Hell=Violence; Karma=Non-Violence

Ramaraksha

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I have always been uncomfortable with God running Hell; a torture chamber is unbecoming of God. Recently there was this video of this young woman in the swat area of Pakistan controlled by the Taliban, being held down and mercilessly whipped, as she cried out in pain. Do we really think God would be so merciless and cruel?

Besides the laws of Karma & Rebirth seem to clash with the concept of Hell. If we are punished in hell, then how can we suffer the consequences of karma from a previous birth? Doesn’t that mean we suffer twice for the same offense? If hell is the violent way of imparting a lesson then Karma is the non-violent way.


Let’s take an example: A kid continues to misbehave in a store in spite of the admonishments of his father. While running around the store the kid breaks a product. What is the father to do? Simply forgiving the kid will achieve nothing but then is beating him the right answer? It did used to happen a lot in the olden days – parents used to use a leather belt or a cane to discipline their children. Such cruel & abusive methods must have left serious emotional scars on the child. Either way the child does not learn to take responsibility for his actions.

Thankfully nowadays use of such physical violence against innocent children has declined. Today’s parents are encouraged to talk to their kids and use softer methods to teach the right values to their children. The right way is to either withhold the kid’s allowance towards the cost of the product or make him do chores around the house to pay for the cost of the product. The child learns to take responsibility for his actions, learns the cost of his misbehavior and the right lessons are imparted.

Karma & Rebirth is the such Non-Violent way. One is not simply forgiven or given a beating, but is asked to take responsibility for the acts of a prior life, and is being a second chance to make things right. Come back in a second life and try to lessen the suffering of those whom you might have wronged.

Another example: You are driving a car at night in a dense fog and you can barely see anything. Suddenly you hear a bump as if you had hit something. Do you continue to go forward, ignoring that you might have hit someone, and leave the forgiveness or punishment to God? Or do you stop the car, attend to the person whom you might have injured, take him to a hospital & pay the cost of his hospital care? The latter is about taking responsibility for our actions and doing the right thing. This is what Karma & Rebirth allows one to do.

Besides with Rebirth, one is given the greatest Gift of all – the Gift of Life, over and over again! Why be limited to just one life when one can receive the greatest Gift over and over again? Sometime I feel sad for Christians and Muslims, this may be their one and only life.

So, once and for all, let’s put away the concept of Hell, a brutal, violent, abusive place unworthy of God.
 
If we are punished in hell, then how can we suffer the consequences of karma from a previous birth? Doesn’t that mean we suffer twice for the same offense?

I know of cases where people punish themselves over, and over, and over because of some perceived transgression. I'm curious why you think once is the limit, whether personally or cosmically.
 
I don't see that karma or rebirth have anything to do with making up for past deeds. It's simply cause and effect.


eudaimonia,

Mark
 
So, once and for all, let’s put away the concept of Hell, a brutal, violent, abusive place unworthy of God.
In some Hindu traditions hell is a purifying place that gets the individual soul closer to G-d. So evidently G-d has some use for it. :)
 
I know of cases where people punish themselves over, and over, and over because of some perceived transgression. I'm curious why you think once is the limit, whether personally or cosmically.

This is slightly different - it's like going to jail for some offense, serving time, being let out and then being arrested and sent to jail for the same offense. Or people never forgiving the person who went to jail.

Besides you are looking at this from a human viewpoint, the person punishes himself because they don't know any better, if they can they would like to go back and undo the error - that's Karma & Rebirth in action.
 
In some Hindu traditions hell is a purifying place that gets the individual soul closer to G-d. So evidently G-d has some use for it. :)

OMG I can't believe I am reading this - This is what I am trying to change Netti - the same tired old ideas being regurgitated. You are being tortured and it's a purifying act? You are being beaten and that's gets you closer to that person? What if she shows love and affection? That would make you hate her?

Saddam Husain and his sons used to run a lot of torture chambers - I was reading an article on how his son uday used to send these poor people into these torture chambers - the people that came out after these tortures were a broken shell of their former selves - some simply committing suicide after these encounters.

