I would like people's opinions on Hell

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I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby tuba_king2341 » Fri Oct 03, 2008 1:08 am UTC

Okay, so I'll give a little bit of an introduction to what this is about. I'm doing a sociology paper on Hell. Yes, it is a broad topic, but I would like to know what people think about Hell, specifically, the following questions:

1) What is your religion/faith/belief and does it have a form of Hell or equivalent afterlife.
2) Do you follow along with said belief in the form of Hell?
3) What are your own beliefs on the form that Hell takes?
4) What situations cause a person to be sent to Hell?
5) Can a person be redeemed from Hell?
6) What purpose does believing in Hell have in society?

And if you could include your age and gender, that will help me organize my information. I also would not like this to turn into a "my religion/belief/faith is better than yours" or a "you're wrong" thread, since I will be trying to treat your responses as individual surveys. Thanks

And anyone who insists on doing so will have their posts pulled. - Hammer
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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby VannA » Fri Oct 03, 2008 1:26 am UTC

28, Male.

1) What is your religion/faith/belief and does it have a form of Hell or equivalent afterlife.
Weak Athiest/Agnostic/ Occasional Panthiest.
No religiously inspired 'afterlife'.

2) Do you follow along with said belief in the form of Hell?
As per 1, No such belief.

3) What are your own beliefs on the form that Hell takes?
As per 1, No such place.

4) What situations cause a person to be sent to Hell?
As per 1, No such place.

5) Can a person be redeemed from Hell?
As per 1, No such place.

6) What purpose does believing in Hell have in society?
As per 1, No such place.

Right. Comments in Spoiler Tags.
Spoiler:
As a suggestion, and only a suggestion;

Reformat your question to allow for the athiest/agnostics who may hold ideas about the nature of such a place or the driving cause for belief in such a place, but whom do not actually believe in them.

I, for instance, if I was designing a universe and associated paraphenalia, would never create a place like the stereotypically Christian Hell. (Not that you'll find a lot of justification for such a place, in the core books.)
I don't believe in punishing people in quite that fashion, if punishment is required at all.
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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby Kachi » Fri Oct 03, 2008 1:32 am UTC

I don't believe in Hell.

6) What purpose does believing in Hell have in society?


Behaviorism; to manipulate behavior with the fear of punishment. Conversely, heaven exists to manipulate behavior with promise of the ultimate reward.

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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby SJ Zero » Fri Oct 03, 2008 1:47 am UTC

I'm an atheist, but I'd like to take part in this discussion from the point of view of my understanding of theology instead of "it doesn't exist", because that's a much more interesting discussion.

1. I'm assuming here that I'm part of Christianity, Christianity has a Hell. In reality, I'm a strong Atheist. I know too much theology to really believe Christianity.

2. From a theological perspective, I think Hell is overblown, and has a mythology divorced from the text. Just like the Satan mythology, I think it developed during the middle ages as a way to control churchgoers through the perversion of Christianity, the same perversion which led to the magna carta and the creation of the protestant church.

3. Any reference to Hell in the bible is vague, usually equating to "it's bad", and I'd guess the reason would be that it's something that can't be described in human terms. The human body has a limited potential for pain, the human spirit in the human body has a limited potential for suffering. Eventually the body dies and the spirit kills the body. The potential suffering of a pure soul is beyond human comprehension. The human brain and human body are too frail to give us any sort of frame of reference.

4. Failing judgement before God when you die. God tries to give guidelines, but your best bet is a faith in God and adherence to the principles Jesus laid out.

5. Life on earth is the test. It isn't a test like one you take in school, it's more like a gas chromagraph. God isn't testing to see how you do, He's testing to see who you are.

6. Fundamentally, Hell serves three purposes. First, it gives clergymen a powerful device for instilling fear of the results of being evil into their flock, allowing them to more easily get them to do good. Second, it supplies an excellent device by which the church as a whole can control populations more generally, by controlling the series of criteria beyond the literal reading of the Bible. (The Torah doesn't really mention Hell, Judaism doesn't have it) Finally, by giving good people assurance that there will be a final comeuppance for those who do evil, it helps provide balance between the forces of good and evil, so even when one lives in evil times, they can be consoled that their oppressors will burn in hell, and they will be rewarded for their good behaviour.

Age 25, Male.

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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby Gelsamel » Fri Oct 03, 2008 1:50 am UTC

tuba_king2341 wrote:1) What is your religion/faith/belief and does it have a form of Hell or equivalent afterlife.
2) Do you follow along with said belief in the form of Hell?
3) What are your own beliefs on the form that Hell takes?
4) What situations cause a person to be sent to Hell?
5) Can a person be redeemed from Hell?
6) What purpose does believing in Hell have in society?


1) I would like to call myself an Ignostic
2) I don't exactly understand this question, but an Ignostic would reply to the "Does Hell Exist?" question the same way he does to the "Does God Exist?" question.
3) As (2)
4) As (2)
5) As (2)
6) I think that religions use the concept of hell to try to 'fear' people into obeying the rules of said religion. In this sense, it's only purpose is to bring more people to said religion and to avoid losing people in said religion.

