Monday, December 6, 2010

I Don't Believe In Hell

I don't believe in Hell.  I think the whole idea is contemptible nonsense.  If someone does believe in Hell, they must agree to some version of the following paradigm:
  1. God created everything, including people;
  2. People did stuff they shouldn't have and that made God upset;
  3. God set-up a place for people who make him miffed, and it is called 'Hell' (there's all sorts of unimaginably horrific torture that goes on without end in Hell);
  4. God wants to forgive everyone for not only doing irksome things themselves, but also for inheriting the irksomeness of the first people to ruffle God's feathers, as it were;
Conclusion: If you exist, you've been created sick, commanded to be well by asking forgiveness for sins you didn't commit but inherited, and if you don't ask forgiveness for those sins, then you'll suffer unmitigated torture forever and ever.  Amen.

Nope.  Sorry.  I don't buy it.  If the Christian message holds true, then Christ shouldered the burden of everyone else's sins.  That leaves everyone else standing on their own two feet, not taking on myriad generations of others misgivings.  That also means that if God created everyone sick, and demands that they be well, then there's no point in condemning them for the state he created them in.  Why bother creating anyone in the first place just to condemn them if they don't recognise their malady?

That is the message of a capricious and malevolent deity.

I think God's a little better than that.  If I can think of a more moral outcome to being a little spiritually daft, then I'm sure God must be slightly ahead of regular human morality, no?


justsomename said...

How do you feel about impersonal concepts of hell? (as apposed to God actively punishing people)

Kane Augustus said...

What do you mean, Craig? Are you suggesting something more akin to annihilationism?

What is an "impersonal" concept of hell that is not related to God punishing people?

justsomename said...

No, not annihilationism.

I mean, for those of us reading the Bible under the belief that it is God's word, we have to at least consider that there quite a bit of back story that wasn't provided.
Your argument against Hell seems to centre around the question of why would a loving God go to great efforts to save some people and then torture everyone else for the mistakes of their ancestors, right?

Your argument strikes an emotional chord if God is personally creating Hell and personally endorsing their torture. I wondered if you are open to the concept of an impersonal Hell; a sort of arbitrary place of default that is not a representation of something God created but just an alternative area for consciousness that has no interest in what God is doing.

I don't know if that's a helpful argument or not....
Biblically speaking, you seem to have Hades or Sheol below us with a good part called Abraham's bosom... and then Jesus goes and frees everyone there and takes them to paradise until the time of the great judgment where you get a new heaven, new earth and a lake of fire.
Blake describes heaven as a place of pure logic and hell as a place of pure creative energy.
Some sects of Buddhism describe a very impersonal sort of Heaven and Hell where people are reborn as a result of their karma. From what I can understand, a person might spend many lifetimes in one of the levels of Hell and then come back to life on earth as a result of a small amount of positive karma drawing them back because of some good deeds that they did when they were here before.
Do any of these concepts of Hell appeal to you?
If there is one thing that everyone can agree that Jesus accomplished, He certainly managed to get his name out there. I believe that God wanted people to know His son.
An impersonal concept of Hell would be a belief that Hell is the absence of God.