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.