Have you ever stopped to think about the idea of Hell? I'd be willing to bet, that at sometime or another you've asked yourself whether such a place could possibly exist? Now you'd be in good company, because Christianity and Islam make no bones about the fact that Hell is a real place and a destination that awaits you should you not comply with the requirements of their faith. But did you know that whether a reservation is made for you has nothing to do with the kind of person that you are, or the life you've lived , or the kindness you have shown to your fellow inhabitants of planet Earth?
In fact, and this will surprise a great many, what really matters is not the quality of your character, but whether or not you are able to believe in the respective teachings. Now this begs the obvious question, what kind of a God is so insecure, so pitifully self obsessed, that he requires us to believe in him above any other requirement? Is it me, or is he bit needy? I mean, we're talking about the creator of the universe here; is he really such a prima donna that he needs his minions to suck up to him like first year kids at a new school? Apparently yes, and if we can't consent to this then it's eternal flames and unending torture for you and I.
Do you know what I think? I think this whole game sounds suspiciously man made? I can imagine humans being this pathetic, but God?
So anyway, there's this place called Hell, and it's a place where we suffer endlessly and without any chance of a reprieve. Does that sound fair to you? Does that sound like a reasonable and measured response to the simple crime of unbelief? According to Christians, it is possible to lead an exemplary life, full of kindness and self sacrifice and decency, and yet this means nothing to the Almighty. What he wants is the full brown tongue treatment; we need to massage his colossal ego and appease his vanity. Fact is, Adolf Hitler could do what he did all over again, and all he need do on his deathbed is repent and turn to Jesus and he get's eternal life. You, I, anybody could be awful people and so long as we capitulate and repent, we're ok to go and the pearly gates await.
Now putting a sensible head on for a minute, you don't need me to tell you that the whole idea really is daft. Not just daft, insanely daft. Daft to the point of absurdity. So ask yourself, what kind of a person do you have to be to think that any of this makes sense? Well the fact is, most modern Christians have just done the cherry picking thing again. They've watered the idea of Hell down so it's not a place of torture, but just a place of separation. In short, they changed something they don't like, which is a staple of modern religious belief. Yet the Bible is resolute in it's teaching, and Jesus speaks of torment and gnashing of teeth. So those that say otherwise have sold out, changed the rules, and in so doing have tacitly accepted the fact that the book they live by is a bit rubbish.
Anyway, why am I blogging about this? Why am I bothered? Well I'd like to help anybody who remains unnerved or uneasy about this ancient and disturbing teaching. Like all religion, we just made it up. Silly men from a distant land in a distant time. The average modern child knows more about the nature of reality then any of these men could ever hope to, and it's high time we made this brute fact loud and clear. Tomorrow morning, a small percentage of the population will file into churches and be systematically lied to about the way the world is. They'll be spoon fed nonsense and they will lap it up, and then they will transmit these "truths" to their kids, infecting them with an unnecessary fear of a place where all the ungodly go. I'd like to stop kids falling victim to this; I'd like them to grow up without that baseless fear. In many ways this is why I blog about religion regularly; I think it needs to be challenged and exposed at every turn. As always, I've no ill feeling towards the many kind and decent souls who were born and raised in this faith, but I feel no obligation to indulge you, or to tone down my objection to some of the things you want to teach.