A creationist writes in: repent your acceptance of evolution lest ye burn in hell

May 30, 2023 • 12:15 pm

News is slow today, and I’m not feeling great, as my insomnia has returned. Let’s look at a new reader’s comment, which was meant to be put up after the post below but of course was trashed by moi.  If you reply, though, I’ll alert the religious Paul Polster to your comments.

Read and weep. It’s Pascal’s wager!

Details: From one “Paul A Polster” in reply to Carlos on the post “Odious Ray Comfort movie (watch it below) to be distributed in public schools“:

Think about this, and pass it along to all your fellow atheists: if you are right, you die, it is all over, no harm, but if God does exist, and the Bible is true, when you die, you will appear at the great white throne as a lost soul. You will hear a list of sins that you have committed since you were aware of right and wrong, you will bow a knee to Jesus Christ, however, it will be too late to repent and you will be cast into Hell for eternity. You evolutionists are thinkers, think that one through in your quiet time and add this to it: have I lied? stolen?looked at the opposite sex with lust? Cheated on a test? Give some thought as to why these things happen as well as why good and evil exist. Evolution has no answer to these questions. One final thought: are you willing to risk possibly going to hell in order to hold to your faith in evolution? (it requires faith to believe it). Or are you willing to give true science ( discovery of the truth) a chance with an open mind? I hope you can ,your eternity depends on it.

Well, we’re all going to hell, including Jimmy Carter, who has looked on women with lust.  He’s close to the end, and I bet he can feel the flames now. . .

A few comments:

  1. Why is “believing in evolution” a sin? Did God put the evidence for evolution everywhere to deceive us?  (And if you think it takes “faith” to believe in evolution, read my article dispelling that bit of stupidity.)
  2. Which moral dictates are we supposed to believe? If we’re Jews, we can’t mix meat and milk in one meal. If we’re Catholics, we have to go to confession. If we’re Muslims, we have to observe Ramadan. I presume that Mr. Polster somehow knows that the Christian god is the REAL god. But how does he know?
  3. What kind of God would send someone to hell who has lived a good life even if he didn’t accept the existence of God.’
  4. The absolute certainty of Polster—about the falsity of evolution, about God being the Christian god, and about liars and the lustful going to hell—is breathtaking.

The kind of God that Polster paints is the ruler, as Hitchens used to say, of a celestial North Korea. He’ll toss into the fire anybody who doesn’t accept Jesus Christ (even those who were faithful before the time of Jesus Christ), he burn anybody who accept the evidence for evolution that God supposedly put all around us, and he’s not in the least merciful.  Why did he design our bodies to lust after members of the opposite sex if you’re going to hell for it?


50 thoughts on “A creationist writes in: repent your acceptance of evolution lest ye burn in hell

    1. I know these days that we are told that white supremacy is everywhere, but I hadn’t realised until I read of “the great white throne” that it had invaded the afterlife…

  1. Whenever it crops up in discussion (not often) I usually say that I accept the Theory of Evolution as the best explanation to date.

    I don’t favour using ‘belief’ as the word picks up a lot of baggage when used by religious believers and I don’t accept that baggage.

  2. “You evolutionists are thinkers, think that one through in your quiet time and add this to it: have I lied? stolen?looked at the opposite sex with lust? Cheated on a test? Give some thought as to why these things happen as well as why good and evil exist. Evolution has no answer to these questions. ”

    I’m confused – we are asked to “think … through” the hell things, then add those questions about Polster?

    “One final thought: are you willing to risk possibly going to hell in order to hold to your faith in evolution? (it requires faith to believe it). Or are you willing to give true science ( discovery of the truth) a chance with an open mind?”

    Errmm … so if I have to go be tortured would I give up evolution … or have an open mind instead?

    I’m confused as to what Polster wants me to do.

    I’m reminded of this quote:

    “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”
    Neil DeGrasse Tyson
    —From Real Time with Bill Maher

    Real Time with Bill Maher
    “2011-02-04” on this video : https://youtu.be/yRxx8pen6JY

    … so I can do all that stuff, but it won’t affect evolution.