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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby tuba_king2341 » Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:06 am UTC

VannA wrote:
Reformat your question to allow for the athiest/agnostics who may hold ideas about the nature of such a place or the driving cause for belief in such a place, but whom do not actually believe in them.


That would be the point of:
6)What Purpose does believing in Hell have in society?

Gelsamel wrote:2) I don't exactly understand this question, but an Ignostic would reply to the "Does Hell Exist?" question the same way he does to the "Does God Exist?" question.


That question was meant more for any people who have a religion that specifically describes the form that Hell takes, and if that person keeps with this belief or has their own ideas about what form Hell takes
"Oh, I would while away the hours,
Wanking in the flowers, my heart all full of song,
I'd be gliding all the lilies as I waved about my willie,
If I only had a schlong."
-Christopher Moore (Lamb)

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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby theonlyjett » Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:30 am UTC

Male/28

1) What is your religion/faith/belief and does it have a form of Hell or equivalent afterlife.

Although I believe some of several religions (there are actually many common truths among some of them), I attend a Christian church and consider myself Christian as I do believe in the teaching of Jesus as well as that He was in essence, truth made flesh and walked the earth to show us how to live (also a common theme among several religions). I am also a Panentheist, that is, I believe that God is all the universe and more than our universe.

2) Do you follow along with said belief in the form of Hell?

Eh, not really. In fact, no, not at all.

3) What are your own beliefs on the form that Hell takes?

Hell is death. The End. I don't really follow with the eternal fire. Oftentimes the context of "eternal" can more accurately mean "permanent." So you die, and that's it. However, I usually don’t worry about it. I live to the best of my available knowledge. To me, not trying to achieve my great potential in my life would be hell by itself now that I know that it’s there.

4) What situations cause a person to be sent to Hell?

It's not so much that they are "sent" to hell as much as they choose that fate.

5) Can a person be redeemed from Hell?

Well, this requires a look at concepts of Heaven (the alternative) which I also don't necessarily agree with. Short answer, yes.

6) What purpose does believing in Hell have in society?

None, it's a fallacy. Like all other lies, it can be used for evil, but that's not a purpose, just a use.

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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby lesliesage » Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:57 am UTC

25 female
1) What is your religion/faith/belief and does it have a form of Hell or equivalent afterlife.
Atheist; no afterlife.
2) Do you follow along with said belief in the form of Hell?
Yes.
3) What are your own beliefs on the form that Hell takes?
None.
4) What situations cause a person to be sent to Hell?
No person has ever earned the punishment of eternal torment.
5) Can a person be redeemed from Hell?
Not applicable.
6) What purpose does believing in Hell have in society?
Control by fear: the ever useful Us versus Them.

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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby AFedchuck » Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:38 am UTC

Kachi wrote:I don't believe in Hell.

6) What purpose does believing in Hell have in society?


Behaviorism; to manipulate behavior with the fear of punishment. Conversely, heaven exists to manipulate behavior with promise of the ultimate reward.

IAWTC.
Also, it fulfills the sense of cosmic justice people have a desire for.

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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby tuba_king2341 » Fri Oct 03, 2008 10:26 am UTC

AFedchuck wrote:
Kachi wrote:I don't believe in Hell.

6) What purpose does believing in Hell have in society?


Behaviorism; to manipulate behavior with the fear of punishment. Conversely, heaven exists to manipulate behavior with promise of the ultimate reward.

IAWTC.
Also, it fulfills the sense of cosmic justice people have a desire for.


If you'd like to be included in my results, please fill out the rest of the survey, including age and gender. I cannot use incomplete results. Thanks
"Oh, I would while away the hours,
Wanking in the flowers, my heart all full of song,
I'd be gliding all the lilies as I waved about my willie,
If I only had a schlong."
-Christopher Moore (Lamb)

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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby BeerBottle » Fri Oct 03, 2008 12:26 pm UTC

26 M

1) What is your religion/faith/belief
Islam (western convert)

does it have a form of Hell or equivalent afterlife.
Yes

2) Do you follow along with said belief in the form of Hell?
Yes

3) What are your own beliefs on the form that Hell takes?
Incomparable to anything humans can experinece in this world

4) What situations cause a person to be sent to Hell?
To turn the question around - To enter heaven you must: believe in God and associate no other gods with him, and do good deeds. Caveats - people are born believers and sinless - dead children go to heaven, no question. Those incapable of believing and doing good deeds because of mental or physical imparement or other reason go to heaven, no question. How many good deeds an average person must do is unknown (it will vary per person, depending on their circumstances). How much you actually have to believe in God and how this manifests in your life is also uncertain. So the simple answer is if you don't believe in God and do enough good deeds you may be sent to Hell.

