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Why does Hell exist?

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Showing 1-25 of 96 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 27, 2013 3:54:10 PM PST
The Weasel says:
It strikes me that Hell is an unecessary concept. If there is an actual all powerful and benevolent God wouldn't it simply be enough to that non-believers don't get to sit with him? Seriously if God is all-good then existing away from God and knowing that you are missing out would be the very defintion of punishment.

Alternatively, why should anyone suffer for eternity. In fact, suffering in enternity means existing in eternity. Wouldn't simply letting those 'souls' cease to exist be more of a punishment?

In theory an all powerful God could pardon someone in Hell. So those souls would have hope that might happen someday. Only the destruction of their souls would be ultimate punishment.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 4:01:05 PM PST
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Posted on Feb 27, 2013 4:11:54 PM PST
Why does Hell exist?
I do not believe it does. Well, except in our thoughts - if our thoughts are full of hate, anger, fear, and bigotry - I think we're in hell right now. The way out of hell is to fill our thoughts with love, joy, and hope. Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is within you." I think he was spot on with that one.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 4:51:22 PM PST
J. Potter says:
Yes, why do other people exist? So unnecessary most of the time.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 4:52:41 PM PST
The Weasel says:
J. Potter says:
Yes, why do other people exist? So unnecessary most of the time.
Maybe as extras so the "Trumans" don't catch on that their in a scripted TV show?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 5:05:37 PM PST
Astrocat says:
Weasel, "hell" doesn't exist. It's a story told by religious despots to keep people under control, namely Christians.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 5:08:46 PM PST
The Weasel says:
Nancy Davison says:
Weasel, "hell" doesn't exist. It's a story told by religious despots to keep people under control, namely Christians.
But wouldn't that weaken their control? Hell as a concept seems much to childish and arbitrary to exist if there is an all knowing and benevolent God.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 5:27:02 PM PST
ReaderOne says:
Assuming that hell is a real place (I don't), one would have to gauge the nature of its existence. So you have asked and here is something to think about: Hell, in the biblical sense is a word which was substituted for other words in the early translations. The word Hell replaces (OT) crypt, grave, shoel, pit, Gehenna (a real place in the real world) and in (NT) also replaces Gehenna, Tartarus (Greek for place of the dead). We can infer a lot from this but unfortunaely Christians are inclined to believe the translation andnot the original texts.

But let us not stop there, Hell is also in a book which goes against the rest of the Christian text in the NT showing (God) to be a vengeful, moron who loves to punish people for indesgressions He Himself manufactured. But surprisingly, Hell was invented for the "devil and his angels". (See the book of Revelation for details.) [Rev 20:14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.[d] 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.]

I suppose (god) must have had an afterthought and decided since the devil and his rebellious pals were in hell,
[20:1Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.]
it would be a good idea to chuck his buddies, all the sinners, in there as well. (Can God have an afterthought?) Oh well!

God also decided in that wonderful tale of terror to incinerate the residents of "hell" (See Revelation again) and establish the Final Holy City - the New Jerusalem where all the righteous will end up. Yet as a final thought, we see all the scum of the Earth showing up in the final chapter outside the walls of the New Jerusalem.

[21:1Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John,[a] saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." 5 Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me,[b] "Write, for these words are true and faithful." 6 And He said to me, "It is done![c] I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things,[d] and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8 But the cowardly, unbelieving,[e] abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."]

Since the events of Chapter 21 already happened in previous chapters one must wonder where all these "sinners" come from that were previously torched in the bottomless pit of flame and woe."

Could it be that the Book of Revelation, the concept of hell is man-made just like the story of the Christain messiah? Could it be that the idea of hell is one we constructed because we have evolved a sense of "justice and punishment" all on our own?

The bible story of hell doesn't stand up to close examination. Unless one decides to make excuses for the lack of coherent intelligence in the bible and ofr man's continuous decision to cherry-pick bible verses for their own self interest, one can dismiss Hell once and for all.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 5:46:17 PM PST
J. Potter says:
WAIT--this %#%#$ is *scripted* ???