  3. They always throw that “your knee will bow” thing.

    Pascal’s Wager is upside down. Here’s my wager: What if I live my life cowered, terrified of hell, when I could have had the joy of living every moment to the fullest.

    Especially the lust part! 6,000,000 years of Homo lust got us here, lust deserves some respect.

  4. The amount of masochism in this guy’s life is truly tragic.

    Too bad he doesn’t investigate his own brain and look back on what he was taught or came to believe through the practice of Christianity.

    There is another way to live without self punishment.

    What he calls sins, I call human behavior.

    1. The amount of masochism in this guy’s life is truly tragic.

      “Go ahead, say it.”
      “‘Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done—’”
      “Stop! Stop right there. ‘Thy will be done—’ No Muslim claiming to be a ‘slave of God’ ever gave a more sweeping consent than that. In that prayer you invite Him to do His worst. The perfect masochist. Robert A. Heinlein, Job: A Comedy of Justice, Chapter 27

      Just a side note here; if anyone is looking for a science fiction/fantasy lampoon of religion, I just finished this Heinlein, and loved it. The first 20 chapters are a fun parallel-universe story, and then after a cringe-inducing chapter describing a religious revival tent meeting, the rest of the book does a spectacular hatchet job on religion (mostly christianity), especially heaven and hell, by taking what the bible has to say about them seriously, often literally. Highly recommended! Man, would I love to hear what Paul A Polster would have to say about it!

  5. Well, He’s got a good point. He just has the details wrong. It’s actually the god alien Zorbel Borbel who lives in the Double Bubble galaxy that we really need to worry about. He requires that all humans to eat liver and onions every day. Anyone who doesn’t he will torture forevermore after they die.

    I know this to be true because I do. And if you decide to believe, as I have, you will know it to be true as well. Also there is book that says it’s true and it was written by people who actually comunicated with Zobel Borbel (so says lots of people) so it must be true.

    But even if you choose not to believe because you are evil, are you willing to risk it? Eat your liver and onions for Zorbel Borbel’s sake! Just in case.

  6. Christians who find “Pascal’s Wager” should recall that the first commandment (and god presumably had a really good reason for making it “first”) demands that you not worship false gods. This means you need to choose your god very carefully. Even ignoring the thousands of other gods that have been worshipped throughout history, Christians should note that two of the three Abrahamic religions (Judaism and Islam) believe that Christians are worshipping a false god in flagrant violation of the first commandment. Thus, even looking solely at the Abrahamic religions as the available options, Christians have 2 chances in 3 of being wrong and going to hell. So, if you’re gambling, why wouldn’t you double your odds of avoiding hell by rejecting the idea that Jesus was god? And if your response is that the odds somehow tilt in your favor because the number of Christians exceeds the combined number of Jews and Muslims, keep in mind that the number of non-Christians on the planet exceeds the number of Christians by a factor of 5 to 2. So either way, if you’re playing the odds, Jesus loses.

    Moreover, it is a complete fallacy that there is no downside to an erroneous belief in the existence of god. If you believe and you’re wrong you may have compromised your happiness or well-being (or of others) in countless ways during what will have been your one and only lifetime. At the very least you will have wasted time in church and praying to a fictional character; you may have wasted money tithing that could have been used to provide for your family or the less fortunate (it’s not uncommon for people to be rendered destitute because they have given their life savings to a television evangelist); you may have borne unnecessary burdens (such as the Amish forgo modern conveniences) or forgone harmless pleasures (such as the Mormons avoid coffee and alcohol, and some fundamentalist religions avoid dancing or singing); and you may have forgone opportunities or acted erroneously because you were under the misimpression that you were proceeding as god had directed. At the very worst, if you’re a “true believer” you may have discriminated against or refused to marry people of another religion; you may have agonized over or repressed your sexuality; you may have allowed your sick children to die while you prayed rather than seeking medical help; you may have tortured or murdered “witches” or heretics in the mistaken belief that you were acting in accordance with god’s wishes; you may have inflicted physical abuse upon yourself (including having yourself crucified as is done in the Philippines) in the belief that god delights in your suffering; or you may have suffered or committed other atrocities in consequence of your abandonment of reason and reliance on dogma.