5) Can a person be redeemed from Hell?
Differing opinions on this one. Many muslims say yes - Hell serves as punishment for the sins of this life - when they are atoned for people go to heaven. Some muslims say no - Hell is forever. Depends on how you interpret the Quran and certain sayings by the Prophet. (I personally go for the former)

6) What purpose does believing in Hell have in society?
As far as I can see the purpose of believing in Hell is to avoid it

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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby Ratio » Fri Oct 03, 2008 1:14 pm UTC

18m
1) What is your religion/faith/belief and does it have a form of Hell or equivalent afterlife.
Atheism, Religious sceptic. (Atheism is a wide net, like theism, I like to narrow it a bit) It doesn't have an afterlife

2) Do you follow along with said belief in the form of Hell?
a lack of one? yes.


Well, it seems atheists can't really go much further in this one.

Although I would still like to keep talking about hell. I remember being taught in history class that the catholic church used to do buy-outs for hell. It was about 500 years ago, and the vatican sent priests around, spreading the word of hell, and making this claim: "For every sin you face seven years punishment in hell before going to heaven, for a small donation we will remove a sin, and spare you torment"

Well, I for one would like to know when it was decided that even a single sin put you in hell for all eternity, and was church attendance wavering at the time?

Also, was there any mention of hell in documents dated before this time? If the vatican made up hell in order to make money I wouldn't be surprised.

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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby Hammer » Fri Oct 03, 2008 1:45 pm UTC

If you want to participate in the survey, post in this thread.
If you want to talk about Hell, use this thread.
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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby 22/7 » Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:04 pm UTC

I accept your challenge, sir!

1) What is your religion/faith/belief and does it have a form of Hell or equivalent afterlife.
I would describe myself as an agnostic who was raised in a United Methodist tradition. I've come to no definite conclusions on the topic. My upbringing (United Methodists, Protestant Christian) certainly believes in a Heaven and Hell.

2) Do you follow along with said belief in the form of Hell?
Again, undecided. I hope that I'm not giving you a worthless response here.

3) What are your own beliefs on the form that Hell takes?
I believe that if a Hell exists, it will be similar to what was laid out. I believe the best simple description I've seen so far is "a complete and utter lack of the presence of God".

4) What situations cause a person to be sent to Hell?
Traditionally, a lack of faith in Jesus Christ. Personally, if I'm on a day where I do believe in Heaven and Hell, there are many different ways to Heaven/God as well as many different roads to Hell/away from God. I have a very hard time believing that a benevolent God would create a world and populate it with people who (by and large) are incapable of getting into Heaven due to technicalities (inability to receive the word of God or take Communion, be baptized, etc. due to location, age, mental ability).

5) Can a person be redeemed from Hell?
Traditionally no. However, my personal belief agrees with this one. I don't know how that would happen. I certainly can't see how you could get someone out once they died, and aside from the idea of paying a debt to God (being in Hell for X amount of time before you get to go to Heaven), I don't see how you could be removed from Hell and placed in Heaven.

6) What purpose does believing in Hell have in society?
Mostly a deterrent to certain acts, much like prison/fines/etc.

Edit: Fuck me, I forgot to follow the rules. 23/M
Last edited by 22/7 on Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:18 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby Plasma Man » Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:17 pm UTC

1) What is your religion/faith/belief and does it have a form of Hell or equivalent afterlife.

Atheist, so no belief in Hell or equivalent.

2) Do you follow along with said belief in the form of Hell?

I suppose you could say that atheism, by definition, assumes that Hell does not exist and that I agree with this position.

3) What are your own beliefs on the form that Hell takes?

I do not believe it exists. If I were to postulate, for the sake of argument, a relatively conventionaly Hell (i.e. a place of eternal punishment), I would assume it to consist of a blend of pseudo-physical torture (the equivalent of physical torture, but on whatever manifestation humans take in Hell) and mental / emotional torture (replaying your worst memories for example). However, as stated, this is just projections from a postulate that I do not believe in.

4) What situations cause a person to be sent to Hell?

None, it does not exist in my philosophy.

5) Can a person be redeemed from Hell?

Irrelevant, I do not believe it exists, therefore no-one will be there to be redeemed.

6) What purpose does believing in Hell have in society?

It's original purpose was probably to reinforce religious belief by providing a double motivation for following a religion's rules. Effectively, a religious believer should not only think "Well, if I do x, y and z, I will be rewarded", but also "If I do not do x, y and z, I will be punished" - it's the stick to heaven's carrot. This is probably still the case for religious believers today.
For non-religious people, Hell still serves a purpose as a convenient metaphor for suffering and misery, as in "This job is hell" or for uncomfortably hot temperatures, "It's hellish in the kitchen when the oven's on". It also seems to serve as a relatively mild profanity - "Oh Hell" is often acceptable wher "Oh shit" or "Oh fuck" would not be. Obviously these examples do not require a belief in Hell, but do make use of the concept of Hell.

