Comfortable with hell

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Zenda71, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. Zenda71

    Zenda71 Well-Known Member

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    Hi all. My husband (a Christian) and I (a Buddhist) were talking the other night about the doctrine of eternal hell. (We Buddhists have hell, but it isn't eternal, among other things.)

    I'm curious as to how people work with the belief/teaching of eternal hell if that is present in your religious tradition. How do you get comfortable with the idea that your faith teaches that some people are going to hell for eternity? Does that sit well with you? Will you be comfortable going to heaven knowing that others will be in hell?

    I know this is a potentially hot-button topic, and I hope very much that everyone will try to stay civil. It's a genuine inquiry, NOT a condemnation of anyone's belief system.

    Thanks so much for your responses.
     
  2. Dogbrain

    Dogbrain Well-Known Member

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    1. In the Orthodox Church, Hell is not a place, it is a condition.
    2. We will be judged according to our capacity, not upon a legalistic yardstick.
     
  3. Eudaimonist

    Eudaimonist In Galt We Trust

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    Dogbrain, you didn't even try to answer the questions. I'd like to see you answer these revised questions:

    - How do you get comfortable with the idea that your faith teaches that some people [will be in the condition of] hell for eternity?

    - Does that sit well with you?

    - Will you be comfortable [in the condition of] heaven knowing that others will be in [the condition of] hell?"

    Also, one of my own:

    - If you had a non-Christian relative who had died as a non-Christian, would you fear that he or she would end up in the condition of Hell for an eternity simply because he or she died as a non-Christian?


    eudaimonia,

    Mark
     
  4. Zenda71

    Zenda71 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure what this means in terms of my questions. Could you elaborate or clarify?

    Thanks!
     
  5. Sam Albion

    Sam Albion akaFrancisKing:ViveLeRoi!

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    I think of myself as a buddhist, but was also raised a catholic, so my perception of hell is perhaps different from that of the average catholic or buddhist.

    Neither of these "faiths" taught me that a) sinners would be consigned to hell for all eternity, and neither of these belief systems taught me that "heaven" was another realm, that heaven was something to be attained, something seperate. In fact... quite the contrary...

    For me, "buddhist hell" is the same as "Christian hell" -- a state of becoming seperated from the "Way/God", a negative psychological state where the exquisite, joyful stuff; happiness, contentment, bliss, etc, is forgotten.

    I do not believe hell exists, as a realm, or a place, and nor do I believe hell is where a person who does not adhere to various religious systems and practises goes to after death. I believe that hell is, ultimately, a psychological state, and a state that, ultimately, is an illusion, an a product of something else.

    I believe this, mainly because... Christianity taught me that... there is no sin a person can commit that means they cannot seek forgiveness and absolution and repent, and enter heaven, apart from those sins against "the spirit". I take this to mean that... ignorance is unfortunate, but it is not a reason to consign somebody to an eternal lake of fire. Most of those actions "we" state are sins are not, in fact, willfully evil acts, but the product of anger, or hate, or fear, or stupidity, a lack of insight.

    I believe that hell is a negative psychological state because buddhism taught me that the beings of the hell realm; The Judge who weighs out pebbles; the bardo's demons, it's imagery; the hill of spikes, being boiled in oil or torn limb from limb, all suggest the same thing: the demons, the torture and the misery of hell is a product of our consciousness, and what we decide to put in it while we lived.

    I believe that hell is... anxiety, guilt, neurosis, depression, psychosis, the pricking of a troubled conscience, the burden of introspectives and underachievers; something real, and quantifiable, but a product, the result of something else...
     
  6. Muslimwoman

    Muslimwoman Coexistence insha'Allah

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    Salam Zenda71

    What an excellent topic, thank you and one close to my heart. Being a convert to Islam of course I have thought about my faith's assertion that good people, who do not accept Islam, are going to hell for eternity.

    How did I get comfortable with the idea of eternal hell ..... well quite frankly I didn't. What I did get comfortable with is trusting Allah (swt).

    In Islam we say bismillah al-rahman al-rahim (meaning in the name of God, The Gracious, The Merciful) numerous times when we pray, before we eat, leave the house, drive the car ... the list is endless. Then we stand around saying "you lot are going to hell for eternity" ... sounds like an oxymoron to me (the true essence of merciful and yet unable or unwilling to forgive).

