Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Go to Hell, an exercize in playful perfidy

I have been assigned to defend the punishments of Hell.

Let's examine The Bible's description of Hell:

"The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name." - Revelation 14:10-11

Wow, that's pretty harsh, an eternity of fire and brimstone - with not even single break to rest their weary souls.

Dante writes of a Hell that is personalized to fit our sins. Lusters, like myself, are given to blow in the winds of Hell for all eternity. Violent folks are boiled in a bloody river. The worst possible punishment is to be next to Satan, frozen in the ninth circle of Hell. This Ninth Circle is reserved for the most treacherous of people - those treacherous to their masters

Who could possibly deserve such a treatment?
Jacob Schafer!

Schafer started his killing spree in Huntsville Alabama. He killed the man he thought to be his wife's love interest. He murdered the man with a hammer, beating him to death.
Then Schafer traveled across state lines into Tennessee where his wife and family lived.
Schafer's first stop was at his Father-in-Law's home where he killed the Father-in-law and his brother-in-law. He used knives this time - with a stun gun back-up, lest the fight get the better of him.
Next Schafer went two doors down to his wife's home. He killed his 16 year old step son and one of the boy's friends (another 16 year old boy- unlucky kid was in the wrong place at the wrong time, just visiting). Schafer saved his wife for last (so she could witness his crimes?). Stabbing and hacking her with a knife as well.
Killing all he wanted, Schafer called the local police, took his four year old daughter to the porch and sat and waited for the police to arrive.

Yes, Hell is justified for this guy.
I believe there is no punishment we, as a society, can met out that will do justice for this guy.


Asylum Seeker said...

I guess you could note that an eternity of pain isn't that bad, because eventually you get numb to it and we tend to assess pain based on its intensity at its peak, rather than on the amount of time spent suffering or the total amount suffered. So...yeah.

mac said...

That's just it, heaven seems kind of similar, Seeker.

Wouldn't the paradise dull after the first few Millinea? If our earthly passions are relieved in heaven, wouldn't our earthly pains be relieved as well?

mac said...

And yeah,

this event happened in my small town.

It just proves, quiet small town life does not insulate you from the world's craziness?

Harvey said...

If we accept the Biblical descriptions, we might expect that both pain and pleasure in the earthly, bodily sense will no longer apply. The Old Testament descriptions of Heaven and Hell are much less graphic. Hell is generally described as "separation" from The Lord, implying that this alone may be sufficient "punishment" for not having lived a "righteous" life (observance of The Law of the Torah). It has required the Christian idea of original sin, the fall from grace, and the necessity of a blood sacrifice on Jesus' part to also bring us to a graphic description of torment as we now are provided by Revelations and Dante.

Stacy S. said...

" The Old Testament descriptions of Heaven and Hell are much less graphic."

Interesting ... I never knew that. I'm a little surprised actually since most of the OT is so much worse.

Harvey said...

In fact, the traditional Jewish "take" on life in general is that having lived a "righteous" life is the reward for living a righteous life. In general, heaven is where your soul goes to return to God if you have lived according to His commandments. There is very little discussion of what Heaven is, other than that the Angels are there and you will be in the presence of The Lord.
To be sure, the Biblical descriptions of the terrible consequences that The Lord may see fit to rain upon your head for any transgressions while still in this life are painfully graphic, but any after life consequences are barely touched upon, except as I have outlined above.

mac said...

You're right, Harvey.

If God see's fit to rain down such harsh punishment when we are alive, I'm not so sure I'd want to spend an eternity by his side...he seems to have quite a nasty disposition

mac said...

And if seperation from god is all Hell is, sign me up.

I wouldn't want to be in Heaven anyway - NO SEX!!

Harvey said...


Certain philosophers have suggested that this life is Hell. If that is so, one could argue that the traditional Jewish view that the reward for having lived a "good" life is that "good" life itself. It has always seemed to me that people's unwillingness to see the lifetime we have on this Earth as sufficient in and of itself and, with that, their apparent need to imagine or construct some afterlife or "reward" as protection from their fear of the unkown as singularly egoistic. If one understands that we are, after all, animals with no "greater" purpose than to survive long enough to reproduce and perhaps to nurture our offspring until they, in turn, can reproduce, just the same as all other organisms we know of, what "higher" purpose do we need? Mark Twain once pointed out (I paraphrase) that he did not exist for billions of years before his birth and suffered no ill effects therefrom. There fore, he did not anticipaye any such ill effects once he ceased to exist again after his death. So much for Heaven or Hell!