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Comments

It might be worth asking people to place their answers in spoiler tags to reduce the risk of their answers being influenced by other people's responses. I do think that this questionnaire is poorly designed for atheists / agnostics / ignostics, but I realise that we may not be the main group of interest in this paper. Overall, it's interesting to see people's positions on this subject, and I'm glad this thread has been created.
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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby Aikanaro » Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:47 pm UTC

Male, 26.

1: I'll have to go with "vaguely Lutheran," since that was my original basis, but over time I've....modified my faith slightly to reflect ways that make more sense to me.

2: "Not sure, but I hope it's wrong." I believe baseline Lutheranism follows eternal torment, as compared to annihilation of the soul. I've seen content implicating both before, such as the references to "branches that do not bear fruit, thrown into the fire," and I'm not sure that such torment serves any real function, wheras simply destroying that which is not necessary might be more plausible.

3: See #2, though there is also the option put forth in Dogma, which seems quite reasonable to me: "Did you know that Hell used to be merely the absence of God? And if you'd ever been in His presence, you'd know that that was punishment enough."

4: TENTATIVELY, lack of faith, failure to repent, or suicide. I think I'm different from most Christians, though, in that I HOPE I'm wrong. The logical basis for suicide is simply that after you've committed that particular sin, you can't repent--you're already dead. It's not a matter of that sin being "worse," just a matter of mechanics.

5: I don't think so, but again, I hope I'm wrong. I could potentially see something akin to C. S. Lewis's "The Great Divorce" as the basis for the afterlife....but I don't think that's how it works.

6: Honestly? None, unless you count the stick-and-carrot comparison others have made. From a purely secular perspective, that's all it accomplishes. From a hypothetical, ideal Christian perspective, if everyone was bound for Heaven anyway, there'd be no need to mention Hell.
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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby yy2bggggs » Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:59 pm UTC

Quick question here. There are lot of atheists/agnostics/Gelsamel's on this forum (most certainly a cultural filtering thing), and a lot of your survey responses are from said people. I'm an atheist myself (for reference).

With regard to your survey--are we data points? Are you getting value from us answering these questions?
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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby psyck0 » Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:15 pm UTC

tuba_king2341 wrote:Okay, so I'll give a little bit of an introduction to what this is about. I'm doing a sociology paper on Hell. Yes, it is a broad topic, but I would like to know what people think about Hell, specifically, the following questions:

1) What is your religion/faith/belief and does it have a form of Hell or equivalent afterlife.
2) Do you follow along with said belief in the form of Hell?
3) What are your own beliefs on the form that Hell takes?
4) What situations cause a person to be sent to Hell?
5) Can a person be redeemed from Hell?
6) What purpose does believing in Hell have in society?

And if you could include your age and gender, that will help me organize my information. I also would not like this to turn into a "my religion/belief/faith is better than yours" or a "you're wrong" thread, since I will be trying to treat your responses as individual surveys. Thanks

And anyone who insists on doing so will have their posts pulled. - Hammer


1. Fervent atheist
2. Obviously not.
3. If it were to exist, some kind of horrific torture chamber, but the worst one ever devised. Perhaps it plays Celine Dion 24/7. I would expect it to involve more mental torture than physical pain, because correctly done, mental torture is worse.
4 & 5 see 1 and 2.
6. A useful scare-tactic for modern religions to bully children into obedience, in line with bogey-monsters and witches of the past. It still works with adults. In addition, it helps persuade fanatics that religious war is OK- I mean, if god is sending their enemies to hell for eternity then it would seem that their enemies are evil and have forfeited their right to live, justifying their slaughter.

It's not all negative. Some of the things such threats help coerce can be charitable.

20, male.

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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby Gelsamel » Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:22 pm UTC

yy2bggggs wrote:Quick question here. There are lot of atheists/agnostics/Gelsamel's on this forum (most certainly a cultural filtering thing), and a lot of your survey responses are from said people. I'm an atheist myself (for reference).

With regard to your survey--are we data points? Are you getting value from us answering these questions?


Also, a lot of people could mean different things by the terms. Someone who says "Agnostic" probably means the word differently to someone who says "Agnostic Atheist".
"Give up here?"
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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby tuba_king2341 » Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:47 pm UTC

I understand my survey is not designed very well for people who don't believe in Hell, but I truly just don't know how to design it better. Also, I am getting valid data from the Atheists/Agnostics, since any data (positive or negative) in a sociological research project helps form a final conclusion.
"Oh, I would while away the hours,
Wanking in the flowers, my heart all full of song,
I'd be gliding all the lilies as I waved about my willie,
If I only had a schlong."
-Christopher Moore (Lamb)

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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby tday93 » Sat Oct 04, 2008 12:12 am UTC

1) What is your religion/faith/belief and does it have a form of Hell or equivalent afterlife.
First, i consider myself Bahai, and as such Hell is described not as a place of punishment, but as a distance from god. And it is not seperated into specific near/far/middle areas, but a range of distances from god/enlightenment/etc.