    Lastly, true belief is not something one “chooses.” Either you believe something or you don’t. I doubt that you could “make” yourself believe that 1 + 1 = 837, even if someone offered you $1 million. Of course, pretending to believe something is not actually believing, and god presumably knows the difference.

    1. I find Pascal’s wager infinitely more interesting than the apologetic uses to which it is put by modern-day evangelicals. If simply from a stylistic perspective (setting aside its importance in the history of probability and decision theory), there is a certain swagger that I admire in a professed believer of his era who begins in speaking of God that “We are therefore incapable of knowing either what he is or whether he is.”

      Pascal, at least as I understand him, would have agreed entirely with the opening sentence of your last paragraph: one cannot choose what one believes. (I will add that this applies throughout life: whether it be one’s politics, religion, moral preferences, accepted standards of rationality, etc. But, of course, we pat ourselves on the back as if we freely did choose.) His wager, as I take it, is not a decision point in time at which one chooses to believe or not believe. One either believes or does not. It is, however, a choice to live as though one believed or to not live as such—and is subject to all the potential misjudgments you point out. Moreover, the choice—or wager—is always present in life until death and must, according to Pascal, be continually made. (As you are no doubt aware, living as though one did believe could in Pascal’s telling engender belief.) This, I think, betrays a core weakness in his argument: the assumption (informed, I assume, by his notion of grace) that a man is any more capable of choosing to strive to believe than he is of choosing to believe. Then again, I suspect that Pascal was fully aware that he was smuggling an element of faith into the argument.

      In any case, that’s just the take of a layman who has a general interest in the history of ideas; I’m certain there are others here who would approach this from the probability theory and decision theory sides of the house. As an aside, I find his Provincial Letters wickedly funny. Even Voltaire reportedly loved them.

  7. Before Mr Polster can convince me that I’m going to hell, he needs to provide some evidence that his particular deity exists, that a location corresponding to his description of hell exists, that his deity has the power and inclination to despatch my soul there for something as humdrum as telling a falsehood or coveting my neighbour’s property, and above all that souls exist in the first place.

    As the Hitch would say, he has all his work before him.

  8. Think about this, Mr Polster and pass it along to all your fellow Christians. If the bible is not true, then one has wasted an awful lot of good living for a chimera.

    Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so. Robert G Ingersoll

  9. I have many responses to “Pastor Paul,” but probably none of them are as good as this, from Eric Maisel’s The Atheist’s Way:

    Not only is the atheist way more accurate and more truthful than the god-talk way, but it also confers great advantages. The first is that you feel very free. You are free to think your own thoughts and to have your own feelings. If a passing pastor accuses you of sinning, you feel free to rebuke or ignore him. You know that he has no special knowledge and that he is only betraying your common humanity by quoting gods. You know that no one has any special knowledge about the purpose or lack of purpose of the universe, that there is only scientific knowledge, with its limitations; the speculations of consciousness, with its limitations; and some amount of mystery, shared by us all and quite likely to remain unexplained until the end of time. (p. 4)


    You are free to cut off contact with toxic people and to eliminate toxic beliefs from your system. (p. 5)

  10. Sounds like the Christmas cards I get from my evangelical brother every year. I am not kidding.

  11. He’s obviously been indoctrinated from childhood, and finds the ‘heaven story’ so appealing that he’s desperate to go there when he passes. It’s not worth trying to use the evidence argument against such delusionists.

  12. What is “belief”? Belief is a point of view, a “feeling” if you will, that something is true. A thing that is believed to be true may or may not be true, but you can just as earnestly believe in something that is false as you can believe something that really is true.
    The problem here is that believing in true things and believing in false things are experienced the same way! So long as you rely on internal points of reference, you cannot readily tell the difference between true beliefs and false beliefs.. This is known as the demarcation problem.