Besides Hell is totally irrelevant in the Abrahamic tradition - the acts have already been committed - what's the point of beating or torturing? A child misbehaves and the father beats him, maybe with the intention of making sure he will not do it again, but in the Abrahamic religions that question does not arise - A christian or muslim is born only once! He is not going to committ those wrongs again, so again I ask, what's the point of physical torture?

But that is what we do isn't it? We would like to see the person that hurt us or our loved ones be tortured - we are interposing our thoughts on God! Atheists can point to this and say that proves their point that there was never any divine intervention - just random thoughts by people living a few thousand years ago.

God with one thought can turn a Mother Teresa into Hitler and vice versa! Do we really think God would use such crude methods as physical torture to reform someone?
 
This is slightly different - it's like going to jail for some offense, serving time, being let out and then being arrested and sent to jail for the same offense.

Yes, exactly. I think it's quite possible to get stuck in this kind of cycle because karma and Hell are not inflicted upon you by any outside agent, they are self-inflicted. People who live their life in hellish state of mind are more likely to die in a hellish state, experience death in a hellish state, be reborn in a hellish state and live their next life in a hellish state. And on and on.

Luckily, human beings have the opportunity to choose a different path. We can nurture and be guided by our compassion and wisdom and break the cycle of Hell that befalls so many.

Besides you are looking at this from a human viewpoint.

That's the only viewpoint I know! What non-human viewpoints do you possess? ;)
 
Yes, exactly. I think it's quite possible to get stuck in this kind of cycle because karma and Hell are not inflicted upon you by any outside agent, they are self-inflicted. People who live their life in hellish state of mind are more likely to die in a hellish state, experience death in a hellish state, be reborn in a hellish state and live their next life in a hellish state. And on and on.

Luckily, human beings have the opportunity to choose a different path. We can nurture and be guided by our compassion and wisdom and break the cycle of Hell that befalls so many."

It is important to point out and realize that Karma and Rebirth are totally different from the hell that Abrahamic religions teach. To them hell is a place of torture and abuse, whereas karma and Rebirth are about being given a second chance at life, to learn God's lessons anew and become a better person.

Let’s take an example: A mother abandons her new-born baby in a trash-bin. The child grows up in the streets, abused, beaten, mocked, hungry and lonely, never knowing love and affection. As a grown-up he commits several crimes. Once he dies, some religions tell us that he will go to hell, where he is abused, beaten & mocked! Does this seem right?

The Abrahamic concept of Hell is total nonsense - Karma & Rebirth is the only logical way.

"That's the only viewpoint I know! What non-human viewpoints do you possess?"

Sorry - I meant that God has better tools at her disposal than using crude, abusive & blunt methods to correct evil doers. With one thought God can turn a Hitler into Mother Teresa and vice versa - we on the other hand have to jail and punish evil doers because that is all we are capable of at present. I don't see any divinity in some religions - they are simply regurgitating their own views and passing them off as God's views.
 
I would say that the inability to connect and have good relationships is hell. Violence is just a symptom of it.

The implications of loneliness are far reaching. Lack recognition, not having shared experiences, and not having other people around to help reduce the ambiguity of human existence can be very painful.

Christianity of a form of relational theology. G-d can be seen as "the supremely related one" who delivers us from the worst varieties of loneliness.
 
It is important to point out and realize that Karma and Rebirth are totally different from the hell that Abrahamic religions teach. To them hell is a place of torture and abuse, whereas karma and Rebirth are about being given a second chance at life, to learn God's lessons anew and become a better person.
Well, there's Purgatory, which gives you a shot at Heaven after being purified by suffering.

Where's Bro. Thomas when you need him? He can tell you all about Purgatory. :)
 
Where's Bro. Thomas when you need him? He can tell you all about Purgatory.
And then of course there are those Christians that believe that hell is a perception, something we drive ourselves to. That since those that wrote the old testament don't have such belief there was truly no need to make one up.

And Christians like me also believe in a loving forgiving G!d that wills everyone to heaven....no matter how many lives it takes.
 
The Abrahamic concept of Hell is total nonsense - Karma & Rebirth is the only logical way.

This seems to be an argument about which belief system is better. But why do you need to compare? Have you met Muslims and Christians who try to push the idea of hell on you? I believe it is much better to accept that people naturally have different beliefs on how God or the Universe deal with justice and morality, or lack thereof in the world and in people.

