Monday, July 18, 2011

This should be a tweet, but I can't get it down to 140

I find myself wondering how people who truly, genuinely believe in and fear hell can bring themselves to have children. Because bringing a child into a world where hell exists introduces the possibility that the kid will go to hell someday.

I did once yearn to have children, I did once genuinely fear hell, and I do have your basic adult hormonal child protection instincts, which I'd imagine are massively stronger when it's your own child.

It's perfectly normal protective instincts to be willing to risk one's life to save one's child's life. But, for those who believe in it, the threat of far is vastly worse than the threat of death. Death is a sudden extinguishing of life, while hell is eternal torture without hope of reprieve. Religious traditions with a strong fear of hell do tend to contain the idea that it's your religious duty to have children. But if any parent would risk their life for their child's life, wouldn't they also risk hell to save their child from hell?

It is true that parents tend to think "But MY child will be GOOD," but your basic human decency isn't usually enough in hellfearing religions. Religious traditions with a strong fear of hell also tend to make it difficult to get into heaven. The slightest lapse of virtue can send you to hell, and in some cases even a virtuous life with improper rites can send you to hell. Thinking back to my previous mindset of hellfear and adding protective instincts, the risk of having a child go to hell far outweighs the biological/hormonal yearning to have a baby and any other benefits of procreation that I can think of.

I wonder what other factors there are for hellfearing parents that outweigh even the horrors of hell?

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