    So about Mr Polster, I can only say that he is committed to a belief in a particular kind of vengeful Christian god, stemming from what appears to be an evangelical variety, and he does not believe in the many other versions of the very same god. Not the the Jewish version, and not the Muslim version, even though they are all supposedly the same god. Nor does he believe in the thousands of other gods that other people have just as assuredly and completely believed in.
    One may hope that given this framing, Mr. Polster might realize that his very specific belief in this particular god is outnumbered by other beliefs in sightly different and very different gods, and there is no chance, statistically, that he was born into the right true faith. But I have no illusions. He won’t ever “get it” and there is no point in debating him about it.

  13. Ray Comfort is so incompetent as a proselytizer that I find it hard to dislike him very much even though I’m a somewhat hardened atheist who spent years on Reddit’s /r/atheism, eventually becoming a moderator of that subreddit.

  14. Hi Polster. Why would I believe in a god that let me be sexually abused as a child by my Sunday school teacher. I prayed for him to stop as he crushed me under hi body my face in a pillow. He did not answer my prayers my abuser believed in your god. My abuser will be in heaven with you. I will be in hell. Seems like a good deal. Enjoy eternity with a rapist

  15. My idea of hell would be to spend an eternity with the likes of Mr Polster. I’m gonna channel Stephen King via Jack Torrance, and call this guy an “officious little prick.”

  16. Suppose God has made it so only atheists go to heaven, because he only wants people who aren’t easily deceived and gullible?

    Suppose that the bible was actually inspired by Satan and that God is languishing in chains?

    That’s the trouble with trying to cover your back when talking Pascal: there are one hell of a lot of bases to cover!

  17. My response to this is a different variation on Pascal’s wager. This person is describing an evil tyrant god that makes Kim Jong Un look like a good guy by comparison. Like this claimed tyrant god, Un expects his followers to suck up to him but at most, a tyrant like Un can only have people tortured for a limited time. The claimed evil tyrant god here tortures people for eternity. I don’t care what a person has done, even if you argued for proportionate torture for someone like Hitler, it would only amount to some millions of years for the person-years of torture he inflicted.

    But then you get to something like this, where someone looks at the evidence and uses their brain, all supposedly supplied by the claimed god, and comes to the entirely reasonable conclusion that evolution is supported by the evidence. Yet, this supposedly warrants an eternity of torture from this despicable, evil tyrant god.

    First, according to Christians, god is just and loving. The claimed actions here are obviously not just and at best would represent the conditional “love” of a sadist. My variation on Pascal’s wager is that there is no point in believing and praying to such an abominable evil tyrant god, since if they are as unreasonable and sadistic as described, they will likely find an excuse to torture everyone. I don’t see evidence for any gods, but if there is a god and an afterlife, I would hope they are in fact loving, just, and would avoid torture, rather than this unmitigated evil.

  18. As George Carlin used to say: He’s going to throw you into a lake of fire and you will burn in agony for eternity …… but he loves you!

    1. Or, as a lesbian friend of mine explain, someone being nice to you as long as you obey, but hurting you if you don’t, is pretty much the definition of an abusive relationship.

  19. You know, the Bible doesn’t actually argue that lust is a sin. The verse that’s typically cited to support this claim, Matthew 5:28, is in the context of a discussion about a married man committing adultery. And Jesus is saying that if the same man just ogles other women, without actually cheating on his wife, that’s a sin too.

    I’m not a Christian anymore, but when I was one it always bothered me when other Christians made this unsupported argument. Pretty much the whole point of the Song of Songs is that lust within a married couple is completely normal and wholesome.

  20. “Why did he design our bodies to lust after members of the opposite sex if you’re going to hell for it?”
    The same reason he planted a tree in the middle of the garden of Eden and told Adam and Eve not eat of the fruit. Nothing tempts like temptation. Oh. Wait. That was Satan’s job.

  21. I don’t believe in evolution, I believe that evolution has occurred and that the idea correctly describes the history of life on Earth. I also claim that there is enough evidence to justify the statement that I know it.