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 6:05:07 PM PST
Stan Furman says:
Nah, the plot is too cr@ppy, the graphics is awesome though... :)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 6:15:07 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 27, 2013 6:15:42 PM PST
S. Friedman says:
Simple answer: it's part of the marketing strategy.

In order to sell the goods, it wasn't enough to say that believers would be taken care of.
The marketers felt the need to show a greater separation between believers and non-believers.
They wanted to make the product being offered appear more appealing.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 6:49:30 PM PST
Astrocat says:
No, it doesn't weaken their control at all, it enhances it, because then the believers have to follow the orthodox line. If you don't believe what they teach you'll be sent to eternal perdition.

The fact that they continue to teach the "benevolent God" story along with hellfire, is, I think, calculated to keep people off balance and unsure of themselves, so they look to "authority" to save them.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 7:02:29 PM PST
S. Kessler says:
And what is that reason? Punishment? Rehabilitation? Revenge? Which of these reasons apply to hell?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 7:25:44 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 27, 2013 7:26:18 PM PST
Iain says:
Dear AWK,

A bit Manichaean, no? Did you mean it to be?


In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 9:30:02 PM PST
Dear Iain - I was just thinking about you today - thinking how long it's been since I saw you on here - Hope all is well with you and yours!
I have no idea what Manichaean is, but I'm pretty sure I meant my post to be Manichaean. I mean. Yeah. Right?
As you can see, I'm still in fine form. Sheesh.
It's a wonder I haven't managed to win one of those Darwin Awards, yet.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 9:32:17 PM PST
From Wikipedia: "Manichaeism taught an elaborate cosmology describing the struggle between a good, spiritual world of light, and an evil, material world of darkness. Through an ongoing process which takes place in human history, light is gradually removed from the world of matter and returned to the world of light from which it came. Its beliefs were based on local Mesopotamian gnostic and religious movements."

Huh. Well, I have to think about that a bit...
(What does "gnostic" mean?)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 9:33:59 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 27, 2013 9:35:20 PM PST
From urbandictionary: "Gnostic: Plain and means rebelling against and breaking free of the conformity set forth to us by religious dogma..."

Ooh - yeah, I'm a rebel and a non-conformist and stuff, for sure... :)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 9:37:37 PM PST
Jeff Marzano says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 9:38:42 PM PST
Jeff Marzano says:
Spackled in Pickles says:

[Same reason prisons do...]

I agree. Prison is like a symbol of Hell in this physical world.

Posted on Feb 28, 2013 12:41:32 AM PST
Jonn Jonzz says:
haha hellfire for all you "thought crimers"

Posted on Feb 28, 2013 8:23:42 AM PST
A. Caplan says:
Why does Hell exist?

>Not all religions accept the existence of Hell. My religion rejects the concept.

Posted on Feb 28, 2013 8:38:36 AM PST
J. Russell says:
Hell exists to scare people into believing what the religion wants you to believe.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 28, 2013 8:50:14 AM PST
Iain says:
Dear Mr. Marzano,

What exactly is a soul?

Also, if the soul, whatever it is, is eternal, how can it be destroyed?

And finally, can you explain the cause and effect implied in "Free will is a law in the universe that nobody can interfere with. That's why God remains somewhat invisible while we are in this physical world, at least to most people"?


In reply to an earlier post on Feb 28, 2013 9:06:36 AM PST
Iain says:
Dear AWK,

I posted here simply because I saw your comment... that's my elliptical way of saying how glad I am to run into you again, so ditto re you and yours.

I should have said your comment was a kind of individualized, personal manichaean one, a struggle between light and dark within each individual, and one which need not be particularly religious, let alone Christian, especially not Christian in fact, even though Jesus does hint at such a state of affairs now and again; he's not always consistent, is he?

Also, if you think of gnosticism as a kind of mysticism, you're on the right track, even if you specify Christian gnosticism. Gnosis is the Greek for knowledge, plain and simple; I've always thought irony was involved there.

I read your book, by the way, and was well into it before I began to worry that your tongue was never, ever in your cheek. I hope you can forgive me for making such a damnable remark, but you know where I stand.

Waiting in trepidation,


In reply to an earlier post on Feb 28, 2013 9:15:03 AM PST
Jeff Marzano says:
Iain says:

[What exactly is a soul ?]