2) Do you follow along with said belief in the form of Hell?
Yes, thats one of the reasons i consider myself bahai

3) What are your own beliefs on the form that Hell takes?
See above.

4) What situations cause a person to be sent to Hell?
well, doing bad things in general, hurting a member of the human race, etc.

5) Can a person be redeemed from Hell?
Yes, this life, and the afterlife, are just considered stages in ones spiritual journey.

6) What purpose does believing in Hell have in society?
I believe its purpose is as a consequence. If someone said to you "if you do good things, and lead a moral life, youll go to heaven. But if you don't, then it'll be slightly less good, and you won't understand as much" what would you choose? "fire and brimstone is a bit more threatening.
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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby Enigmocracy » Sat Oct 04, 2008 1:33 am UTC

1) What is your religion/faith/belief and does it have a form of Hell or equivalent afterlife.
-Unity Church, a very small and extremely secular religion. It teaches nobody goes to hell, as that would require that God is malicious.

2) Do you follow along with said belief in the form of Hell?
-More or less. My religion does not focus on the afterlife, because it does not affect our everyday life. I'm not sure what happens when we die, but we definitely don't go to Hell. I favor either reincarnation or heaven.

3) What are your own beliefs on the form that Hell takes?
-Again, nonexistent.

4) What situations cause a person to be sent to Hell?
-Nobody deserves to go to Hell. The worst, most violent, blasphemous person will go to heaven. Because God loves all mankind. You may have made many mistakes in your life, but you realize them in heaven. It's not about punishment, it's about education. Again, I do not have many solid beliefs about what exactly happens, just that nobody suffers nor deserves eternal punishment. Think of it this way: If you had the power to send people to reincarnation/heaven or eternal pain and suffering, what would you send to the latter? Hitler? Stalin? I can't imagine sending anyone to Hell. God is not a spiteful entity; he does not even have human emotions. Maybe some sort of purgatory to show them all the terrible things they did on earth, but eternal or unbearable suffering serves no purpose but revenge.

5) Can a person be redeemed from Hell?
-No, but they can be redeemed as they are sent to heaven. God should not have to threaten you to make you go to heaven.

6) What purpose does believing in Hell have in society?
-Fear. "If I don't follow this religion, I am going to go to Hell." On a more positive note, many religious people are friendly and nice just because that is basically what Jesus taught.

15, male.

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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby Mzyxptlk » Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:13 am UTC

21/m

1) What is your religion/faith/belief and does it have a form of Hell or equivalent afterlife.
Strong atheist, no.

2) Do you follow along with said belief in the form of Hell?
3) What are your own beliefs on the form that Hell takes?
4) What situations cause a person to be sent to Hell?
5) Can a person be redeemed from Hell?
N/A

6) What purpose does believing in Hell have in society?
Word of warning: this is a gross oversimplification. You can roughly catagorise ways of attaining power in love and fear. In religion, the benevolent God/Allah/Buddah/etc does the love bit. Satan/Hell/etc does the fear.

"God has made you and he loves you very much"
"Eat your sandwiches, or Satan will get you!"
"When you sin, you need to pay the church x amount to be forgiven, or you'll go to Hell!"
"Once upon a time, an infinite number of people lived perfect, blissful, eternal lives."

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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby yy2bggggs » Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:49 am UTC

tuba_king2341 wrote:I understand my survey is not designed very well for people who don't believe in Hell, but I truly just don't know how to design it better.
Ah... don't get me wrong. I'm not criticizing it. Not knowing the purpose, though, it was quite possible in my mind that you're simply going to cull the nonbeliever responses, depending on what you're doing with it--in such cases, responses from nonbelievers would simply be an annoyance.
Also, I am getting valid data from the Atheists/Agnostics, since any data (positive or negative) in a sociological research project helps form a final conclusion.
Then I'll provide my strange responses.

36, M.

1) What is your religion/faith/belief and does it have a form of Hell or equivalent afterlife.

Religion/faith/belief: None.

Nevertheless, "a form of hell" is vague enough, and phrased in such a way, that I'd have to say I believe there is one.

2) Do you follow along with said belief in the form of Hell?

Not sure "follow along" has particular meaning. Hell's just something that's there; a fact of life.

3) What are your own beliefs on the form that Hell takes?

The word "hell" traces its roots to the KJV translation of the bible, where it was used as the translation of various terms. One of these terms is "Sheol", which is nothing but an alias for "the grave"; thus, "hell" can simply be used to refer to ordinary death (as in "ashes to ashes, dust to dust", except that I believe in mummification). This usage isn't at all unprecedented.

4) What situations cause a person to be sent to Hell?

If you're alive, you're going there.

5) Can a person be redeemed from Hell?

Possibly, through technology. Somehow we're "here" in the first place, so logically there must be a way to "bring us back" by setting up the physical conditions required for us to be "here" again.

