So what does happen in hell?

Judging by what most people have posted on this forum at one time or another, it can safely be concluded that we’re all going to Hell. Well, that’s a bummer, huh? So we might as well ask ourselves (if only to get prepared) what exactly happens in Hell? I mean, fire and brimstone aside, what really happens there, and why?

Let’s look at this logically (yes, yes, religion and logic, I know…). If you go to Hell, that must mean you were evil. Or, at the very least, more evil than good. But being evil is doing the Devil’s work, right? Why would he (or she)punish you for that? Shouldn’t the Devil be happy that you did evil? Shouldn’t he recruit you as a minion of his evil army? I mean, why would the Devil spends all his time punishing evil-doers when being evil is actually good in his eyes?

I know this comes out as being flippant. I don’t believe in Hell, but if I did believe in it, I wouldn’t understand the whole concept. Can someone explain why Hell is bad? Why should we fear it? Maybe Hell is a reward for those who are evil?

libraries filled with books filled with word problems.


Well, the whole topic depends on who you ask and what their image of Hell is.

Probably we should get Satan to post here – after all, who would be more authoratitive on the subject? :wink:

However, traditional doctrine, stripped of the mythology Dante, Milton, and others have draped on it, says that:
[li]Satan is in rebellion against God – he is more or less a high-class inmate of Hell, not its General Manager.[/li][li]Hell consists in rejection of God, and is not a place. The “eternal burning” is more or less “what might have been” regret taken to the ultimate degree.[/li][li]On the older Jewish understanding of the Satan, he is essentially an investigative prosecuting attorney for the Divine Court, whose job it is to indict the evildoers before the Highest Judge of All. Christian theology places the Holy Spirit as his opposite number, the defense attorney, more or less. (The analogy has problems, but is based on Biblical metaphor, so let it slide, please.)[/li][li]On any religious worldview, evil is never its own reward, but its own punishment. This is not so much theological as psychological. That which is good is satisfying when achieved. That which is evil may be briefly satisfying, but leaves an empty space which soon becomes an obsession, then a fixation, then a consuming passion which eats away the identity of the evildoer until eventually virtually nothing is left but a ghost of the desire for the evil thing.[/li]
Have fun with this one.

I still haven’t learned what the term “felching” means, but I’m willing to bet that a lot of it goes on in Hell.

Noticed short answers were posted while I was composing my post. But Tracer is slipping: he merely posted the URL for In the olden days, he would have embedded the url in a phrase-link that would have come out as "Go to hell " <-- (imagine it as an underscored blue link.)

Polycarp wrote:

[li]On the older Jewish understanding of the Satan, he is essentially an investigative prosecuting attorney for the Divine Court, whose job it is to indict the evildoers before the Highest Judge of All. Christian theology places the Holy Spirit as his opposite number, the defense attorney, more or less. (The analogy has problems, but is based on Biblical metaphor, so let it slide, please.)[/li][/QUOTE]

In the book of Job, Satan is represented as the Hebrew-mythology equivalent of Loki, i.e. a mischievous minor demon that likes to cause trouble for us mere mortals.

And I think you have my link-posting style confused with Satan’s. (That’s Satan the SDMB regular, not Satan the … oh, never mind.)

No, I just respect and enjoy your ability to make an incisive comment while simultaneously injecting a bit of wit into a too-serious thread. And though I did think you used Satan’s style, I miss your regular one-liners – or at least I’m seeing far fewer of them.

How the elephant got into my pajamas, I’ll never know.

(Darn. It doesn’t work right without the cigar and novelty glasses.)

I guess I’d better learn how to gnash.

:: Hands Tracer the funny nose glasses ::

Heaven forbid (unintentional pun, I swear) I try and take this one on without making a joke and bail, I will attempt to answer the question. No, not from personal experience… :wink:

I will assume that the “Hell” we are discussing is thee Christian version; In fact, I don’t know if the word itself would be in any other faith - someone edify me my ignorance if need be.

From talking to Christians, their interpretation of hell runs the gambut. All are “unpleasant,” however.

The most lenient version of the place is simply described as being in a place devoid of God. Since we have many atheists who feel that’s what we got right here on earth, this is not quite the deterance that the firey pit that others claim it is would be. However, ask a believer - even someone as liberal as Polycarp - how they would like to spend eternity without God, and watch a person crumble.

That said, the torturous visions of Dante, Chick Tracts and old school Catholicism (Carlin: “Hell is fire, and we can all dig fire.”) certainly shows a placve that NOBODY would want to subject themselves too.

On a related note, Christians also debate and have different ideas over exactly the power that Satan (the real one; I have no power) has. Interestingly enough, this does not correlate to the visions of Hades that often from what I have heard.

But, you know, ultimately, Hell is what you make of it. Telling someone wwho doesn’t believe in the place that that is where they are headed doesn’t do much, and believers are secure in the knowledge that they would NEVER go there, because they believe.

As such, I imagine Hell is pretty empty…

(And, okay, I lied… I WILL tell a joke, thank you…)

Satan goes up to a new arrival who looks really depressed. He says, “Hey man, what’s wrong?”

“Well, I’m in hell,” he responds despondantly.

“Hey, it’s not so bad!” Satan intones. “You like drinking?”

“Well, I could knock a few down in my time,” he replies.

“Well, you’ll LOVE Mondays,” Satan enthuses. “We all drink, anything from hard liquor to fancy microbrews - we brew our own, of course. And you’re dead - No hangovers! You like drugs?”

