“I’m An Atheist, Am I Going To Hell?”

Recently I watched a video of an Ohio State University student challenging Christian apologist, Ohio state atheistFrank Turek, during an open forum.  The girl, an atheist, asked one question and posed it very simply for added effect, “Am I going to hell?”

If you don’t believe in God then logically you don’t believe in hell either.  Why then does an atheist who doesn’t believe in hell ask if they are going there?  For instance I would never ask a Hindu if I am to be reincarnated after death because I don’t believe it is true though their religion teaches it is so.  Likewise this girl, if she were truly an atheist, didn’t believe she would go to hell when she died.

The real reason she asked Frank Turek that question was because she knew according to the Christian belief that if she didn’t believe in Christ that yes, she would go to hell and she wanted everyone in the room to hear Turek condemn her.  This question is an obvious and sometimes effective technique that atheists use to undermine the Christian faith.  The “Am I going to hell?” question is designed to expose God as cruel and merciless and convince Christians or at least agnostics still on the fence, that they shouldn’t worship a God that condemns you to eternal damnation.

The fact is that answering such a question forces you to play God.  How could Turek or anyone else decide her afterlife any more than they could determine whether she would get cancer, win the lottery or die in a plane crash?  Atheists and other non-believers such as Muslims are converting to Christianity every day.  She could very well have a religious experience and become a devout Christian before her death.  Frank Turek’s responsibility was not to condemn her.

Now I know what you are thinking.  My response is a cop out and I’m dancing around the question.  Here’s the real answer then; you have a choice.  God has given you the free will to choose to be with him or not be with him.  You aren’t a robot.  He won’t flick that cigarette from your mouth before you take a drag.  He won’t pour out all your liquor bottles before your next party.  He won’t pluck you in the back of the head every time you lie.  He won’t throw a bucket of cold water on you every time you are about to have sex outside of marriage.  He won’t crash your computer every time you choose to view an objectionable site and no he does not block your hand should you throw it in anger.  Similarly he won’t force you into his presence glorious though it is.  Perhaps one could argue that the immense amount of free will God grants us is one reason why so many doubt his existence.  This is a question worth exploring later.

For now I will give the most simplistic answer possible.  God won’t force you to go to the party with him and choosing not to believe in him doesn’t remove heaven or hell from the equation.  When your body dies you are going somewhere and where that is, is your choice.

To me, the many terrible things in this world that atheists blame God for are the very things from which he wishes to remove them.  I wonder if they truly don’t believe in God or if they are just angry with him?


11 thoughts on ““I’m An Atheist, Am I Going To Hell?”

    1. Ryder Post author

      I agree with your comments. Why else then would Stalin, an alleged atheist, shake his fist toward the heavens right before he died according to his daughter’s account?

      1. I 53:5 Project

        Denying what we all know in our hearts to be true causes internal turmoil that manifests itself in an obvious hatred for God and religion.

        Intellectually honest atheists of the past, like Nietzsche, mourned the death of God, modern atheists dance on His grave.

  1. siriusbizinus

    Hello there! I’m an atheist (and a de-converted Christian), and I think I can shed some light on your questions.

    Essentially the purpose of the student’s question is to show that Christianity’s rules will condemn her soul to Hell. That’s not a very nice idea, and it tends to be used to refute the notion that Christianity is a relationship and not a religion. It’s also used to ensure that people who don’t know about Christianity get full disclosure rather than just the good news.

    Also, with regards to blaming God for things, that reasoning is also used to contradict notions that God will intercede on one’s behalf or that God is caring. Other than specific contradiction, sometimes it is done to get a rise out of Christians. The point: it could be done either out of lack of belief or because there’s anger, or even both.

    1. Ryder Post author

      Thank you for your thoughts and for enlightening me further on your stance as an atheist. I appreciate you commenting without disdain as often seen around the web from both Christians and non-Christians when their opinion on life is questioned. You presented your points with out attack or insult and I appreciate that.

      Whether you believe in the Father, his Son or the Holy Spirit, if the world learned to walk as Jesus did, in love and understanding, then life would be much more peaceful and I would never want to dissuade anyone from taking a path that if wholeheartedly set out upon would greatly benefit those around them. In other words, if an individual wants to be a Christian and dedicate their life to what Jesus stood for, how could that detriment our world and why would an atheist who did not believe in Jesus anyway, wish to dissuade anyone from taking up that cross?

      Again, thank you for your comments and have a great weekend!

  2. Dennis Wagoner

    My answer to her is here is what the Bible says. As with most atheists and other non-believers, her question is framed in her terms, not in God’s terms. It does not matter who she is (God says Whosoever will may come). It does not matter what she has done (God says it is by faith and not of works, lest any man should boast). What matters is whether or not she accepts a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. He has done all the necessary work with His sacrificial death at Calvary and resurrection from the grave. Being an atheist does not send you to hell. Not believing on the Lord Jesus Christ does.


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