Well I can tell you what I believe.

We have both a physical body and a spiritual body which is also called the soul. The soul exists before birth and continues to exist after death. It is the spiritual body that can go into Heaven Or Hell.

The soul does not have any gender. People can be reincarnated many times as either male or female. The idea is that people are reincarnated into whatever relationships and situations allow them to advance to a higher level of spiritual evolution or to digress into a downward spiral that for some will ultimately become the path to Hell.

Time does not exist in the spiritual realm. When the physical body dies the soul returns to that timeless dimension. From the spirit world we can see all pasts and futures as places where we can return in another incarnation.

This leads into many strange and paradoxical questions since it implies that everyone and everything exists in an infinite number of possible futures which may or may not actually happen in this physical dimension. This shows perhaps how all of our destinies are intertwined in ways that are far beyond human comprehension.

As far as the destruction of the soul, I can only refer you to what Christ supposedly said as I listed before. He warned that God can destroy the soul in Hell. But as I said who knows how long this annihilation process may take ? Or is 'how long' even a valid question since time does not exist in Hell.

I have read that God allows three different levels of evil on the different types of planets. Our planet Earth follow the 'own boss' cycle where a very high level of evil is allowed. I assume these are the planets where God's son is rejected and killed. The crucifixion of Christ has probably doomed our planet Earth. Perhaps no planet where this happens can continue to exist for much longer once that happens. We may only have another 1,000 years or so. Nobody will want to be alive when that terrible day finally arrives and people will start dying of fright when it starts.

God has given everyone free will and nothing can interfere with this. This is a great mystery in the universe.

On the last few pages of The Republic Plato tells how when a new cycle of mortality begins we all choose from a pool of future lifetimes. Those who are blinded by greed and lust choose to become tyrants in this world. But the philosophers choose more wisely and with more restraint.

The the Sisters Of Fate take all of our choices and weave them on their loom into the fabric of destiny. We are living out our chosen destinies now.

Some choose to come into this world so they can become separated from God forever. So that's what they do and the Fates provide the opportunities for them to do it.

There are no coincidences in life. On the day we are born the positions of the constellations of the Zodiac will foretell our destiny for that incarnation.

As far as what exactly is the soul, I can offer the following list which was extrapolated from E. A. Wallace Budge's translation of the Egyptian Book Of The Dead. This list is the Egyptian's 'division of the self'. The Egyptians had more subdivisions of a human being than just body, mind, and spirit.

The Mummy (1932) Boris Karloff (Actor), David Manners (Actor), Karl Freund

Egyptian Heritage: Based on the Edgar Cayce Readings [Paperback]
Mark Lehner (Author)

The author, Mark Lehner, was referring to E. A. Wallis Budge's translation of The Egyptian Book Of The Dead which contains their 'Divisions Of The Self':

a. Khat - the physical body of man considered as a whole

b. Ab - the heart, the source of life, good and evil, and the conscience.

c. Ka - translated "double". an ethereal alter ego which could leave the body in the tomb and inhabit any statue of the deceased. this life form could also enjoy life with the gods in Heaven.

d. Ba - the heart-soul, which could assume material and non material forms. it enjoyed eternal existence, and could unite with or leave the body at will. it was for the Ka and Ba that food offerings were left in the tomb.

e. Khaibit - associated with the Ba. "the shadow" could also leave the body at will and travel wherever it pleased.

f. Sekhem - "vital force" or "life force" of the individual. it is believed to dwell in heaven with the Khu. it is a term that translators are hard put to define.

g. Khu - the spirit-soul, the immortal part of man which went to heaven as soon as the body died.

h. Sahu - the lasting, incorruptible spirit-body, which incorporated all the ethereal elements of man within it.

i. Ren - the name of a man, believed to dwell in Heaven. the Egyptians were very careful to preserve their names because they believed that one existed only as long as his name was preserved.

According to Budge, "the whole man consisted of a natural body, a Spirit-body, a heart, a double, a Heart-soul, a shadow, a Spirit-soul, and a name. All these were, however, bound together inseparably, and the welfare of any single one of them concerned the welfare of all."
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