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What is hell? Book stirs debate about afterlife

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Book stirs debate about afterlife

And will more than likely stir a LOT of debate on JT. To each his own.

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So just to be clear, based on the above, through no fault of their own, everyone born before Jesus is in hell because they didn't "accept Jesus"? And "if you lead a sinful life on earth, you will pay for it in your next life" sounds a lot like Hindu-Buddhism, which vastly preceed Christianity in time. Influence? And "emptiness of daily life"? Speak for yourself.

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Another book about fairy tales.

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hell is the personal problems people endure until they accept God and Christ into their lives, such as addiction, gluttony or taking advantage of others.

So everyone who isn't a Christian is wallowing in a mire of addiction, gluttony and doing down others. What insulting drivel.

How would you equate the idea of a loving God with going to hell?

How would you equate the idea of a loving god with a 9.0 earthquake and a tsunami that kills upwards of 20,000 people at a stroke and throws hundreds of thousands more onto the streets with nothing more than the clothes they stand up in? Answer: you don't. Cos there ain't no 'loving God'. No heaven, no hell, just us, here, now.

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Christians annoy the heck out of me...especially the "Born Again" kind...I don't understand the ideoogy of putting all of one's faith into a mythical character from the Middle East. We all might as well pray to Ultraman.

Hell is what you make of it. Webster's 2nd definition of hell - a : a place or state of misery, torment, or wickedness.

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I think when all the Christian leaders get together and decide on the details of what makes a Christian, then we can take them seriously. It appears that with this article - one man's 'Christian' is another man's 'heretic.'

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To me, Hell is something that you wish to freeze over so you can get that raise/favour/promotion, etc.... And it's also where you tell Aーholes to go.

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For those of us who are not yet dead I think recorded history shows us that Hell is what we get when one group decides they will try to create Heaven on earth.

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Hell is being trapped with vapid TV celebs eating, slapping, clapping at inanities and squeaking "Kawaii" forever, with the smell of salariman breath searing your eyes and nostrils.

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I grew up in a Mormon state, a Methodist family and went to Catholic school. I can say with some confidence that few agree on what hell is even within the Christian faith.

That said, I have decided that my own vision of hell is having to deal with religion (of any kind) in the first place. It has a long history of making people decide that they are right and everyone else is wrong. So it is often used to rationalize acts of profound cruelty and violence against others, including war. And this is all before the whole self hatred and "Im not worthy," and sinful guilt trauma gets added in. All of which add up to something that sounds hellish if not actually defining hell.

My heaven would be a world where people can believe what they want and leave others along to believe what they want. And that we could collectively redefine hell to mean anytime we fail to care for and love other people regardless of their race, nationality or belief systems. Wouldn't it be nice if hell was defined as the failure to love your fellow human beings?

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like everything in christianity that is not based on the bible (easter, christmas, birthdays, halloween,,,hell) you will find these traditional thoughts come from pagan ideas,,,the ideas of a suffering place of torment in an afterlife come from Egypt, Babylon etc and Christendom on the whole adopted these ideas to get the pagans to accept christianity if you look at the original translations of the bible before they were diluted and rearranged by christendom, you will find that the words sheol, hades and gehenna are used as opposed to hell, and what do these words mean? the grave,,,,yes the dirt where you body goes when you are dead, no fire, no demons also contemplate, when you are dead , can you feel pain? no,,,,so no pain in 'hell' and if hell is only for wicked, then why did faitful ones such as Job and Jesus himself speak about going to hell or sheol I dont believe God is causing the natural disasters , these are things that to a large extent are caused by natural forces that have being operating since the worlds creation or beginning (however you believe) the bible does fortell large scale things like these happening in the last days before Armageddon, so if you are in agreeance with the bible, you would believe that we are living in the last days, either way, everyone has their own thoughts on afterlife, be it death, resurrection, (to heaven or earth), reincarnation, or something else lets all try to live peacefully shall we

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i wonder why people waste paper to write such books. This is a crime worth of Hell.

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She believes the idea of a hell where sinners are punished is more of a human construction.

all religion is a human construction. maybe originally constructed by someone as a path to help others achieve the kind of contentment that they themselves have reached but bastardized by others as a means of control based on blind faith.

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Belief---in any religion---in the end is just an opinion. Having an opinion does not shape behavior. Some of the worst people in the world I have ever met call themselves Christians. Even the American Family Association, a Evangelical group, is so twisted that they support the worst aspects of politics and have recently supported Gadaffi in Libya, and Pat Robertson supports the murderous tyrant in the Ivory Coast. Pat, the lover of race horses and money. As for the Jews---the very existence of Israel and huge military industrial complex is a testimony of their disbelief in God. Never again--means never again leaving it up to God to save them, which didn't happen during the holocaust as they were lead off to the gas chambers. They no longer believe it, what they do believe in is their guns and A-bombs--100 at last count--aimed at most of the countries in the world.

