I don't really follow religion much, but all these different groups that are telling each other they are going to hell because they aren't following the correct religion, seem a little crazy?
Yet, they all seem to be universal when it comes to hell and the devil. Why is there so much difference between religions, while everyone seems to agree that hell is the same no matter what? Does anyone wonder why there seems to be no difference among these people?
Is there any religion that describes hell in a different way?
It seems odd that god supposedly scorned Kings for burning people in furnaces for not following the kings law, yet god's alternative for not following his will is burning fire?
I'm sure I will get a lot of fire for this post.
And that's the reason why God as we know it is such a blatantly human created concept. Most religions copy each other, editing and conforming the "new" religion to their liking over time.
It also never seems to fail that whichever God in question has startlingly human qualities, which would explain the whole "made in his image" thing, yet coincidentally that is irrelevant if you ever decide to question certain actions of God...
As far as hell and the devil goes, the end result usually seems to be the same, but the actions that get you there seems to vary culture by culture/religion by religion
Uh, I'd recommend re-reading some of these religious scriptures and texts because they are not consistent AT ALL in their portrayal of the afterlife.
In the Bible alone there are multiple versions of the afterlife you can look into for yourself.
In the Old Testament Sheol, the grave or pit, is a general underworld that everyone, bad and good go to. In other parts of the Old Testament such as Job or Ecclesiastes the author doesn't think there is any afterlife at all, when you're dead you're dead.
In the Gospels Jesus talks of Gehenna as a place of everlasting fire, Gehenna was a real place, a rubbish heap outside of Jerusalem that was perpetually on fire because of people burning their garbage.
In Revelation of course it's a Lake of Fire at the end of time, conceptually similar to what Jesus is talking about but also different.
The Apostle Paul, on the other hand, talks about wrath and judgment but not about any kind of Hell at all.
Modern Christians are also divided. Some believe Hell is mere separation from God. Others that it is annihilation (just non-existence). Others that it is eternal and inescapable.
And that's just a few examples from Christianity and Judaism without even getting into the various afterlife beliefs of other religions.
So no not everyone agrees on Hell.
It's not hard to see why a punishment for the wicked and a reward for the righteous are such alluring concepts either nor is it hard to see why something like the vicarious redemption of Christianity might catch on (since in most Christian sects it is Jesus' salvation, not good deeds, that earn one the reward). Sure such superstitions are childish but they are often ingrained from youth and shielded from critical thought by culture, fear, and wishful thinking.
The afterlife is more ubiquitous a belief than god belief as even more atheistic religions such as Buddhism have an afterlife. No one wants to die and that is a powerful driving factor. But don't make the mistake of generalizing all these beliefs as similar. While the broad outlines may be the same there are stunning differences.
Yeah, it is "crazy" that so many millions of people believe this stuff but fear, indoctrination, guilt teamed up with joy, false hope, and wishful thinking (for Heaven) are powerful things not easily overcome by reason.
Correct religion it appears is highly subjective and would depend on how one were to perceive the concepts of hell and the devil, heaven and God, whether taught or intuited.
That many religions seem to have similar concepts is not too crazy.
It is mans inner nature to try to separate through logic and reasoning what is not separate and we ultimately end up descibing separate processes that seem to be polar opposites but are actually one in the same, just with different expressions of the one if you will.
Nature and its seasons are an example of how our logic cannot help but separate nature as a whole. We logically cannot fathom that the summer season is still present when winter is doing its wintery thing or vice versa. Luckily no matter what our logic decides nature will be just as it is no matter the concepts of logic we use to separate.
There is disagreement on what hell is. Gnostic Christians don't believe in in the devil and believe hell is a state of mind and not a place.
In Buddhism, hell is a temporary place where one can get the opportunity to work themselves up making use of the merit they had acquired on earth. Hell is defined as any place, whether it be another plane or this world where there is suffering.
Hell fire is known as Gehenna:
"It is usually translated as Hell Fire, as opposed to Hades, which is usually just translated as Hell in other Bibles. GeHenna is the name of the valley that bordered the SSW wall of Ancient Jerusalem, which served as the city's garbage dump during the time of Jesus. For prior to the first destruction of Jerusalem (c 600-BCE) it had been a graveyard, and then it was set aside for profane use after it had served as a place for sacrificing children to pagan gods prior to JeruSalem's destruction."
Fire burned anything that was put in these dumps. It was always burning and had maggots in it.
Mark 9:47-48New International Version (NIV)
47 And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48 where
“‘the worms that eat them do not die,
and the fire is not quenched.’[a]
I believe punishment of the evil in the after life is not literally a fiery place. I believe it is death with no resurrected body and the souls of the evil being tormented forever. I believe the evil condemned to hell will have no bodies at all.