The Lion said...

Mac! You never told me you had a blog! For shame! But now that I have found you, and I like it too!, I will be back.

You have been warned :)

The Lion said...

Oh and, Mac, dear, please do some research on Hell in the Bible. The modern concept of Hell does not exist in the original texts. The word we translated to "Hell" more accurately translates into "absence" or "away from" and was used to mean being without the presence of God.

Unfortunately, as they are wont to do, the Catholic Church bastardized the original texts and decided that fear mongering was the way to get people to believe (as I am sure you have guessed - I disagree, strongly). What better way to recruit 15th century illiterate folks than to tell them if they don't believe (and subsequently give money to the "enlightened" people of The Church) that they will burn in the firey pits of hell?

Oh, add it to the list of why this gal refuses to step into a church...

mac said...

Hey, Lion :-)

This post is an excersize a friend put me through. I was supposed to argue a point that I disagreed with...basically to defend the concept of hell as just.

I, of course, don't believe any of that stuff. And yes, I agree. The Catholics really play loose with religion.

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Michael Lockridge said...

It is most unfortunate that my employer blocks popouts and most videos. I am apperently denied your final point of argument. I won't get to see it until I go home after work. On Thursday.

I can imagine an armed man on a porch with a child he has already resolved to kill inviting a confrontation with the police did not provide a pleasant conclusion.

Hell, like Heaven and many other doctrines, has evolved over time. What does this mean to the believer? That will probably depend on which sect of Christianity became your home. It certainly can encourage dialogue, or repression of dialogue. Again depending on your sect.

What does it mean to unbelievers? Probably nothing, as it would most likely seem irrelevant. Unless, of course, it is fear of Hell that has compelled some spiritual urgings.


mac said...

It's OK, Mike. It's just a silly music video. I threw it in there as a closing goof more than anything.

The Lion said...

Well now that I stopped by, I am here to stay.

I would probably find out if I read more of your blog but I will ask anyways.

So: is it that you don't buy into the "Christian" god or the whole concept of a god?

And no, this is not intended to start a debate - I am legitimately interested in your viewpoint :)

mac said...

It's the whole god thing, Lion.

I pick at the Christian god because he(she/it) is the handy one. If I were in the Middle East, I might pick at Allah(assuming they let me).

And I find the Christian holy book to be so darned incredible. Really, I think it so silly, maybe it was written to be intended as farce.

Tit for Tat said...

“The mind is its own place, and in it self
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.”
~John Milton, Paradise Lost

The Lion said...

Well, I can assure you it was not written as a farce. But, I make no such guarantees regarding the current condition it is in.

Are you sure that God and Allah are different? (assuming, of course, they exist)

Harvey said...

Muslims make it clear that to them, Yahweh of the Torah, The Father God of Christianity, and Allah are one and the same. I am sure that you know that the Koran largely recapitulates both the Old and the New testaments (with certain significant differences), seeing Islam as the culmination (and the last word) of all of the Abrahamic religions that preceded it. However, somewhat unlike the Torah and the New Testament, the Koran is admittedly written by Mohammed, under Allah's direction. There is no question that it is intended as a control mechanism, to allow the Caliphas and Imams to direct Muslim behavior on this Earth, in anticipation of Paradise if they remain steadfast in the faith (even unto death on its behalf). The Chrisitan Bible, on the other hand, although it has become equally a control mechanism for the Churches, claims to be a personal message to each believer. Be that as it may, and allowing for the fact that some devout Christians try to follow its original intent, the New Testament amounts to a control mechanism in the hands of most organized Christian Churches and Pastors.

mac said...

Of course they're the same Lion. Imaginary beings are always the same ;-)

I like Harvey's thought's on the subject. I was watching the History Channel Monday. A show was on that laid claim that the Biblical creation story was merely a copy of the Gilgamesh myth.

Sure the Muslims borrowed from Christians, who borrowed from the jews, who apparantly borrowed their story too.

It seems that in religion, as in life, there is nothing original.

Tit for Tat said...

It seems that in religion, as in life, there is nothing original.

"Same shit, different stink"

The Lion said...

Actually, Mac I have long been fascinated by Muslims and Christians. As I am sure you know, they both branch from sons of Abraham. Naughty man!

Nothing is original. That does not mean it is not true. Is the Bible the original accounting? Most likely not. Does that make it any less accurate? I don't think so.