What The Hell??

The old pagan myth of the concept of “Hell” was one of my earliest stumbling blocks when I was a Christian.  After believing in the existence of Hell for the better majority of my life, there came a time that I began to critique the very concept itself.  There are many things about the very thought that “bad people” and unbelievers will be eternally tortured that simply do not make sense.  At least such seems so to me after years of reflection and thought on the matter.

And so even before I abandoned faith and evolved into a skeptical aging Atheist,  I had already rejected the notion that there really is an eternal torture chamber which awaits the eternally damned who dare doubt the deity of Jesus or who dare live as they damn well please instead of bending the knee to Jehovah.  Allow me if you will to opine on the matter a might:

Firstly, it does not seem reasonable that people who never asked to be here in the first place would be subject to eternal torture for making the wrong choices.  It is not as though any of us volunteered to live as human beings, and then we were found derelict in duties which we had chosen to swear to uphold.  In fact, far from it.  Life is an involuntary situation in that not a single one of us asked to be here in the first place.  Frankly, each of us was thrust into life unwittingly and unwillingly.  The concept of eternal torture then seems a drastic and frankly dastardly measure to inflict upon folk who “did not measure up” to a position that they never asked for in the first place.

Secondly, it would seem that the results of the Creation indicate that God was irresponsible to have made us as he allegedly did in the first place. If the Bible story is true, then God initially made everything good, only to see it “go to Hell in a handbasket”!! (The pun is definitely intended).  If such be true, then who’s to fault?  Are the involuntary subjects in the grand social experiment ultimately to blame for the results?  Or is the all knowing Creator actually accountable since per the story, it was he who gave us the freedom to make the wrong choices in the first place?  Did not the all knowing Creator foresee the results?  Did not the all knowing Creator foresee the suffering which would result from his decision to create us as he did?  Did not the all knowing Creator then foresee the eternal torture of every individual who would ever eventually wind up in Hell?  In the light of the supposed nature of God as an all knowing deity who can foresee everything, and in the light of the dreadful results of the Creation, is not then God himself actually accountable  for the results, seeing it was He who allegedly chose to make us in the first place?


My ultimate hope for all peoples; regardless of personal beliefs, is that no one would live in fear of being eternally tortured in an afterlife.  This life bears enough burdens sufficient to satisfy the concept of consequences for one’s actions without us having to worry about whether we will be subject to an eternal double jeopardy by being eternally tortured for the choices that we had made while living in this one life on earth.

Hell is a pagan myth.

Heaven is a speculative concept for the hopeful.

The here and now is reality.

Dave Henderson

Denison, Texas

9 thoughts on “What The Hell??

  1. Catholicism does not teach that all non-Christians go to hell. Further, hell is self-imposed, not imposed by God.

    Therefore people who believe otherwise are Christians who have gone off the rails.

    • WTF?

      The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, ‘eternal fire.’ The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.”

      • Steve,

        I did not claim that Catholic doctrine does not include hell.

        My claim is based on Catholic doctrine that one cannot sin unless one knows the difference between right and wrong.

        Pope Francis has stated that doctrine with regard to atheists recently:

        An atheist who follows his conscience avails himself of God’s mercy.

    • And … of course for Catholics “Mortal sin is defined by St. Augustine (Contra Faustum, XXII, xxvii) as “Dictum vel factum vel concupitum contra legem aeternam”, i.e. something said, done or desired contrary to the eternal law, or a thought, word, or deed contrary to the eternal law. This is a definition of sin as it is a voluntary act. As it is a defect or privation it may be defined as an aversion from God, our true last end, by reason of the preference given to some mutable good. The definition of St. Augustine is accepted generally by theologians and is primarily a definition of actual mortal sin.”

      In other words, if you are not a catholic, you burn in Hell as you have committed a mortal sin. Not just all non-Christians will burn but all non-Catholic Christians, too.

      • Steve,

        An atheist quoting the Bible or the saints is like a chimpanzee trying to type out Shakespeare on a keyboard.

        Catholic doctrine is what it is, not what an ill informed, totally ignorant atheist says it is.

  2. You kind of missed the point. The concept of Hell is the problem. How can anyone subscribe to a religion that has codified such a concept. Eternal torment? For eating meat on Friday? Or wearing clothes with mixed fibers? What possible offense could warrant eternal torment as the punishment?

    Any religion that accepts Hell (not the “believers,” the religion) is promising eternal life to virtually everyone, except that the people they don’t like burn for eternity. Why would anyone support such an organization without proof … the pervasive smell of roasting human flesh, background cries of agony, something?

    It is not that the concept exists, its that many religions haven’t yet pruned it out, saying “‘my bad,’ should never have allowed Satan to slip that in.”

    • Steve,

      It’s called justice.

      Biblical justice led to the rise of the greatest civilization in human history, Western Civilization.

      The fact that atheists have no concept of justice or morality is why atheist regimes have committed the greatest mass murders in human history.

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