How do we know we’re not in Hell now?
It has been said that Hell is not a place you go if you’re not a Christian; it’s what happens when you fail your life’s greatest ambitions. I have always enjoyed this explanation of hell. Not because it’s different than the traditional depictions of hell. I think of the traditional hell with fire and brimstone being flung everywhere and flames surrounding you, with silhouetted demons mocking you at every turn. For some people like myself, I can imagine getting used to an eternity of annoying demons and balls of fire falling from the sky. At least I would never need to put on a shirt again. No, the traditional description of hell isn’t all that hellish if you ask me. However, I can imagine much deeper darker sets of anguish and torment. I am sure everyone can. Or at least people who have a modern understanding of the Universe and how cosmologically small we all are.
What would be a more darker and brutal hell for one who claims to be a Christian then to live a life believing they were going to heaven? The mere thought of living a fulfilling life as a modern day Christian. What joys and happiness one would have now in this life, all to have a much greater and happier after life for all eternity? By following god’s laws in this world, I can do what I please, and then my reward will be the ever greater eternal life of happiness and leisure. However, one must ask what a life of happiness and leisure actually consists of?! Does that mean I can do whatever I want where ever I want it? Does heaven include a private tropical island for everyone who wills it, where the drinks are never ending and the weather is always beautiful? Where my personal jet ski awaits me with never ending fuel, where I can ride the endless perfect waves for all eternity? One could only hope that heaven is a tenth that fantastic.
However, there is an opposite of this heaven that we all know is hell. A place so vile and wretched that only the most truly undeserving go, those that have fallen so far from the grace of god that they could never return. Like a ray of light being trapped into a black hole, gone forever, with no hope of ever escaping or returning for a redeeming moment of shimmering glory.
Who do we know is actually in hell? I’d say my first guess would definitely have to be Hitler. That monstrosity of a man could never find himself a spot reserved for him in heaven. There are so many people I could think of that I believe belong in hell, if one existed. Leaders of nations who have murdered thousands of people are always come to the top of my mind when I think of people who were undeserving of their lives. When one really thinks of it the world is really a stressful place to live. So many horrible things could go wrong at any given moment. Yet for the most part there is a string of ups and downs that seem to allow us to keep moving forward. Moving forward towards what, always seems to be the end result of such thinking, all for an eternal life in heaven? It just doesn’t make sense when you add everything up. Is it not possible that you are already in hell?
If you analyze the facts about hell, we know that it is controlled by the devil. A being of which used to be an angel who sat at the head of the table right there next to god. This devil did some nasty deed to offend god and was cast from god’s grace. Ever since then, the devil has been trying to win the hearts of men by manipulating the world around them in order for unsuspecting or guile humans to fall prey to the devil’s dastardly ways.
It is therefore not unreasonable to believe that one is actually already in hell and either is in denial of it or is unsuspecting. In either case the probability still exists in a very practical and logical way. For those who believe in such absurdities that is.
However, we must now figure out how to deal with such individuals who do believe in such fantasies. A true Christian, with a normal thought process and that is in good mental condition as to be called sane, can easily follow the logic just laid out in the previous symbols I have typed and come to two conclusions. Either 1) I am already in hell and at some point the devil will appear and present his true, horrible self, or 2) I am still on Earth, and shall keep being faithful and hope that when I die I will go to heaven.
Both beliefs place such philosophical and tumultuous burdens on one’s psyche it is a wonder how our species has lasted so long without completely eradicating ourselves to extinction! Whichever the faithful Christian reasons his state to be in, it does beg the question to those who are without superstition.
If a human confesses to a belief in such absurdities as Christianity, and is faithful through and through, then is it sound to have these same people in places of control and power? It would seem that these people are a danger to humanities existence as we know it. If one believes that they are already in hell, then why would they need to take care or observe another human’s humanity? Their actions no matter how good, great, or horrible have already been judged and have been labeled unredeemable. Thus at any moment it shouldn’t be surprising to witness unexplainable behavior from a person who seemed so “normal”. Their will to take into account another human’s humanity can be measured by an act of atrocity they commit.
On the other hand, a Christian who convinces themselves that they are not in hell and rather are awaiting their day in heaven may also be put into question about the choices they are willing to make. A human who believes that the world is going to end soon doesn’t think of future human generations and their needs. Why save the rain forests if the world is going to end anyway? We won’t need the oxygen that it supplies for all living organisms to breathe. The future isn’t going to last long anyway, so why prepare for it? The choices that one would make with the knowledge that the world is doomed and will soon end would remarkably differ next to the person who believes that his relatives 5,000 years from now will be asking themselves, “how in Newton’s name did 21st Centaury humans ever make it to the moon with their limited understanding of physics?” A true Christian’s mind is almost identical to the mad scientist who is discovering the thing that could obliterate humanity. Both the Christian and mad scientist care not to think about what harm could come from their lack of critical thinking. They simply ignore the facts that contradict what they want to believe. This kind of naïve disregard for what your senses tell you and what you choose to believe is dangerous to say the least.
It would be a sad day for the human who claimed to be a Christian, who rationalized that they might just in fact already be in hell and not know it. The idea that one could never truly know if heaven was still a possibility and hell was all they had to look forward to after death. This kind of mental torment cannot possibly be rivaled. To know that once you die, you will forever be tormented by your worst fears to know that you are not unique and a chosen child of god, but rather a loathsome being whose fate is to know its own end. Who could possibly choose to believe in such a miserable set of circumstances? If what we know about the devil is actually true, then the devil’s power to manipulate the physical world we live in might just be the very stage we act on in our daily lives. Who is to say that can’t be so? In fact we all know it to be so, without knowing. The possibility that we are already in hell is one that must be accepted by all who call themselves Christian. The devil has the power to make you see things you don’t want to see. The only thing the devil can’t do is make you believe them. Wouldn’t the ultimate torment consist of the devil revealing who he was and confront you with the fact that you are actually already in hell? So why is it then that we all can’t be living in hell this very moment? Because I choose not to believe it.
I choose not to believe because of the astronomical gap of evidence that points in the direction that hell doesn’t exist. The same can be said with heaven, I am not saying that either can’t possibly exist, but then again Santa Clause could possibly exist. I recall believing in him at one point in my life. My belief in Santa ended when I could finally put together all of the facts about Santa next to the world that I experienced. There was a certain age that I could finally understand the impossibility of one man flying around the world and delivering toys to every single good boy and girl. Especially since the standard of good was me, and I know I deserved coal up until I was probably 19 years old. When I first started questioning Santa my family wasn’t very encouraging. They wanted to make sure that I was making my own decision, they didn’t seem rushed to get me over the fact that Santa didn’t exist. They also didn’t want me to be too public about my decision either, in case I would upset any other believers. Looking back at it now, it is completely absurd to parade such a charade on developing young minds. Minds that are so easily impressionable and captive, however, I can record little permanent damage from my belief in Santa. Critical thought was always encouraged thereafter. Not in a religious way, but in a practical manner for daily life struggles and challenges. It was important to spot out the frauds in life that may have hindered my growth and development. “Stay away from strangers” comes to mind as a moment that relied on encouraged critical thinking skills. Why trust a man with a candy bar, when he could possibly kill you? Is your life worth a Kit Kat Bar? Now that would really be taking a break. All I ask is that once you read this you question your beliefs. Do you have reason for believing in them? Are they worth the extinction of humanity? The evidence you rely upon for your belief in heaven and hell varies little different from the evidence you rely upon for your belief in Santa.
Credit: Dominic Ripoli
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