    We know in Islam that a person who has not heard the message of Allah (swt) or, and this bit is important, has heard the message but not the TRUE message of Allah (swt) will be tested by Allah (swt) on the Day of Judgement and then be rewarded or punished accordingly.

    So I am quite content to accept that Allah (swt) is fair, compassionate and merciful and He will be the judge of a humans soul, on His terms, not me or anyone else.

    Does that mean I think the gates of heaven are open to devil worshippers or those who not believe in God's existence ... no but I trust Allah (swt) to treat everyone fairly and with mercy.

    The answer to this is a simple yes, because I trust Allah (swt) implicitly. I also accept that I will no doubt be one of those in the hell queue to be punished for my sins for some time until I am ready to be allowed into heaven.
     
  7. Dogbrain

    Dogbrain Well-Known Member

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    Give that judgment will be on the basis of capacity and not an immutable, legalistic yardstick, I am quite comfortable.



    We are all given the choice, and how we respond to it in the context of our ability to respond--and that "ability to respond" is not the silly Western "age of consent" or "reason" yardstick will determine what happens. Yes, I will be confortable.

    Evidently, you are of the great mob who thinks that the Orthodox partake of all the same errors as do Western Christians. We don't. "We know where the Church is, but we do not know where the Church is not."
     
  8. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Hare Krishna Yogi

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    - How do you get comfortable with the idea that your faith teaches that some people [will be in the condition of] hell for eternity?
    OTOH, real-life in real-time false prophets:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPH0a3oYspg


    'Kill ... their babies!': New Black Panthers exposed on Fox News (transcript &video)

    Oy, Stupudity is multi-sided crumpled excuse for origami, where
    Such beauty is in the eye of the Crumblers.

    [​IMG]

    - Does that sit well with you?
    Birth-after-birth from kings to paupers to madmen to despots to sexpots ---the world is a world of actions that precure future "re-action" ---and ignorance of the law is no excuse.


    - Will you be comfortable [in the condition of] heaven knowing that others will be in [the condition of] hell?"
    This is not a practical question; but it is valid to ask.
    This is the satus quo.
    This should be taught to poor inner city youth long before they shoot some-one and learn the way of sodomy in a penal-colony.


    Also, one of my own:

    - If you had a non-Christian relative who had died as a non-Christian, would you fear that he or she would end up in the condition of Hell for an eternity simply because he or she died as a non-Christian?
    This is not a practical question; but it is valid to ask.
    This is the satus quo.
    You can't please all the people all of the time ---especially when there is the thorn in one's own eye to attend to.

    There is danger at any moment of total death ---thus the loss of the Human-Birth that solely allows for the pursuit of enlightenment/liberation/salvation/Devotional service to Godhead ---and so alas, we get another body predicated upon mundane work/acts preformed in prior life-times that many times ends up being just more mundane wranglings borne of false-ego.


    We are spirits in a material body in a material world that actively ensnares the soul into thinking that they are masters of all they survey and or copulate with ---its all quite mundane and grossly material, and thus totally transcient and illusionary.

    The Human body allows consciousness that is un-paralleled by all other sub-species.
    But, actively persuing one's life-time attention to shoring-up a false sense of identity and/or a false sense of priority (ie: sex/drugs and leisure and fasle notariety) leads to species of life that best accord facilities to engage in bestial gratification 24/7 by the grace of God's munificence for all creatures great and small and self-loathing too.


    getting oriented,
    Bhaktajan
     
  9. Dream

    Dream Well-Known Member

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    There are those who consider hell to refer to complete annihilation of a being. I'd be comfortable with that for both the good and the bad. Of course it is sad when a life comes to an end, but if it has been a good life and others go on living it is not quite so bad. The times when it really seems wrong are those times when a person dies young or in some way has what we consider a terrible life. Their deaths are hardest to accept. For me it has a lot of appeal, although I don't actually know what happens directly. Resurrection makes a lot of sense in terms of fairness. Those that have had near death experiences usually have a deep absence of consciousness. There is a possibility that each of our lives exists within a tiny speck of time. There are Christians that interpret it this way, although not many. I think there are also Buddhists that do, too. Its just one of the viewpoints out there.
     