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mrskit. You are right and wrong about the merging of Pagan ideas into Christianity. Many of the key ideas predate Christianity and were imported from the roots of Judaism. A religion that historical study of the bible illustrates imported much of its belief systems from Cananite polytheism.

It isn't really fair to blame more than a few things on the much later integration of paganism into AD era Christianity. A lot of this was and had been there for centuries. It just got imported along with Coptic and other regional influences that predate Christianity.

The other thing to blame is much later as Constantine and later various religous councils amended the faith to meet their interpretations over the centuries. Often completely changing what had originally been Christianity and certainly with little concern for paganism.

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LOL...LoveUSA...Amen!

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Having read both Testaments, it's pretty clear to me that God is, fundamentally, quite moody. I just hope to catch him on a good day.

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What is hell? Book stirs debate about afterlife

Only one book will clear it up; The Bible.

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All my friends say that there are alot of things that I do that will make me end up in hell. Okay? If women, sex, alcohol, and a few other things that I enjoy are going to send me to hell, at least I'll enjoy it.

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Answer: you don't. Cos there ain't no 'loving God'. No heaven, no hell, just us, here, now.

cleo, Amen to that!...uh.....I guess I should say, awesome post!!

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@pamelot

Only one book will clear it up; The Bible.

Seems to me that the whole point of the book that Bell's written is that that's exactly what the Bible doesn't do.

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"Hell is..." hmmm, could write a book about it.

Hell is waking up at 3 am with jetlag and no TV.

Hell is trying to think straight when you have flu.

Hell is what the TEPCO workers experience every time they get up close to those hissing reactor monsters.

Hell is where the suicide bombers find themselves after being told they were going to get heaven.

But more than anything, Hell is a vacuum, a lack of any intelligent spark.

These people should be focusing on the nature of heaven and happiness, not on the lack of such, IMHO. Maybe that is what Rob Bell is trying to say in his book?

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Seems to me that the whole point of the book that Bell's written is that that's exactly what the Bible doesn't do.

Maybe he ought to look again... The Bible is a great educator, for those who actually study it.

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personally I abstain from religion, works for me.

Just try to be nice, do right, dont beat yrself up if you screwup, learn as you go along.

works ok for me so far

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From the looks of it, most of the above people who commented will surely find out about Hell soon enough.

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For me hell would be being in coma, unable to move but undertsanding what is going on around me.

An equal version of hell would be being so insecure in myself that i have to base my life on believing and living my life by the writings old fictional book used over time to control the masses.

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The Buddhist hell scrolls are good.

Maybe followers of each religion should have to undergo Hell according to the religion they most look down on.

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Hell is the nasty version of heck.

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Those who worship the Old Testament (Jews) don't believe in Hell. So did it just spring into existance with the New Testament?

I will tell you what Hell is: Its a ruler used to rap your knuckles and keep you in line with the wishes of the church heirarchy...and that is all it is...just a threat to control you.

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hell is wherever disaster strikes. a place where you don't want to be , glad you're not there & if you are you wish you weren't.

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If you don’t know exactly what Hell is, you’re in one.

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Hell in Islam: A central doctrine of the Qur'an is the Last Day, on which the world will be destroyed and Allah will raise all people and jinn from the dead to be judged.

The level of hell depends on the degree of offenses. Suffering is both physical and spiritual ,but the punishment is more than a human can imagine in this life . so don't think you are in life for no purpose.

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"Hell is the inability to love." — Fyodor Dostoevsky

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Here is the best explanation of all those topics. I wonder who told him about this. A must read book. All the questions are answered. Amazing!!!

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A book called The exposition of Divine principle also explain about Hell and Heaven. you surf it. It is amazing!

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I really just feel sorry for anyone that believes in any of that tooth-fairy stuff. It is so sad to see so many in the world unable to drag their imaginations above the childish prattling of religion and theism. There is no god! Now go and be happy with your lives.

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I believe that when we die, we do what every other carbon-based species on this planet does - return to the Earth and dissapear.

I think it is borderline bizarre that so many people think that we humans as a species can go to 'a better place.'

Yes, it's a comforting thought, a I think that is the full concept behind the idea that some of us go to heaven.

Hell, in my opinion, is simply a place that scares people into signing up to certain religions.

We need to face facts - no one has verifiably gone to and come back from heaven or hell.

Is there anything else that we believe so blindly without any proof whatsoever?

Maybe Santa?

But most of us soon wise up to him, too.

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Afterlife? Ha ha ha. You couldn't make it up! Oh, wait a sec... afterlife. Phf.

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We can not separate religion and other news. We need to debate issues of all matters including the non religious people from communist countries too.

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I would bet that the majority of people who come to this website know more than enough about the basics of Christianity...even the agnostics and atheists (who grew up surrounded by it). But there is very little understanding among westerners about Shintoism and Buddhism. I'd rather see articles about philosophical questions involving those two faiths here. But I've been coming to this site for more than 12 years, and I rarely see stories about them. I see more stories about stuff having to do with Christianity.

