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Does the concept of heaven and hell breed selfishness in people? For instance, does this concept cause people to do good deeds or avoid bad ones for their own personal reward of paradise after death?

Asked by: Dangeresque
Does the concept of heaven and hell breed selfishness in people? For instance, does this concept cause people to do good deeds or avoid bad ones for their own personal reward of paradise after death?
  • Yes it Does

    The idea of heaven and hell replaces a persons true morals with those of a selfish person. Morals are derived from an innate sense of empathy brought on by evolution, those who wanted to care for their tribe members would live longer. Now we always here the threats of going to hell if you do this, or something such as pascals wager (the argument that if christians are wrong nothing happens, but if atheists are wrong they burn in hell, so why not believe). When religious people do a good deed a lot of time they have god in mind, but they are doing it so they can get a better chance at getting to heaven.

  • It Does Influence

    Although its true that entrance into Heaven is giving through faith, God isn't stupid you can spend your whole life in crime but your dying breath you accept God but you won't enter. So it does influence you because God wanted us to help one another so we can become better people and worship and live in harmony

  • No! Scripture does not teach this concept!

    So why would a believer assume it will help them? The Bible doesn't tell Christians that they must do good works to "get into heaven". I'm not sure what Judaism or Islam teaches, regarding this subject. The Bible teaches that salvation comes from belief in Christ. During his crucifixion, Jesus Christ promised paradise to a condemned thief hanging on the cross beside him. The thief certainly hadn't spent his life chalking-up good works. What he had done, in his dying moments, was acknowledge Christ and His kingdom in heaven (Luke 23:32-43). The Bible also teaches that good works are a way for Christians to express their faith -- an extension of it. It does not teach that it will earn them any favor, special treatment, or heaven (James 2:26). If a person is selfish, it is a flaw of their personality. Some might even suggest a sin. All human beings sin, in one way or the other -- even those who don't believe in heaven or hell!

  • Selfishness is created by the ego through fear.

    The idea of heaven and hell breeds the notion of eternal damnation or eternal reward. The human ego then decides that they must do good deeds in order to avoid suffering/or to gain rewards.

    This idea comes from fear. Fear is created from the human ego. The notion it not "heaven or hell", but "reward or suffering".

    One could say that a person who knows "they are going to hell" will do only bad things because they already lost the fight?

  • Only if we could earn it

    Entrance into heaven is a gift given to us and not earned by any merit here on earth. The very concept of hell is that we cannot save ourselves from it. We deserve hell but are offered a way out and it is as simple as accepting it. Some people do believe they can earn their way to heaven and that can certainly make them selfish but that is an unbiblical way to view it.

  • No it doesn't

    The Bible teaches us that the Heaven of afterlife is one filled with love and warmth. Naturally, we all want to be loved and hugged and all those things. Hell will be the place filled with greed, hatred, self-pity, self-loathing, torment, all kinds of bad qualities. So no I don't agree. Most true devout people of any religion don't think that way either.

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  • No as not the wrong selfish

    Almost everything we do is for our well being, and so is this. But if this belief system helps someone be kind, respectful and protective of others, then we cannot speak of a selfish act. Helping our friends is a thing that we also do for ourselves, making them love us more, even total strangers, but we cannot say it's selfish.
    Take a look at this experiment: random participant has been given 100$ and told that both him and his partner have earned it (a person he has never met) , but that he has a choice how much he is going to give to his partner. Most of the people gave the other person half of the money, even though they haven't done anything to deserve it. But then they said that they must also leave some money to a person that is going to come to that bar after him, most of the people left a buck, or even less. That's because people subconciously believe that it could be repaid, but if a person doesn't know who they are, they cannot return the favor.
    So, everything is selfish at some sort. The question is, is it more unselfish than selfish, and I belive this concept is.

  • I do not believe it does

    I can only speak on the Christian concept of Heaven and Hell but the association of selfishness with this belief displays an ignorance of the Christian belief on this topic. By ignorance I am not referring to intellect but rather to a lack of knowledge, or understanding, of the doctrine itself. It simply does not line up with the Biblical concept. The Biblical concept of heaven is not based upon a reward system for good deeds.


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