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John Byrom

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Here, all ye learned, full of all Dispute,
Of true and false Religion lies the Root.
The Mind of Christ, when He became a Man,
With all Its Tempers, forms its real Plan,
The Sheep from Goats distinguishing full well; —
His Love is Heav'n, and Want of It is Hell.
--
"On Works of Mercy and Compassion, Considered as The Proofs of True Religion", St. 6.

 
John Byrom

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Christ says, "The Son of Man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth"; and He goes on about the wailing and gnashing of teeth. It comes in one verse after another, and it is quite manifest to the reader that there is a certain pleasure in contemplating wailing and gnashing of teeth, or else it would not occur so often. Then you all, of course, remember about the sheep and the goats; how at the second coming He is going to divide the sheep from the goats, and He is going to say to the goats: "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire." He continues: "And these shall go away into everlasting fire." Then He says again, "If thy hand offend thee, cut it off; it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into Hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched, where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched." He repeats that again and again also. I must say that I think all this doctrine, that Hell-fire is a punishment for sin, is a doctrine of cruelty. It is a doctrine that put cruelty into the world, and gave the world generations of cruel torture; and the Christ of the Gospels, if you could take Him as his chroniclers represent Him, would certainly have to be considered partly responsible for that.

 
Jesus Christ
 

Berlin says: "... You cannot combine full liberty with full equality—full liberty for the wolves cannot be combined with full liberty for the sheep...." .... Are women sheep ("led like sheep to the slaughter")? Must women become wolves? Is violence against women a direct result of the fact that there is no inevitable, painful, retaliatory consequence for hurting women?

 
Andrea Dworkin
 

There is no Heav'en, there is no Hell; these be the dreams of baby minds,
Tools of the wily Fetisheer, to 'fright the fools his cunning blinds.
Learn from the mighty Spi'rits of old to set thy foot on Heav'en and Hell;
In Life to find thy hell and heav'en as thou abuse or use it well.

 
Sir Richard Francis Burton
 

We both are, and know that we are, and delight in our being, and our knowledge of it. Moreover, in these three things no true-seeming illusion disturbs us; for we do not come into contact with these by some bodily sense, as we perceive the things outside of us of all which sensible objects it is the images resembling them, but not themselves which we perceive in the mind and hold in the memory, and which excite us to desire the objects. But, without any delusive representation of images or phantasms, I am most certain that I am, and that I know and delight in this. In respect of these truths, I am not at all afraid of the arguments of the Academicians, who say, What if you are deceived? For if I am deceived, I am. For he who is not, cannot be deceived; and if I am deceived, by this same token I am. And since I am if I am deceived, how am I deceived in believing that I am? for it is certain that I am if I am deceived. Since, therefore, I, the person deceived, should be, even if I were deceived, certainly I am not deceived in this knowledge that I am. And, consequently, neither am I deceived in knowing that I know. For, as I know that I am, so I know this also, that I know. And when I love these two things, I add to them a certain third thing, namely, my love, which is of equal moment. For neither am I deceived in this, that I love, since in those things which I love I am not deceived; though even if these were false, it would still be true that I loved false things. For how could I justly be blamed and prohibited from loving false things, if it were false that I loved them? But, since they are true and real, who doubts that when they are loved, the love of them is itself true and real? Further, as there is no one who does not wish to be happy, so there is no one who does not wish [themself] to be [into being]. For how can he be happy, if he is nothing?

 
Augustine of Hippo
 

If we love God, then it requires us to hate idolatry. If we believe there is such a thing as goodness, then we must also recognise the presence of evil. If we believe our religion is the only way to Heaven, then we must also affirm that all other paths lead to Hell. If we believe our religion is true, then it requires us to believe others are false.

 
Amir Butler
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