    The phrase “believe in” is a wishy-washy thing that only has ad-hoc meanings where it is used. People talk of “believing in” oneself, or “believing in” a god or religion, but it doesn’t make a bit of sense to talk of “believing in” mathematics or evolution or anything else in the physical sciences. We should studiously avoid using that phrase and call out the religionists when they use it.

  22. “Think about this.” Seriously? It’s hard for me to believe that anyone above the age of twelve who actually thinks about what Christians are supposed to believe can really swallow that stuff. Try doing what Bart Ehrman suggests in “Jesus Interrupted,” Polster. Put the Gospels down in front of you and read them in parallel and count all the gross contradictions you find. There are a lot of them. Why is it, do you suppose, that Jesus declares himself God in the Book of John, but none of the other gospel authors considered that seemingly salient piece of information worth mentioning? How is it that Jesus’ family takes him to Egypt in one book, but no mention is made of it in another, and they just return home? How is it Judas dies one way in one book, and a completely different way in another. And who was actually at Jesus’ sepulcher on the third day? It’s different in every book. Take your pick. The list goes on and on. How is it that a God can experience wrath, anger, love, and other human emotions? Their existence is certainly understandable in the context of evolution, but how could they possibly serve any useful purpose in a God? We are far lower in relation to the Christian God than amoeba are to us, and yet this God is supposed to have a loving relationship with all 8 billion of us. Imagine the computational power required for such a feat! What could possibly be the point? It seems to me that loving 8 billion amoeba would be a very boring way to spend eternity.

    Your religion is an embarrassment to our species. It blinds people to the incredible, improbably beauty and wonder of our existence. Christians take it all for granted, consider their time on earth more or less an inconvenience, and stare after a fantasy world in the hereafter. What an egregious waste of life! One must hope that aliens don’t actually arrive and discover that so many of us actually believe such nonsense. I’m keeping a paper bag to put over my head in shame for just such an occasion.

  23. “…but if God does exist, and the Bible is true…”. But what if God does exist, and the Koran is true, and what if Gods exist and Hindu teachings are true, and what if Gods exist and Norse Mythology is true….

    1. Pascal’s Wager: Bet on Black 32. Just in case any of the other numbers (religions) will see you burn in hell. And if you decline to place a bet on any number at all, you might burn in hell too. So better bet on Black 32 to be on the safe side.

      The question isn’t what do you believe in? The big question is, how are you going to live your life? If someone wants to live it in fear of eternal damnation (and plenty of Christians don’t live this way), then *God* bless them! And what a waste of a life.

  24. The more I see Pascal’s Wager, the more it feels like an excuse for not thinking. It allows people to avoid thinking about any of the thorny issues surrounding theism and just try to say that it’s better to believe than to not.

    I think this is what a lot of theistic arguments do*, though indirectly. The moral argument – just imagine a world without objective morality. The design argument – just imagine a world where chaos rules. The cosmological argument – imagine a world that started itself. etc.

    The point with each argument is it’s easy to imagine God solving the problem as its presented without having to deal with whether it’s a good answer or not. It’s a sufficient answer at least as far as keeping it to the faith and sticking it to the know-it-alls who think they’re too smart to believe in God.

    *not in the hands of philosophers of religion, but in the hands of theologians and ordinary believers.

  25. I’ll go with Fran Lebowitz, who said, “I don’t believe in anything you have to believe in”.

  26. I always stop reading these rants immediately I come across the word ” evolutionist “.

  27. Well, we’re all going to hell, including Jimmy Carter, who has looked on women with lust.

    Hey, man, he that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone in this regard.

  28. Supposing there is a God, it takes a criminal moron to seriously believe that he is such a vile tyrant that he’s capable of burning alive creatures he created himself in hell for billions and trillions of years, just for starters, to punish them for the paltry “sins” they’ve committed during their brief stay on earth. I can’t imagine a worse form of blasphemy.

  29. Just suppose God appreciates sincerity. The danger of Pascal’s wager is that your belief is insincere, and you might end up in hell anyway. And a sincere atheist might end up in heaven, playing the harp for eternity ;).

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