I thought hell was an actual place in biblical times where they burn the dead bodies of criminal and bad sinner.
The Catholics buried bodies for resurrection to heaven.
Until cremation was one time believed sending someone to hell. The Church change their laws( like they often do) about cremation because of sanitarium reasons.
That was in the time of Jesus that it was a rubbish dump. Prior to the destruction of Jesus in 600 BC, it was a place for burning of the wicked.
As I said, it was a place also for sacrificing people:
Jeremiah 7:31–32 (ESV) — And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind. Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when it will no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth, because there is no room elsewhere.
Then the burning of the wicked:
Isaiah 30:33 (HCSB) — Indeed! Topheth has been ready for the king for a long time now. His funeral pyre is deep and wide, with plenty of fire and wood. The breath of the Lord, like a torrent of brimstone, kindles it.
Isaiah 66:24 (ESV) — “And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”
Hades (hell), in Greek and Hebrew, is a spiritual place or another world or the abode of departed spirits, disembodied spirit. A person really does need to study the Scriptures to understand what the parables mean.
Thanks for your answer titen-sxull.
Your comment was very interesting. One of my greatest worries is that there is a religion that thinks we are in heaven now, and if that is the case, heaven sucks!!
You have to remove the narrow approach to religion as stereotypical "right wing back woods fundamentalists". Huge swathes of religion such as Buddhist/Hindu/Indigenous don't practice "right wing back woods fundamentalism". Such stereotypes are only used by bigoted mindesets. No names mentioned of course but they often appear in such discussions as this.
I recently had a visit with one of my neighbors, and they drive 30 miles to another church, when there are 3 churches within a mile of our houses. They claim it is because none of the local churches worship the correct god. They say they tried them all, and each one had a different answer for why you go to heaven, and what you need to do to get there.
They whipped out their bibles and started reading scripture to me, and all I wanted to do was be polite when they invited me over for dinner. To make things a little more uncomfortable, they were having a yard sale, and two of the ministers of the other churches came over to see what they had. And, one of them asked me if I was going to their church. I said no.
People keep saying, I don't understand why gays keep throwing themselves in our faces. And, I can tell you that I have never invited a neighbor over to my house and whipped out the book of gay on them. Nor have I ever knocked on a persons front door saying. hello, take this brochure, and if you have an hour, I would like to tell you all about a wonderful thing called gay sex, and I brought you a fruit basket just cause.
Didn't you know? The evil gays have a super nefarious plot that's going to .....???
I could understand if it's like a long term friend or family, but if it's random people or neighbors you don't really associate with that are preaching to you I would just say you're uncomfortable if you are and be done with it.
Only after you got some neato things from the garage sale of course...
People have the misconception that something is "thrown in their face" only because it is offensive to them.
Gay people kissing in public would be gays "throwing it in their face."
Straight people kissing in public would just be straight people kissing in public.
It's an underlying, subconscious assumption that gay people should cater to straight people being offended. The whole point is to have equal rights, and for people to get over their offended selves.
If I could really kiss a guy, then sexual/love relationship would begin.
Why would I suppress any kind of love, when I barely can keep a woman happy.
Back in early 70s a person could do long and hard time in prison for gay sex. Silly because all they did was locked them up with a bunch of other gays
Being at my peek sexually and a rebel. I got very high and tried gay sex. When he started in with whisker burned, I screamed then shivered, sorry man, can't do it
I guess just much as a strong gay man that can't do the most beautiful woman in the world
It really doesn't take that much for a strong gay man to have sex with a woman. I know a lot of gay men who have always been gay, but married and had children because it was the right thing to do. That is in their minds to keep their high profile jobs, please their families, and a lot of them are big church people as well. I know of a married man who has four children, and is already a grandfather, (Son's kid not a daughter.) goes to church every sunday. But he can still have sex with 6 or 7 guys in a month, and not think any less of himself.
he also does not approve of gays getting married, and still thinks most will rot in hell. Unless they are tops, well then that's different.
Marriage is just a legal contract to me. Wail sex is like a sacred bond. An atheist marriage has a better chance of enduring than a Christian one, per capita wise. Funny people's different prospective on sex and love.
Love can wait, sex can't.
… we create our own hell.
So don't create your own hell.
I'm just not wire that way, for the 10% that is, it's often heaven.
Hell is here on earth and is probably as bad as it gets.
Hell can be brought about through circumstances not even your own doing.