  10. earl

    earl ?

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    NDE's = absence of consiousness? Me thinks not! Vistas expand.:p There are Buddhist "hell" regions of consciousness per dogma. But, then, per their view, all is impermanent and afterall, my "karma did run over my dogma.";) earl
     
  11. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    Finite causes do not have infinite effects. That said, we definitely create our own heaven or hell, but the ripple effects often rub off onto others. It's a shame that our attachments (poisons, kleshas) keep us blinded, mired in all this astral muck ... and the familiar illusions of power/control, sex/manipulation, money/greed are allowed to fester, thrive and dominate.

    You see, we really can - and do - make things worse for each other when we let these lower pulls have such sway in our lives. How great a relief it is to work alongside those who have renounced the many attachments, and who are dedicated to bringing others relief from their poisons. Thus we can truly create the Heaven on Earth of which Christ speaks, which the Dakinis and the Great Ones safeguard.

    Organized religion might not be so bad if it wasn't so often the familiar story of the blind, leading the blind. How about the truly courageous, the enlightened, those who have made the Bodhisattva vow, and the genuinely altruistic ... leading those of like mind, like motivation, like determination. What happened to the `faithful' that they became so pessimistic, so materialistic, so skeptical, so - blind?

    So many will be shocked, dismayed, disappointed and truly sorrowful when they realize what a hell we have all prepared, are preparing, for ourselves in the years to come. Crying out, they will wonder why the magic wand is not waved for them, why they are not spared, why they cannot be instantly delivered. And so the benevolent will continue their Mission, will teach them of the nature and necessity of the cleansing, Holy Fires - of which, again, I believe Christ spoke ... and demonstrated during His Ministry.

    Stream-Entrants and Sun-Worshippers alike will gather, and veils will be lifted which in this world blind us to Clear-Sight.
     
  12. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Andrew! You're back!
     
  13. Dogbrain

    Dogbrain Well-Known Member

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    And for those of us who do not simply consider you infallible and take all your statements as axiomatic?
     
  14. shawn

    shawn Well-Known Member

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    Well, you can continue to believe the here-say of your choice.
     
  15. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    Have patience, my friend. :)
    You get your chance to try in the twinkling of an eye
    Eighty years, with luck, or even less​
     
  16. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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    Welcome back AndrewX, and well spoken. :)
     
  17. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

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    I don't believe in a literal hell. If there is one, it exists within us (Here on earth). Just as the Kingdom of heaven is within us (In the here and now) hell is within also. It is up to us to learn how to live and experience heaven on earth, or to remain a slave to negative influence (IMO).

    People are free to believe what they wish, but I'm hard pressed to understand how anyone finds comfort believing that others will be tormented for eternity for a life misspent on earth. Our short life here pretty much amounts to a drop of water in an endless sea after all. There is no justice in that no matter which way you slice it.

    GK
     
  18. Dondi

    Dondi Well-Known Member

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    "Free Four" by Pink Floyd. Do I get a cookie now?

    My view of hell is pretty much found here. And yes I am comfortable with it.
     
  19. ἔρως-φιλία-ἀγάπη

    ἔρως-φιλία-ἀγάπη Member

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    He, quite in fact, answered the questions very well.

    Very simply, there is no hell. It is something created by man to enslave and control, and many have been because of it. It is a way to hang souls in the balance, so that one might have absolute control over another. It was created by the Catholic church, under the influence of pagan beliefs which many converts still held to. Perhaps it was foolishness to preach to the Gentiles, who had no way of understanding a single God or of understanding a loving God...

    Dogbrain couldn't have been more right with the second. We are not judged by faith or by righteousness, but each man according to his own ability, according to the works he has done.
     
  20. Dogbrain

    Dogbrain Well-Known Member

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    The Catholic Church did not create Hell. The idea of an eternal fate depending upon ones relationship with God goes back to Scripture--consider the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. Also, STOP MAKING UP LIES AND PUTTING THEM INTO MY MOUTH. Contrary to your ignorant blathering, I did NOT say that we are judged "according to the works he has done". I stated that any judgment will be according to our capacity, not an "objective" standard.
     

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