Indeed, under certain perspectives and constraints, this happens quite a bit (now, from the "dust" phase it'd be a bit harder to pull off, and remains a simple theoretical possibility).

6) What purpose does believing in Hell have in society?

See 2. Whatever purposes people assign to it are contextual.
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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby includemaliciousintent » Sat Oct 04, 2008 5:14 am UTC

1) What is your religion/faith/belief and does it have a form of Hell or equivalent afterlife.
I am Wiccan and we have no hell.
2) Do you follow along with said belief in the form of Hell?
Yes.
3) What are your own beliefs on the form that Hell takes?
It only takes place as a town near where I live(google and you will learn).
4) What situations cause a person to be sent to Hell?
No hell.
5) Can a person be redeemed from Hell?
No hell, no redeem.
6) What purpose does believing in Hell have in society?
Little purpose, as people obviously are still doing bad things despite the fact there is one. No matter what you believe in, people are still gonna do stupid stuff. The trick is not to guilt them out of it, it is finding out why they do it.

Female, 19
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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby idont_know12 » Sat Oct 04, 2008 10:59 pm UTC

1) What is your religion/faith/belief and does it have a form of Hell or equivalent afterlife.

The closest term would be "agnostic", though that's not really even accurate.

2) Do you follow along with said belief in the form of Hell?

I have my own views, although according to tday93, my view of Hell is similar to Bahai.

3) What are your own beliefs on the form that Hell takes?

I view existence on Earth as an analogue for fetal development: When we are in the womb, we are developing so that we can survive on our own the "real world". Obviously, premature birth causes a child to exist who is not ready to survive on their own, or not very well. Similarly, human existence as we know it is merely an opportunity for us to develop - i.e. grow spiritually towards enlightenment - so that when we die/are born into the "afterlife" we are prepared to deal with it. There is no real "Hell" in my view, simply a lack of enlightenment that serves not as a negative so much as a lack of positive. That is, you go from spiritually ignorant to enlightened, throughout your time on Earth and afterwards, with this time serving as a sort of buffer period.
As such, there is no Heaven in the traditional sense, just the goal of ultimate enlightenment/nirvana.
Also, I still claim ignorance on whether there is a stage of life beyond what we consider the "afterlife".

4) What situations cause a person to be sent to Hell?

In context with the above, spiritual ignorance (spec. attachment to the physical).

5) Can a person be redeemed from Hell?

Through spiritual growth, which they themselves must seek.

6) What purpose does believing in Hell have in society?

The classical notion of Hell is, as previously stated, a method of control over people, developed in older times for our own safety and living conditons, but has unfortunately stuck through millennia of tradition.

18M, America.

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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby qinwamascot » Sun Oct 05, 2008 3:53 am UTC

18/M

1) What is your religion/faith/belief and does it have a form of Hell or equivalent afterlife.

I'd say physicist. I know this isn't a religion, so if you want to be technical, atheist, but I believe that there exist a simple set of laws which govern our universe and that the laws of physics are a close approximation to these. I religiously believe that physics is correct and that anything that defies it is not correct. Because physics is my belief system, my religion is physicist.

This means that the question of hell, afterlife, etc. is irrelevant. Personally, I think there isn't one because of Occam's Razor, but it's essentially unfalsifiable, so it could be true. I assume that it isn't

2) Do you follow along with said belief in the form of Hell?

I don't believe there is such a thing. There would be a lot of terrible places in the universe to be (a black hole, near a star, just plain outer space will kill you in seconds). But a place that some one will go after they die doesn't make sense since I don't believe in souls/spirits/anything else that does not exist in a physical sense. Since my belief in Hell is nonexistent, I can basically do whatever I want, which is what I do.

3) What are your own beliefs on the form that Hell takes?

I don't believe it exists, outside of my old Precalc teacher's class in High School. (these next two answers are not serious, skip to question 6 for serious response)

4) What situations cause a person to be sent to Hell?

Anyone taking Accelerated+Enriched mathematics at my old school would spend a year there. Other people sometimes got lucky and avoided it.

5) Can a person be redeemed from Hell?

Yes, but only after passing the class.

6) What purpose does believing in Hell have in society?

I don't know. I met a Roman Catholic who told me that 'If he ever became an atheist and stopped believing in Hell he would just go and get a gun a shoot people for fun'. You could say it helps divert people from that course of action, but my intuition tells me that this isn't the case. Rather, I think belief in Hell creates temptation to do things like that because when people know they can't ever do something they want to do it more than if they had never even considered it, purely to know what it feels like. Overall the role that religion plays is obfuscating the truth of physics, and Hell is just one such instance. Overall I'd say it's a bad thing.

