have morals.

Average homicide Rate in the least religious countries

Homicide rates per 100,000 – 3.5

Average homicide rate in the most religious countries

Homicide rates per 100,000 – 9.89

Now that’s out of the way, I think you can clearly see that the less religious countries are doing better than the more religious countries – they’re wealthier, have lower homicide rates, better life expectancy and have more robust economies.

In fact, when I was researching the lists, the countries were rated best to worst when it came to life expectancy and literacy. After the first few, I would scroll from the top down to find the stats on the least religious and the bottom up to find them on the most religious. That alone should tell you something.

By no means does this prove indefinitely that religion is the cause of these things, but I think it’s rather curious how it played out. I also did an article similar to this one that showed stats between the least religious States in America and the most religious and it had similar results.

When you look at the two groups, I know which group I’d choose to live in if given the choice. How about you?

Even Estonia, which has the least religious population has had one of the fastest growing economies since the breakup of the Soviet Union. After doing the statistics part of this article, I began to look at reasons for the discrepancy. I ran across this:

In 2008, intelligence researcher Helmuth Nyborg examined whether IQ relates to denomination and income, using representative data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth, which includes intelligence tests on a representative selection of white American youth, where they have also replied to questions about religious belief. His results, published in the scientific journal Intelligence, demonstrated that Atheists scored an average of 1.95 IQ points higher than Agnostics, 3.82 points higher than Liberal persuasions, and 5.89 IQ points higher than Dogmatic persuasions. [4]

The relationship between countries’ belief in a god and average Intelligence Quotient, measured by Lynn, Harvey & Nyborg.[5]

Nyborg also co-authored a study with Richard Lynn, emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Ulster, which compared religious belief and average national IQs in 137 countries. [5] The study analysed the issue from several viewpoints. Firstly, using data from a U.S. study of 6,825 adolescents, the authors found that atheists scored 6 IQ points higher than those adhering to a religion.

Secondly, the authors investigated the link between religiosity and intelligence on a country level. Among the sample of 137 countries, only 23 (17%) had more than 20% of atheists, which constituted “virtually all… higher IQ countries.” The authors reported a correlation of 0.60 between atheism rates and level of intelligence, which was determined to be “highly statistically significant”[5].

Professor Gordon Lynch, from London’s Birkbeck College, expressed concern that the study failed to take into account a complex range of social, economic and historical factors— each of which has been shown to interact with religion and IQ in different ways.[6]. Gallup surveys, for example, have found that the world’s poorest countries are consistently the most religious, perhaps because religion plays a more functional role (helping people cope) in poorer nations

I suppose it could be because as education rises, the population tends to throw off the mantle of religion and in the case of the poorer countries listed above, the populace may still need it in order to draw strength from in times of hardship.

Whatever the case, I hope this at least puts a significant dent in the argument that society needs religion to thrive and have morals.