Sometimes you experience hell and its not even your fault.
" … everyone (from all religions) seems to agree that hell is the same no matter what …"
Please prove this. I did not know this.
Basically I regard "hell" as something that we find unbearably uncomfortable, that we cannot avoid or get out of.
If the general attitude was for teaching/learning ways and means of changing that sort of situation, then we would all be better off. Not perfectly so: that is next to impossible. But concentrating our mental, emotional and physical energies on this world and learning survival techniques ...surely more beneficial than concentrating on the imaginary nether-regions beyond this life?
Yes, life is hard enough without making up stuff.
We, the group of people here in this thread of conversation, are all aspiring to be reasonable, level-headed and tolerant individuals, contributing what ever we can manage to our communities. We are not perfect, either.
Yet, despite whatever differences of opinion we might hold, our ability to discuss and share our deeper understandings is paramount to "getting along" with each other.
It just needs a willingness to listen, learn, contribute our thoughts into the mix of ideas... without presuming "my" opinion is based upon superior knowledge and morality than the next person. For not one of us knows the whole story.
Granted, those who vehemently disagree with any of us can add their point of view and it all makes for some entertainment at least. We can all learn new points of view and reach even further understanding as a result but I, for one, would not begrudge anyone else their entertainment and involvement in the discourse. Someone might be bound to a wheelchair and unable to venture out of their house, day-in-and-day-out; so that person's only entertainment and communication with fellow beings is via the internet and HubPages....let's not be too harsh. Let's help them to peer out of their hell of a prison and glimpse a better world at large.
It's not necessary to change an individual's thinking to "my" way of thinking. I can live with the difference, unconditionally in the main. But it's fine when agreement does come along.
Johnny , +++++++This is exactly what I mean when discussing the positivity of those who simply have faith in a god ! To me , not an organized church attendee , I believe there cannot be so much negativity in believing in a God ., if higher morality, better social behavior and personal integrity is the guiding factor ? Being godly by choice ? Only the cynical can find something wrong with that . I understand the questions , but most people have already made up their minds as to how they are gonna' act , with or without faith .
Remember that old question , "How you gonna act " forget where it came from but , that's the big question .
We people have really good imaginations. We know nothing and we make up stuff. Why do we do this?
Don't make up stuff.
When it comes to religion you're dealing with archetypes and a super deep seated fear of nonexistence.I say nonexistence because contemplating 'death' tends to evoke a philosophical rationalization that ends in "I'm not afraid to die" followed by some nebulous explanation that only serves to confirm how deep our fear runs.
I can tell you from recent personal experience that when death's hot vapid breath is millimeters from your face...reason and calm flee like dust in the wind and you're left with a strong unwavering fear or the numbness That fear leaves in it's wake...you can believe that...it just happened to me...
I always feel like death would be a welcome relief. Somehow I think death is the solution to all life's troubles. But, I would like to die in my sleep, heart just giving out without my being aware of it.
I am not afraid of hell after I die. I have experienced hell here and I know it is a state of extreme anxiety / emotional distress. Can this unsettled psychological state be carried over to spirit realm within the entity who has lost its body and brain in a state of emotional distress? Keep calm / do what makes you peaceful today / now … all the way up until the moment your heart gives out ...
Not afraid of death, just don't want to be there when it happens .
I would be afraid if I were a Christains,Because going up your chances for heaven is that of a las Vegas lottery, if you picked the right God.
Down means torture for ever
Have you heard that audio tape supposedly recorded in a hole dug deep into the ground in Russia? Hearing it is is scary based on the imagination alone. How do we know it was even dropped into that hole?
Kathryn honey , you gotta get out of California ......that was the San Andreas fault-ilne plates grinding away , ..................come east sweety ...........:-}
See I got a sense of humor .
That is beautifully and aptly stated, Kathryn.
I was this early morning wondering how a person would feel in the last moments of drowning.
Apparently the sensation of speeding down a tunnel of lights and colours (as was somewhat depicted in the movie, "2001") is caused by anoxic condition within the mid-brain, so hopefully it's not a horrific way to go.
Yet, the real achievement here in life comes from having the courage, stamina and determination to wade through that "Valley of the Shadow of Death," and then to know the triumph of having-been-there-done-that. And no one else can do it for us.
Yet someone with strong belief might be convinced they had received a helping hand.
Each to our own.
As much as people may suffer greatly, there is no one who has experienced the full might of hell. It is not just a state of extreme anxiety. It is the complete separation from God and what is good. We may suffer terribly on earth but the Holy Spirit is still here. Hell is when He is gone. Imagine a place where there is no good?
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