Thursday, June 6, 2013

Even More Thoughts On Hell

I've been recently writing about the concept of hell. It intrigues me for rather obvious reasons being an atheist. Since some theists believe that hell is just the eternal separation from god, I wonder then how it could even be practical. For example, many atheists (but not all), have rejected god out of their lives either because of the flimsy evidence supporting god's existence or from the revulsion caused by the character of god himself, or both. So if hell is the eternal separation of god, then god is really just giving the atheists what they want.

Most theists think that in the afterlife you will exist in a physical form like in the body you had on Earth in some sort of metaphysical reality. So hell would appear to those living there as a physical place but with the total absence of god's presence. But how is that any different from the actual world we live in now because I don't sense god anywhere? What would a day in hell be like? By all accounts it would appear to be exactly the same as life on Earth. There'd be violence and suffering, but you'd get to do whatever you want, and so you'd be able to indulge in whatever vices your heart desired.

Now this all brings up many unanswered questions.

  • Will the laws of physics be the same in hell as they are in the actual world? 
  • Will there be technology? 
  • Will humans be able to organize and live peacefully as we can on Earth? 
  • Will there be animals? 
  • If no one can die than no one could be born, so presumably no sex results in any unintended consequences. But are there diseases? 
  • Will there be houses or apartments? 
  • Where will everyone live?

These same questions could be asked about heaven but I never hear any definitive answers. It seems to me that hell would not be all that different from Earth to the atheist if it really is indeed the eternal separation from god.


  1. I've been told that even though we atheists reject God here in this life, we are not separated from God.
    I do wonder how you could be separated from a being who is usually claimed to be omnipresent?

  2. Good point. Maybe god can deny himself in hell somehow so that no one there can sense god's presence in their minds. But again for the atheist that's indistinguishable from normal.

  3. Christians who claim hell is just ultimate separation from god have not read their bibles. revelation describes it as the "lake of fire" where souls are burned forever.

    Can't possibly be a physical place because our bodies die so what gets burned?
    without flesh and bone and nerves and a brain, how could we therefore sense any pain?

    And if it's not physical fire than what is meant by "lake of fire" in the spiritual sense? Spiritual fire burning (but not consuming) spiritual souls?
    Now tell me if this just seems like fiction?

    backed into a corner again - they have embraced the "un-scriptural" notion that
    it is just "separation from god" or "outer darkness".

    isn't it great when you can just make up the rules as you go?

    1. Yes, and I had a debate with a Christian about this once. I said living without god in my life would be exactly the same as it is now. But he said no, I'm only ever happy because god is in my life and I just don't fully realize it yet and that I'd be miserable without him. There's no talking to many of these kinds of Christians because god is their drug, and they cannot imagine a life without it, but they just cannot realize many people are perfectly fine without it.



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