Hell is other people
A discussion of the existence and nature of Hell
Let me preface this fnord with the statement that I believe that religion is faith based; meaning, that things need not be internally consistent and that having faith means acceptance of things that can't be proven for to have proof is to belay faith and cause God, if God exists, to disappear in a puff of logic; which is a very mean thing to do to your creator if God created you.
If we are to assume that there is a single all powerful divine being called God, who loves us, then we must question the stories we are told of Hell. We are coerced to believe that if we do not follow certain rules that all that makes us who we are; our immortal soul, will be sent to a dimension of pain and suffering for all eternity. While it is not my intention to prove the existence or nonexistence of God I would like to challenge peoples thoughts on the nature of Hell and God. I purpose to the reader that there is no Hell as classically thought of for if such a place existed and God sends the souls of those who sin there then God certainly doesn't love us; as no loving being could send someone they love to an eternity of pain and suffering. The alternative is that God doesn't love us if God exists at all. These are assumptions.
If God loves us then it makes no sense for God to send us to a dimension of pain and suffering. If God wants to teach us and Hell is some form of corporal punishment towards that end, then it makes no sense to leave us in Hell for all eternity. If God is willing to send people to an eternity of pain and suffering if we do not follow Gods rules then God is using coercion and fear to gain followers; not the act of a loving being.
If we operate under the assumption that God loves us then we must discount the existence of an eternal dimension of pain and suffering. This leaves us with a number of possibilities; Torment in Hell is not eternal, Hell doesn't exist, or we have a misconception of what Hell is.
I am of the opinion that we are currently in Hell; surrounded by the greedy, selfish, and egotistical, and all of the things that I believe to be the consequences of those sins; war, sickness, poverty. I believe this theory over the others because I feel that torture no matter how long it lasts is unethical and not the act of a loving God and that there must be a balance against Heaven.
Having used Heaven in this fnord I suppose I should discuss it as well. I am hesitant to believe that I stop existing when my body dies. Besides the possible thermodynamic problems I find the thought that who I am as a person would be gone forever. I may be wrong about this but if I am I won't know so it seems reasonable to accept Heaven. I like the thought of a reward for being good but because I also believe in balance I believe there must be a punishment for being bad. Thus the concepts of Heaven and Hell emerge. I believe that Heaven and Hell are two separate places. That does not preclude the world we live in from being Heaven or Hell also. The reason that I believe Hell and the mortal world are one and the same is that there was no need to create aseparate place for Hell and God, even though God is all-powerful, isn't stupid or wasteful. Furthermore it seems and excellent way to allow people to see theconsequences of their actions while they are still alive and still have time to change before they die. I believe that when you die you are judged. If you are deemed worthy you may enter Heaven where you are allowed to be you without having to deal with bad people; Like an earth where everyone though of others as themselves and treated them with at least respect anddecency if not outright love, a world without transgressions. If you are not judged worthy you are sent back to earth in a new form after you are shown the error of your ways. This does not mean you have to change; that is up to you. Those who refuse to change, who enjoy their sinful ways, may be thought of as demons. Souls who voluntarily leave Heaven to go back to earth to help people and teach them may be thought of as angles. Eventually I feel that Earth will be populated only by demons and angels; all other people having become demons or have been accepted into heaven. From then on I think it will be a struggle between demons that try to corrupt angels and angles that try to convert demons. Perhaps there may be a reset so that nothing becomesstagnate.
Some may see this as condemnation of their behavior and to them I will not say you have committed the sin of pride in thinking this is about you. This is about my perceptions of reality which can't be right because I am not a perfect being and can't be right for you because you're not me.