Thursday, 6 January 2011

What is Hell like?

Last night, for no reason other than boredom,  I Googled 'What is Hell like?'. The first result I got was on the interesting-sounding ''.( However, it proved to be the usual melange of rantings from people who bunked off science classes to read the Old Testament. It was so absurd I have decided to share it with you.

Firstly, the page I was sent to had rephrased my question, from the inquisitive 'What is Hell like?' to the more threatening 'What will Hell be like?', emphasising inevitability. It begins with a few examples of the Bible's description of Hell:

Bible's Description of Hell
fire and brimstoneburning windfiery oven
flames of firejudgment by fireunquenchable fire
furnace of fireeternal fireeternal punishment
fiery hellpits of darknesslake of fire
Ok, fair enough. I get that it's gonna be warm (although 'pits of darkness' seem unlikely with all that fire around). But then the article takes a peculiar turn. The next thing it says is: "Since there could possibly be a lot of party people in hell, one might think that it will be one big party. " Erm...what? Why will there be a lot of party people in Hell? The Bible forbids a lot of things, but I didn't think partying was one of them. Unless 'party people' is a euphemism for gays or something... It proceeds: 'However, the problem is that the likes of Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and other unsavory characters will be there also.' 'Unsavoury characters'? I associate 'unsavoury' with the man on the bus who smells funny and keeps looking over his shoulder, or the cat-in-wheelie-bin lady. To describe the two greatest mass murderers in human history as unsavoury seems like an understatement. Although I suppose compared to the dude who has a special place full of fire to send 'party people' to for all eternity, they don't seem so bad.

It continues:
"In order to keep those people from tormenting their neighbors excessively, all the inhabitants will be restrained through punishment (with the amount increasing with the degree of restraint required). This list below tells of some of the things that the inhabitants of hell will be going through:
Punishment in Hell
smoke of their tormentno rest day and night
weeping and gnashing of teethtormented
deaththeir worm does not die
I like how in Hell, place of 'eternal punishment', Hitler and Stalin will be prevented from 'tormenting their neighbours excessively'. I now have an image of the devil going up to Hitler, who keeps tormenting his neighbour, and saying 'ohhh, give it a rest, he's only here for coveting his neighbour's ox'. To be fair, some of these punishments seem to be designed for minor offences. 'Their worm does not die' doesn't sound so bad and 'death', once in Hell...They haven't thought that one through. When I die and I'm sat before the throne of judgement, and God says 'YOU have sinned! You shall be punished by....DEATH!' I'm thinking my response will be 'Err...but aren't I already..?..I shit! Not death! Anything but death!'.

So what would one have to do to end up in Hell? answers this with another list:

What Sends You to Hell?
discordjealousyfits of rage
dissensionsfactions and envyorgies
sorcerysexual immoralityhomosexual offenses
slanderhatredselfish ambition
I think I've done 13 of the above. Although I'm not sure about 'abomination', and some of them are really up for interpretation. Slander is on the list, so Piers Morgan is in Hell. Sorcery and Witchcraft are on there too, which doesn't really need any comment. Jealousy is on the list as well, which, according to the Bible surely means God should be in Hell?

The page sums up:
"If you have committed any of the violations of God's laws listed above, you should expect to go to the lake of fire. "
Now the certainty with which the writer condemned the reader to Hell in the title is justified, as based on that list everyone is in Hell. That surely makes the 'Hitler/Stalin' deterrent irrelevant, because if everyone is in Hell, you will be in pretty similar company that you were in on Earth. In fact, if you want to catch up with your loved ones, committing sin is probably the way to go. Also, I can't help but think that God has set the standard for good behaviour too high. Maybe Heaven's not finished yet so he can't let anyone in. Most people will have committed some sins before they've been made aware what the sins are, so you end up thinking 'why even try'? The punishment is the same for murder as it is for everyday things like lying or having an orgy, so why bother to put the effort in? Although to be fair, arriving at Hell it's going to be pretty embarrassing when Pol Pot or Phalaris asks you what you're in for and you have to say 'orgy'.

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