An Eternity In Hell?

I’ve been considering this notion of spending and eternity in hell.

If you consider hell to be the worst possible place imaginable, with the fire and the brimstones, does this not seem like an excessive punishment for a lifetime of sin?

Compare the average lifespan of a human to eternity: eternity - 72 years is still eternity. We really aren’t given much chance to do good, especially if you die young. (What was the average lifespan at the time of Christ?) And there’s still a risk you’ve picked the wrong religion dispite a lifetime as a saint.

So does this seem reasonable? Would even the most vengeful God really banish us to hell for eternity? Even an eternity in limbo seems harsh. Is there a possibility that one could get out of hell?

Well, all you have to do is find Benny - he can lead you to the way out. :wink:

I think you’d get used to it after a while - like a hot tub.

The point is, I believe, that mainstream Christianity does not state that hell is a punishment for sin, but is rather the default destination for unregenerate humans; it isn’t (so they say) therefore a case of God deciding that a person deserves hell, but rather that the person was not set up to avoid it by being remade in the likeness of Jesus.

I actually agree with you 100% on this, but I think you’re just repeating my OP in a different tone, so consider this revision:

Does it not seem unreasonable that God would create Hell as the most horrible place, and create heaven as the most perfect place, and then set about such stringent conditions on entry?

I’ve always hated asking these types of questions about God, but lately this one has bothered me. Why would God create Hell as the default, keeping in mind that we’re there for eternity?

It seems that heaven is an impossible goal that few, if any, would ever achieve. So in that sence, it is still a punishment, but now not for something we did or did not do, but simply for being human. He created us to suffer on Earth for 60 some years, and when we die we will suffer some place worse for eternity.

Wouldn’t an eternity of anything be a pretty good hell in itself?(unless it includes Julia Roberts, who there is no chance of getting too much of)

Actually all religious punishments seem draconian. Turning around to see your home town be destroyed? Get turned into salt. Don’t want to release your labour force? Your whole country is struck by calamities. Adultery? Death. Etc. Doesn’t seem like the punishments fit the crime. Could possibly be reasoned that it is because the ‘crime’ in those cases are disobedience to the boss, but in the “going to hell” scenario most people never even got the memo.

God did not create Hell. “Hell” is a state of apprehension. It is how those who die in hatred of God shall put themselves when confronted directly with His Love.

So it is basically volontary? Or are you saying it is a case of perception?

A certain prominent and famous rabbi did not get along with the community that he led. And someone once asked him why he didn’t look for a position elsewhere - surely a person of his prominence would have multiple opportunities. And he responded “there’s a traditional concept of 7 levels of Hell. Question is we’re talking about Hell here - why wouldn’t one level suffice? So we see from here that even if a person is in Hell, after a while he can get used to the place, and learn the ropes. So what do they do - as soon as this happens they take him out and plunge him into a different level of Hell, and it starts all over again. So it is with me - it’s Hell for me in this town, but it’s a Hell that I’ve already gotten used to. I’m not looking to go somewhere else and risk a completely new Hell”


That’s the way I conceive it. My admittedly unsophisticated view of Hell is derived from equal parts CS Lewis and Gregory Boyd, but it works for me:

God desires an intimate relationship with each person, but has gifted us with Free Will to either accept or reject his overtures. Hell is the state in which a person places themselves when they willfully turn away from a relationship with God. With each decision to reject closeness to the divine, a person loses (or gives away) some of their ability not only to turn toward God, but even to perceive God’s desire for closeness. In effect, we “become what we do” with repetition over time.

At the end of earthly life, we continue on in some state. We remain, after death, the person we caused ourselves to be in life. If we die as a person who has so rejected God that we cannot even recognize him, then we are not likely to suddenly gain that ability in the next life. There is no need for God to “create” a Hell for us; we have created our own Hell of complete isolation.

The question this brings up (at least to me) is, can a person repent or change in the next life? Is there redemption after death?

Ooh, you’re gonna hate Fridays.

I agree and you make the same argument that I have made for years. Hell doesn’t make sense.

As we say in the Church of the SubGenius, “The difference between Hell and Heaven is which end of the pitchfork you’re on!” Praise “Bob”!

So, can you just fake it in the afterlife?

“Remember, don’t look apprehensive when confronted with the Love!”