Sorry for adding to the huge number of 'I don't believe in Hell' posts.
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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby tuba_king2341 » Sun Oct 05, 2008 9:23 pm UTC

Thanks to everyone for taking my survey. My paper isn't due for another couple of weeks, so I can always use more surveys. And don't worry if you're just giving me more "don't believe in Hell" responses, I'm more interested in people's personal opinions its purpose, although some of your thoughts on what it actually is are very interesting and helpful too.
"Oh, I would while away the hours,
Wanking in the flowers, my heart all full of song,
I'd be gliding all the lilies as I waved about my willie,
If I only had a schlong."
-Christopher Moore (Lamb)

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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby Iv » Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:41 pm UTC

27, Male, atheist, therefore:

1) No Hell
2) 3) 4) 5) N/A
6) I don't think that hell serves as a fear-instilling device. People who think their actions will bring them to hell are quite rare. I think that its purpose is to give believers the confidence that evil doers finally meet justice even if the human justice doesn't condemn them.


Spoiler:
I would like to put forward a vision that many 'relaxed catholics' have here. I first read it in a Barjavel book (L'Enchanteur) to discover that a lot of people shared this view : Since Jesus, who is all-forgicing, full of love for everyone, hell is empty. Only Satan is there, lonesome and bored. I think that catholics give more importance to the New Testament than to the Old One so they see redemption as a more central concept to their beliefs.

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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby lesliesage » Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:52 pm UTC

Iv wrote:6) I don't think that hell serves as a fear-instilling device. People who think their actions will bring them to hell are quite rare. I think that its purpose is to give believers the confidence that evil doers finally meet justice even if the human justice doesn't condemn them.
You might be right. I mean, you either believe you're going to heaven and everyone else is going to hell, or you don't believe in it and therefore don't fear hell. So no one really fears hell. Maybe it's just a few extra notches on the old superiority complex belt.

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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby cerbie » Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:08 am UTC

25 M
1. "soft" atheism, leaning towards Thelema. Between fear of commitment and having been instilled with scientific thinking, I'm stuck in between. Recovering Catholic is the common term :). Hell is a representation of what your choices bring you, and possibly others, once we're bones. I lean towards the nebulous afterlife as cosmic record / return to cycle of life.
2. There is no explicit Hell, but implication that you can go make yourself one.
3, 4. That you can deny yourself of what you are, and are capable of, and manifest your fear and guilt. You might be able to keep yourself around, and not in a good way.
5. N/A.
6. The promise of Heaven offers reward for harmful choices that can be rationalized, and the fear of Hell keeps from prying into all the little mental corners where easily expressable concepts no longer exist. The purpose was and is to control; but it's got a life of its own, now. It's become a via for absolving responsibility in common culture, and its commonly accepted surrounding mythos an excuse to stop at the shallow depth of, "because it is" (or, "it is God's work," or various PC implications that something is a/the devil's work), instead of going deeper, or accepting a mystery or paradox to work over.
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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby Matsi » Tue Oct 07, 2008 6:15 pm UTC

29, M

1) What is your religion/faith/belief and does it have a form of Hell or equivalent afterlife.
I'm an Atheist, so there's no Hell.

2) Do you follow along with said belief in the form of Hell?
Yes, in that i don't believe it exists.

3) What are your own beliefs on the form that Hell takes?
None (Well, i could say "Hell is other people")

4) What situations cause a person to be sent to Hell?
None, since there is no Hell

5) Can a person be redeemed from Hell?
Mu

6) What purpose does believing in Hell have in society?
To instill fear in the masses so they are easier to control.

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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby segmentation fault » Tue Oct 07, 2008 7:02 pm UTC

1) atheist
2) N/A
3) hell is a place where there are no nice things. or hell is life, and we relive it until we get it right, in which case we can be redeemed from hell (answer to 5), but thinking that would be very buddhist (?) of me. im rambling. just take the answer to this to be "no nice things"
4) lack of empathy
5) probably not once you are there
6) hope for the persecuted. just sit tight and be the righteous one, justice will come in the form of a nasty afterlife for your oppressors.

oh, right, 25/M
Last edited by segmentation fault on Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:46 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby telcontar42 » Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:04 pm UTC

1. Atheist, no it does not
2. Yes, in that I don't believe in Hell
3. I don't believe in Hell.
4. N/A
5. N/A
6. Hell serves to coerce people into acting in the way that the church (or whatever religious institution) wants them to act. It's adult equivalent of Santa Claus. If you are good all year you will get presents/go to heaven. If you are bad you will get coal/go to hell.

I am male and 21.

You should post your results and interpretations after you finish with this. It would be interesting to see.

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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby Jasiel » Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:20 pm UTC

In my personal opinion, Hell won't be like that TORTURE FOREVER bullshit.
They'll probably burn the fuck out you and kill you, and make you cry and feel unsafe, but after awhile you'll feel like this:
*Pre Torture*
"OH GOD IT BURNS SO BAD."
*After all the suffering.*
"Meh. You get used to it."

OH and, I didn't follow the format. I'll revise my post when I get back from my cousins.

Also: 13, Male.
SCIENCE.
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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:31 pm UTC

I was raised Jewish and all my answers will thus be from what I remember to be a Jewish perspective. There are a few more informed Jews on the boards who may want to correct me.