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Edano:

" Hell in Islam: A central doctrine of the Qur'an is the Last Day, on which the world will be destroyed and Allah will raise all people and jinn from the dead to be judged. "

And heaven in islam would be hell for me. And anybody else who abhors the idea of walking among ex suicide bombers and followed around by 72 virgins for eternity.

I find the company in the other place much better.

So you see, it is all relative.

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When people say "loving, merciful God", they should know they are not referring to the gooey soft-spoken love people use for each other. The Christian God says we should all be killed and roasted in Hell for having the slightest taint of sin. The "loving, merciful" part is that He actually cared enough to make a loophole to get to heaven.

Remember this is the same God that smited thousands of people before Jesus came into the picture. This God has some serious tough love.

So just to be clear, based on the above, through no fault of their own, everyone born before Jesus is in hell because they didn't "accept Jesus"?

Actually, it was stated they are given a chance to repent. Even Satan had that chance.

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If life eventually proves the existence of a Creator whose most essential quality is love, as the Judeo/Christian faith teaches, then it is certain that there will be justice. Hell can exist as part of the punitive branch of the justice system. So no contradiction between love and hell.

The oddity is that anyone could be so persistently bad in their decision making that they would knowingly qualify themselves for hell. That goes against the most basic value of their own existence. Can the sorrows of sin and potential consequent temptation to rationalize the irrational lead to an insanity from which there is no possible recovery? Perhaps that is what this points to. Do not do bad things so that you are sure to not cross that invisible boundary.

@Virtuoso, nice quote. It might be worth mentioning here Dostoevsky’s “The Grand Inquisitor” which, subtle but equally deft and sublime, addresses the potential for corruption in even church institutions when the men who help administrate are not of understanding and in harmony with godliness.

Also, much of Christianity has presently suffered a significant degree of historical drift which seems to be the unfortunate cause of many of the valid criticisms here.

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There is no such thing as an afterlife.

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What is hell? It is a place created by my ex-wife!

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According to the Bible, Hell is a fearful place, and God does not want anyone to go there, Thats why He sent us Jesus, His Son. Those who reject Jesus will in turn be rejected by Him when He returns one day soon to judge the Living and the Dead.

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Saying there definitely is not a God requires as much faith as saying that there definitely is a God. You can't prove something doesn't exist by virtue of the fact that you've never seen it. That's unsound logic. People have the right to believe or disbelieve whatever they want either way without being harassed, mocked, and put down by people who disagree.

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Hell isn't necessarily the fearsome,dark place that some think it is. Then there are others who don't think it should be studied at all. There is a strong feeling that the devil and hell are allegorical and don't feel have a place in theology. We oversimplify the doctrine of hell. The doctrine is quite inspirational. Some people say it's a state of the mind, that hell last forever, which is probably true and false. The most accurate information comes from a latter-day revelation that states there are many stations and gradations of position in the future life as in this life, and naturally there are places of preference. These various stations are referred to as being kingdoms or degrees of glory, and their exposition serves to amply and clarify a scriptural passage in the Bible. Hence according to the Plan of Salvation everybody is suppose have had the opportunity to repent or have to suffer for themselves. All-both just and unjust-will be resurrected meaning when your earthly body reunites with the spirit that's in your body, but it's our choice what we do in this life. All of us received this gift of free agency, the ability to choose good, bad, right, wrong. We make choices daily and so at the end we get judged according to our works while we lived on this planet, earth. Now according to Christianity this judge is the supreme being or God. We are all in line waiting, some in the front others in the back. One thing certain is that all of us will die one day.

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Hell is not a place . . . . it is a life condition that can be experienced by anyone !!! if you are sick, no money to buy medicines and no one to look after you . . . what do you call this . . . to me this is HELL !!!

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I don't know what hell is, but I'm pretty sure it's in Kentucky.

Taka

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'There’s no broad agreement within Christianity about what happens to people after they die.' Exactly, so I'm frankly surprised anyone would criticize this author while having remained silent so long about everyone else's ideas.

The modern concept of hell simply did not exist in Christ's time. It's a human invention, and a fairly vain one for which some people ironically will go to hell for believing in.

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@TachinbanaEri: the problem with christianity is that it creates, out of thin air, a system that tells people what to do, threatens them with the possibility of eternal damnation, then sets itself up as the righteous interpreter of an entity that can neither be proven or disproven. It is an unfortunate twist of logic that allows this type of entity to be created and defended in the first place. The invention of the concept of faith is one of the greatest disservices to humankind ever. It allows a group of people to prey on simple, spineless creatures who do not have the intestinal fortitude to face up to the fact that we are not a special creation; we are not above nature, we die and are dispersed among the rest of the atoms of the universe. Christianity, along with other myth-based businesses is a selfish, illogical construct that has done more harm than good in the world. The sooner people learn that we are just another part of the randomness of natural selection, the better off we will be.

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