Why would Hell be a *bad* place?

So here’s the thing: if the Devil is the guy going around causing strife and moral decay and murder and rape and thievery, why would he punish those that did these things on Earth? Why would Hell be pits of fire and brimstone and telemarketers? It’s Lucifers to do with as he wishes, isn’t it, so why wouldn’t it be a hedonistic pleasure palace of sex and graft and drunken gambling with shooting ranges, busty 16-year-old cheerleaders begging for sex and barrels of rum on every corner with fast cars with the engine running, piles of loot in the back seat and machine-guns for headlights parked on every curb?

Why would Satan (not the Doper) punish those that did his bidding on Earth, why would he banish them to grueling torturous agony for all eternity? What’s in it for him? Wouldn’t he be better served by offering continued access to the very things that people would have had to have done in order to be sent to Hell?

The idea that Hell is bad, that Hell is eternal pain and suffering doesn’t serve Satans (not the Doper) purpose, it serves any supposed Gods. More specifically, it serves those that would have us live what they deem to be the “correct” lifestyle (read: any organized religion). Saying that Hell would be bad because the bible says so is silly, considering that, well, no one really knows for one thing and the bible was written by man with the intention of presenting “Gods word” so it would, of course, put a deliberate negative spin on Hell, IMO. These two threads seen to somewhat support this: Who Invented Hell? and
Just where the heck did HELL come from anyway?!?, while this thread, Catholic Hell, goes to some lengths to explain things.

I’m only including those links so that you may go to those threads if you want to debate/question/discuss religious the origin of Hell and whatnot.

My question is the issue addressed in the first (and probably second) paragraph, though, so…discussion?

The main reason that Hell is supposed to be so terrible is because souls in Hell are apart from God. This causes them to have eternal suffering. This is the version that is usually agreed upon by most church officials.

The main reason that Hell is supposed to be so terrible is because souls in Hell are apart from God. This causes them to have eternal suffering. This is the version that is usually agreed upon by most church officials. Sorry no cites.

thinksnow, while I generally agree with you ('though not exactly) I must say you’ve been here long enough to know that either manny or Chronos are going to have some travel plans for this thread as soon as they see it.

Hey…could be. And if Hell is like that, sign me up.

But there are some Hells that don’t necessarily have a "leader " (like Satan) who nakes mischief here on the surface as well as acting as administrator over the underworld. In other words, evil-doers weren’t doing anyone’s bidding, they were just plain bad. I remember a Japanese description of Buddhist Hell where the souls of bad folks were chased naked by demons up and down endless mountains of needles. Yow.

thinksnow asks:

Well, as I understand Christian theology (and there are a host of Dopers who can correct me if I err on this point), Satan is not conceived of as the ruler, architect, or even chief trusty of Hell, but rather as its most notorious prisoner (the exceptions to this line of thought occur among people who I will not characterize beyond saying that it is questionable if they have ever, or even can, read the writings that they claim as the sources of what they call their ideas). Therefore, no One gives a rat’s ass as to what Satan may think as to the appropriateness of having the damned suffer eternally.

beatle, actually, I think this is still the right place for this. It’s not “witnessing,” per se (is it?) and it’s not an IMHO (is it?).

mongrel, Kyomara and Akatsukami, thanks for the input, y’all are giving me some good pints to ponder.

That is one of the WEAK hells. You should hear descriptions of them ALL. Like for example, the “Hell of the Red Lotus,” calld this because you are in so much pain you bend over so hard that your spine rips right up out of your back and coils up like a bloody red lotus flower. Or the “Hell of Burning Ropes” where demons pull out your intestines and stretch them out into long ropes and toast them gradually for a few trillion years. Ouch! And worst of all, Avichi Hell, which I’m not even going to describe.

Christian hells are just another ancient idea that somebody latched onto late in the game. They never really did reconcile christian doctrines with other earlier doctrines they swiped from other religions, but hey, christianity is not exactly noted for its logical consistency.

Yeah, see, that Satan is the ruler of Hell is a popular myth that isn’t official church doctrine, because, as you pointed out, it makes no sense.

Everyone in Hell is being punished. The Devil tries to get people to go to Hell because he’s an asshole and wants other people to suffer too.


More! More! I think you and I have been reading the same stuff, but it’s been years since I read it. All this sounds really familiar. Don’t hold back, man, tell us about Avichi Hell!

By the way, there are demons in the Hell I described, so that might count as administration. I picture haggard-looking demons in bad suits, killing time in the breakroom, drinking hot cups of bad blood-of-the-unrepentant…

The OP has been addressed a few times previously, including (but not limited to):

Mailbag article: Who invented Hell?"

Just where the heck did HELL come from anyway?!?

Devils running hell

I hear the coffee is cold too.

The tracts!!! Quickly! Someone slide in the tracts!


Into The Pit with you!!!

“A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: ‘If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.’” – Revelation 14:9-11; emphasis added

(Note also that hell is the wrath of God, not the wrath of the Devil.)

Yes, you might have noticed I included those links, save to “Devils running hell” one, in the OP.
Thank you, though.
For everyone else, it seems that I’ve got the Christian bias of a single Hell and the lack of real teachings on it, except that it is bad and you don’t want to go there, working against me. Thank you for all the information…doesn’t sound like such a party-town anymore! :slight_smile:

Akatsukami nailed it.

[Rev 12:7.6] Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,

[Rev 12:8] but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.

[Rev 12:9] And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world–he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

Traditional interpretation: the Devil didn’t make Hell, the Devil was thrown in Hell.

I personally had always been told that Satan was more like a caretaker of Hell (sort of like a gardener of lost souls) without actually being a ‘ruler’ per se. Even if he was the ruler, I think the whole point of “why wouldn’t Satan treat you like his buddy if you did his bidding on Earth?” is sort of a mute point anyway.

If we are to believe Satan is totally evil, then by definition, he must be without virtue. Essentially, I read this question as “If I am loyal to Satan, why wouldn’t I be rewarded for it?” Well, I personally would call loyalty a virtue. For the sake of argument, I would say that Satan would certainly be HAPPY with you doing his bidding on Earth, but once you’re in Hell, and your soul is his for eternity, why should he feel like he needs to return any favors? In fact, if he derived some pleasure out of making you miserable, why wouldn’t he just as soon piss gasoline on your head and throw you on the fire?

[Moderator watch ON]
Questions about Hell go in Great Debates, since Hell is not a topic on which factual information is available. Questions about human views of Hell, however, can conceivably be factual, and despite the wording of the OP, that seems to be the topic under discussion here, so we’ll leave it here for now.

Maybe this is completely off-topic, but if hell is bad, then isn’t Satan kind of a good guy then? I mean, we do bad things, we get punished for them. Like my high school’s assistant principal–if we skipped class or smoked in the parking lot, he gave us detention, but no one really saw him as a “bad guy.” Same thing with Satan; isn’t he, in a way, protecting us from evil by ruling over hell?