1) What is your religion/faith/belief and does it have a form of Hell or equivalent afterlife.
There was a town known as Gehenna that practice child sacrifice, and while Judaism does not believe in a 'hell' where you are poked and prodded after death, the concept of 'most horrid awful shitty my beer is warm and i've got barbed wire up my butt' was bandied around as being sent to this valley town, Gehenna, where awful reigns supreme.
2) Do you follow along with said belief in the form of Hell?
Negative, but the belief that everyone eventually joins the host of hosts lends itself to an implied guilt about misdeeds.
3) What are your own beliefs on the form that Hell takes?
Personally, I feel that death is the end, and depending on how you've approached it, will either be the long awaited rest after a wild journey, or the impending inescapable premature finality to what amounts to be wasted effort. The lack of consciousness strikes me as pretty hellish though.
4) What situations cause a person to be sent to Hell?
The obvious general violation of someone else's right to basic freedoms. Flexible. Interpret.

5) Can a person be redeemed from Hell?
From going to hell, or once in hell? From going to hell, I'm going to say yes, but not in all situations. once in hell, nope, hell is the punishment.
6) What purpose does believing in Hell have in society?
Curbs those who believe in it. Serves as boundary lines. Informs those who need rigid standards whats waiting for them if they violate those standards. I firmly believe that hell is a human construct (See No Exit).
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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby Xeio » Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:02 am UTC

1) None, or in any case, I do not believe in any benevolent greater deity or power.
2) The concept of a hell doesn't make sense to me, if some greater power really is promising eternal bliss to those who follow its rules, why does there need to be somewhere to be eternally punished? You'd think that being left out of the former would be enough.
3) It seems that hell is more like anywhere not in heaven. Granted, then you (may) have purgatory, but perhaps that's more like a waiting list, where you have to earn your way into heaven, perhaps through penance (of some sort) to redeem yourself for anything bad you have done.
4) Based on... what? I suppose doing 'Evil', or at least, doing enough 'bad' that you lose your ticket to heaven? Defining evil is up to the dieting granting us heaven, as obviously human kind has shown morality is quite malleable.
5) Assuming there is a purgatory, no, since anyone who has no chance for 'redemption' wouldn't be allowed in heaven ever. Otherwise, it seems more like you are judged before being let into/cast out of heaven, and such judgments wouldn't be changed based on what happens after that.
6) A means of control or influence. Do X good things happen, do Y bad things happen, those who make such standards obviously want you to do X.

I suppose this survey is suited more to people who are of a faith that has a hell?

Oh, and 20/Male.

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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby Gelsamel » Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:15 am UTC

I'm pretty sure we're not supposed to talk about this in this thread.

Spoiler'd for being possibly off topic...
Spoiler:
lesliesage wrote:
Iv wrote:6) I don't think that hell serves as a fear-instilling device. People who think their actions will bring them to hell are quite rare. I think that its purpose is to give believers the confidence that evil doers finally meet justice even if the human justice doesn't condemn them.
You might be right. I mean, you either believe you're going to heaven and everyone else is going to hell, or you don't believe in it and therefore don't fear hell. So no one really fears hell. Maybe it's just a few extra notches on the old superiority complex belt.


I was raised a Christian, and when ever I did something that the church would consider "wrong" afterwards I felt ridiculously scared and frightened that I would be going to hell, so I prayed as hard as I could for forgiveness.

When preachers preach to non-believers often they mention the fact that they'll be going to hell, why? To scare them into a state that makes them want to look for a "way out of going to hell" (ie. the specific religion that the preacher is preaching).

That is why I do think that it serves as a fear-instilling device.
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
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"Do you think games are silly little things?"
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"Is it all pointless?"
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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby Iv » Wed Oct 08, 2008 7:50 am UTC

Gelsamel wrote:I was raised a Christian, and when ever I did something that the church would consider "wrong" afterwards I felt ridiculously scared and frightened that I would be going to hell, so I prayed as hard as I could for forgiveness.

Interesting. Do you still have that fear ? Do you know of adults who still have it ?

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Re: I would like people's opinions on Hell

Postby EmptySet » Wed Oct 08, 2008 12:24 pm UTC

21/Male.

1) What is your religion/faith/belief and does it have a form of Hell or equivalent afterlife?
Agnostic atheist. No hell, of course.

2) Do you follow along with said belief in the form of Hell?\
Yes.

3) What are your own beliefs on the form that Hell takes?
I see no reason to believe it exists.

4) What situations cause a person to be sent to Hell?
N/A.

5) Can a person be redeemed from Hell?
N/A. Though I must say that the idea of a hell from which you can't be redeemed seems rather distasteful to me. That would be sadism, not justice.

6) What purpose does believing in Hell have in society?
A means of influencing behaviour through the threat of punishment/retribution. Also as a balm for the faithful, who can rest easy and/or feel insufferably smug in the knowledge that the unrighteous will suffer eternal damnation.


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