The only reason I can think of as to why you would want to label another belief system as nonsense is if they have said the same about your's. But that is their game not your's -- you can simply choose not to play.

I have always been uncomfortable with God running Hell; a torture chamber is unbecoming of God. Recently there was this video of this young woman in the swat area of Pakistan controlled by the Taliban, being held down and mercilessly whipped, as she cried out in pain. Do we really think God would be so merciless and cruel?


People have their varying notions of the uses of hell. For a lot of people, hell is for people who don't conform or subscribe to the beliefs of a particular religion or ideology. To me, if there was a "hell," it's a question of justice.

The way I see it, the same cruelty shown to that young woman you mentioned by the Taliban should also be shown to the Taliban who authorised the torture, unless there is a way of getting those people to denounce their own crimes. This is the kind of situation where hell would be handy: to bring persecutors and oppressors to justice. God gives people a whole life to abuse others who are more vulnerable and less fortunate than themselves. The fact that they didn't value the lives of the less fortunate means that God perhaps shouldn't value the lives of the oppressors themselves. Hell is a chance for oppressors and victims to get their "fair treatment." To do away with hell is to do away with a device that will implement such "fair treatment."

You may assume that there's another life but then where's the incentive to reform? If you've already done bad things in this life, I guess it couldn't get worse. Changing my ways in this life probably won't make things any better. I've already broken the vase . . . there is no way to get Humpty Dumpty back together again unless I am born again.

You can find holes in just about any belief system, but to me there's something better than finding holes in someone else's beliefs. It is far more important to start living it. Get on with it.:rolleyes:

Sorry - I meant that God has better tools at her disposal than using crude, abusive & blunt methods to correct evil doers. With one thought God can turn a Hitler into Mother Teresa and vice versa - we on the other hand have to jail and punish evil doers because that is all we are capable of at present. I don't see any divinity in some religions - they are simply regurgitating their own views and passing them off as God's views.

Humans can be cruel to each other too.

Certain groups of humans are actually given a license to be "cruel." But we don't call them murderers and we don't call it cruelty. We call them soldiers and we call it war.

Even in this world, there is a separation between civil and military life. I have to argue the same for God. There is a time when God is civil and there is a time when God makes war on people.

Hey, we are confident enough in our own sense of morality to form armies and give certain people the license to kill. We have enough pride to think we can rule each other and ourselves. Sometimes this confidence crosses over into arrogance, and when that happens and when a time comes for God to be judge, I think He'd find a reason to use the same reasoning on us. He judges us the same way we judge each other. My theory is that the kind of judgment God is likely to use on us is the same that we have already used on other people.

You should ask people to disband their armies and get rid of their national boundaries. The more we kill and hurt each other, the more God would find a reason to hurt us. If we were more peace-loving, he'd probably be more sympathetic.

And then of course there are those Christians that believe that hell is a perception, something we drive ourselves to. That since those that wrote the old testament don't have such belief there was truly no need to make one up.

And Christians like me also believe in a loving forgiving G!d that wills everyone to heaven....no matter how many lives it takes.

Jesus never gave a definition of "hell." He only gave descriptions of one. This means that you could pretty much come up with notions of "hell" that are not hell to other people. Someone might regard hell as losing your $100,000 mansion. To someone else, life is just as good without one.

Hell to one person might be living without your Playstation. Some other guy couldn't care less. Another hell might be getting a divorce or getting married to an intimidating, rude, obnoxious woman. Another hell would be being married to someone who is lousy in bed and is a bad kisser.

To think that "hell" is a place of physical abuse is to completely misunderstand not only what "hell" really is, but also the many, many possibilities of what it could be and what it could mean. At a very basic level, hell is a literary/cultural construct. Hell is an abstraction of something so horrible you would never escape it. A useful metaphor is that hell is a state of being stabbed in the heart a hundred times. It is pretty much left to our own imagination to make it more concrete.

If you were Casanova, God would kill your libido so you couldn't have sex any more and the women wouldn't want you anymore. That would be one example of a hell.:eek:

The moral of the story is . . . everyone has their own hell. So there is only one hell for each person, but many hells collectively if we consider every single human being.

Put another way . . . it's all in your mind.:)
 
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