The guy replies, “Well, I did my share…”

“Oh, you will LOVE Tuesdays! We do all of the drugs you can think of. Smack, coke, crack, pills, hash, and you can’t OD because you’re already dead! How about gambling?”

The guy nods his head and smiles.

"Wow, man, Wednesdays are for you! We have roulette, blackjack, poker, just about any game you can imagine! Are you gay?

“No,” he replies.

“Ooh,” says the devil. “You’re gonna hate Thursdays…”

Yer pal,

Six months, one week, four days, 1 hour, 34 minutes and 5 seconds.
7762 cigarettes not smoked, saving $970.33.
Extra time with Drain Bead: 3 weeks, 5 days, 22 hours, 50 minutes.

I slept with a REPUBLICAN moderator!*

Thanks so far for the responses. Rest assured, I understand the concept of Hell. It’s to scare sinners into doing good. Why would you steal if you’re going to be burning in the depths of Hell for all eternity? But the concept itself, if looked at logically, never held any weight for me.

If we believe that Satan is actually an outcast Angel, banished from the Kingdom of Heaven and trying to get back in, he’d want as many helpers as possible, right? He’d be wasting valuable resources torturing them when they’re probably evil and want to help him anyway.

OK so what if there is no Satan, it was merely God punishing us? Why would I believe in a God that vengeful?
He’s punishing the wicked, you say. True, but even the wicked have the option of absolving their sins in life. Why can’t they in death as well? Truly, there are some acts which are unforgiveable, but again, why would I pray to a diety that allowed even the wicked to suffer for all eternity? That’s wicked as well, right? And why would I pray to a diety that would punish me for all eternity merely for using the choice (choice which He supposedly gave me) to not pray to Him?

In my own mind, I think that, if I had to pick one, Hell being a punishment of God makes more sense than it being a punishment of Satan. It makes more sense, but it doesn’t make sense.

I do like the concept of Satan being an administrator and a prosecutor. That he helps determine whether you’re guilty or not. He isn’t there to punish, or to oversee, but merely to determine if you have earned your right into heaven, or if you’re banished to hell. Go Jews! ;j

Rhysdad…um, what does going to hell have to do with learning to eat?

And Satan, you slept with a Republican? You are going to Hell.

Well, in my Churches version of hell, it is not so much a place of punishment, as a last chance for repentance, and when you do, on to Heaven.

It is percieved as a cheerless, Godless place, with nothing to do, and miserable to boot. When you arrive you KNOW that it is YOUR actions alone, that put you there, and it will be by YOUR repentance alone that you get out- with no help.

There is discussion, as in the OT, of terrible burning punishments- but that is for Kings, etc who forced & led others to do evil. Hitler will not be a happy nazi.

Some few, who are that evil, will not repent- thye get to stay there forever. I have no problem with Stalin being in Hell for all eternity- and the worst thing is he will KNOW all he has to do is truly repent and ask forgiveness, and he will be freed- and that could be the worst punishment of all.

Also note, in my Churches dogma- you are not sent to hell simply for not believing in JC. Those who are virtuous will recieve an approp. award/due. Maybe they will go to their idea of heaven- Valhalla or whatever. Of course, it is only by JCs forgiveness that you can sin & repent, and thus be saved.

That would be logical. But there’s noting logical about sibling rivalry. See, Satan rebelled when God came home with his new creation, man. Obviously we were his favorites now. One version of the story is, God was showing off his brand new creature, and Satan took one look and bursted into uncontrollable laughter. God was so pissed he tossed him out of heaven right there. So, you have to understand the lingering resentment.


Hmm…I think that’s NOSH.

According to the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Hell is a place where you can play all day.

“It is perceived as a cheerless, Godless place, with nothing to do, and miserable to boot. When you arrive you KNOW that it is YOUR actions alone, that put you there, and it will be by YOUR repentance alone that you get out- with no help.”

—Hmmm . . . OK. My office. THAT explains a lot.

When in doubt, consult literature.
Dante’s Inferno gives a highly detailed map. (Also see Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle’s fantasy novel “Inferno”, as well as the “Heros in Hell” series)Great engravings of same by Gustave Dore.

See C.S. Lewis’ “The Great Divorce” for a different view, and “The History of Hell” for other ideas.

Myself, I prefer George Bernard Shaw’s Hell from “Man and Superman”. If I’m going to end up in a place I don’t believe in with a supernatural entity I don’t believe in (speaking as an agnostic), I’d like to spend the time in witty discussion, rather than roasting, freezing, slipping in slime, or being tormented by demons and game-show hosts.

The scariest description of hell I have ever heard wasn’t one of fire and brimstone but this: Any pain you have inflicted against another person shall be visited upon you ten fold.

So this guy goes to hell and Satan says “You can pick your eternal punishment here, follow me.”

Satan and the man walk down a long corrider with doors along the sides. They peer into the first door and see this poor soul stretched out on a rack screaming in horrible agony. The man shakes his head and they move on to the next door. He then sees a man chained to a wall, he is being tortured with all manner of tools such as whips, hot irons, and knives. Again the man shakes his head and they move on. Room after room is populated with people being tortured in unimaginable ways and the man is very afraid. They come to yet another door and when the man looks in he is surprised to see a naked man chained to the wall, there is a beautiful woman kneeling before him giving him a blow job.

The man turns to Satan and says “This one!”

Satan opens the door, walks over to the woman and says, “you’re done”.

Hell is where they make cars.

I don’t have all the details. But you know you’re there when you hear someone pronounce you man and wife.