Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Doctrine of a Literal Hell

The Doctrine of a Literal Fiery Hell

There are a great deal of modern day Christians who reject the doctrine we are going to discuss today. Most Christians do not believe that Hell is a literal place of fiery torment where little satyr pan-demons poke you with a fork. The cartoonish depictions often ascribed to Hell come, mainly, from Greek ideas of the Underworld.

You might have noticed that Hell doesn't get mentioned much in the Old Testament, only a few very loosely interpreted scriptures even make reference to such a place. It isn't until the New Testament, much of which was transcribed by Greeks, that Hell becomes the Lake of Fire we all know and love. This borrowed from Hades, the Greek Underworld guarded by another thing we all know and love, the three headed hellhound Cerberus.

But the Doctrine of the literal ETERNAL hellfire is one of the hallmarks of fundamentalist literalist Christianity and it will be the subject of today's tirade.

By far the idea of Hell is one of the most frustratingly stupid scare tactics ever fabricated by religion. The idea that a God can both love you unconditionally and be willing to punish you continuously for eternity is as paradoxical as can be. When I was a Christian I didn't see that big of a deal about it, mainly because I was afraid to voice the gnawing concern that the idea of Hell was bullshit - because I didn't want to go there.

Why would a loving God send you to eternal Hell for some simple sins?

Apologists will say things like:

Because sin must be separate from God


You have freewill, he's given you the right to choose him or Hell.

Well what kind of a God gives you freewill and sends you into a world crammed full of sin and populated by dozens of other religions and expects you to navigate that minefield in one lifetime or else you get an eternity of flesh-melting teeth-gnashing blood-boiling Hellfire? So God has granted us freewill but he demands, under penalty of eternal hellfire, that we exercise that freewill by accepting Jesus and serving him. How is that freedom of choice? There are only two choices in that system, obey or burn.

Another reason for Hell that is brought up by Christians is the idea that God is Just and must punish sin. The idea is that God cannot simply forgive all the sin in the world, someone needs to be punished for it. Who do CHRISTians think carried their sin? The hint is in the name.

So God impregnates a virgin with one third of himself who is also his own son. This Son-God in a human body then dies for the sins of the world. But wait, SIN is meant to carry an ETERNAL punishment - it doesn't just carry a death sentence (although the wages of sin IS Death) it also carries an eternal after-life sentence. So does Jesus's death really cover the sin? And how is it Justice to send an innocent man to die on my behalf? That wouldn't hold up in any court of law. It's the equivalent of a murderer getting acquitted even after he confesses and the judge sending his own son to be punished on the murderer's behalf. Christians seem to love this idea, the idea that they are scum who don't deserve God's love or Jesus's sacrifice. That's how Christianity works, it destroys the self-esteem and self-reliance of the individual and replaces it with the desperate need for this imaginary friend (Jesus).

And what's worse is that the whole Jesus ordeal shows once again how bad of a Father Yahweh truly is. Rather than find another, more effective way, to forgive sins Yahweh decides to sacrifice his own Son. Everyone knows John 3:16 starts

God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son....

This is the same planet he had FLOODED, the same people he had DROWNED are now more valuable to him than his own child (Jesus).

Revelation 21:8 is probably my favorite verse for illustrating the bullshit of the doctrine of Hell. It records all of the sorts of people who will get tossed in with the devil and his angels to endure eternal torment.

The truth is that a being, in order to punish anyone for all eternity, would HAVE to be evil or at the very least be capable of evil. Even I, as a flawed human being, could never think of an offense for which an eternity of punishment was deserved. Even Hitler, for all his evil, might only deserve eleven million lifetimes worth of punishment, one lifetime for each person he sent to their death in the Holocaust. Even Hitler, for all his evil, does not deserve infinite punishment. Infinite punishment for a finite list of sins can never justice, especially when that punishment isn't merely rotting in a prison cell, but is being tortured in a Lake of Fire continuously.

An All-Powerful being, in order to allow something to happen, must also WANT that something to happen. For instance if I watch someone get hit by a car and do not act in time to push them out of the way there are numerous reasons why I might have failed to save them. But an all-powerful being stands aside and allows tragedy to happen purposefully. If an all-powerful being exists nothing, not even measly human freewill, could ever trump the power and divine Will of THE GOD of the UNIVERSE.

So why would any being ever be sent to Hell? Once again Yahweh fails miserably, his best laid plan, to send Jesus, will fail. According to Revelations only 144,000 will make it into Heaven and if you look at how simple some of the sins that God can damn you for are it starts to make sense why the Heavenly City will be such an exclusive club.

The Doctrine of Hell is one of the most morally disturbing ideas in religion and I feel that even most believers understand that. That, of course, does not stop them from using the threat of hell as a scare tactic to keep you in the pew feeding from the mouth of madness.

I leave you with a verse from 2nd Peter Chapter 3 verse 9

"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."

If God doesn't want anyone to perish. If he doesn't want anyone in Hell. Than why is he willing to send them there at all? And why is the best plan he could come up with to send Jesus, leave no evidence behind and demand we be gullible enough to believe in Christ sans any evidence at all? Doesn't God know that his plan isn't working?

The best laid plans of Yahweh and Yeshua...


  1. Great post. Just stumbled upon this blog and can't wait to check out the rest!

    Your ms-paint depiction of hell is priceless.

  2. Thanks Ryan.

    I'm glad you like it. I'm also glad the blog finally got a "follower". I'm not really sure how to attract people to the blog other than trying to make quality posts... I don't know much about the whole blogging phenomenon...

  3. You can try advertising some more on ATS. that's where I found it, in your signature.