Where Hell Exists

It utterly amazes me how the majority of religious people don’t know the facts behind their own religion.  I can completely understand when they don’t know about science but to have blocks of information missing from their own belief system is a strange concept to me.  The history behind the religion is particularly interesting and today I’m going to examine Hell and its roots.

As most people already know, Christianity is a religion made up from borrowing other parts of mythology.  Hell is no different.  The idea of the underworld is borrowed from several earlier beliefs.  Even the name is directly taken from Norse mythology.  The name “Hel” comes from both the goddess and the realm in which she lives.  There are varying descriptions of Hel as there are with most myths but they all essentially describe an underworld where people dwell after death.

Mark 9:43: “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:”

There are many mentions of Hell, like the one above but I chose this one on purpose because it not only mentions Hell but also an eternal fire.  There is a rational explanation for this quote and as far as Biblical quotes go, this is a decent life lesson.

First of all, what word would be in there if Hell is Norse?  Before the Bible was translated, it was written in Hebrew and Greek so the word ‘Hell’ would never have appeared.  The word used would have been ‘Gehenna’ in the Greek scriptures or ‘Gehinnam’ in the Hebrew scriptures.  We can now alter the quote slightly so it makes more sense and doesn’t refer to anything supernatural.  In fact the quote now has historical and geographical facts to back up its existence.

Mark 9:43: “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into Gehenna, into the fire that never shall be quenched:”

Now the quote has some meaning.  Gehenna refers to a place outside of Jerusalem.  It was often referred to as ‘Valley of the Son of Hinnom’ in the Hebrew Bible.  This was a place initially used as a sacrifice grounds and eventually became where all dead bodies were burned.  When Jesus described Gehenna, he was referring to this place.  Around the times where Jesus was said to have existed, execution was quite common, even for small crimes.  The destination of anyone sentenced to death would eventually be Gehenna where the fires never ceased.

This idea of eternal torment was thought up as nothing more than a scare tactic.  The Bible even says that when people die they return to dust on several occasions.

Job 34:15: “All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.”

Hell/Gehenna never even enters the scriptures until after Christ’s birth.  The reason for that is simply the location of where the scriptures were written before the mention.

Bob Crofts is a self-published author and critical thinker, and focuses on the philosophical issues of religion within every-day situations.

Medical Care and Christianity

As a lot of you already know there’s an ongoing debate about whether evolution is true.  To me this isn’t even a question. Over the years scientists have gone from a simple observation and speculation to confirming facts.  These facts are available to everyone and never need the use of fallacies or dishonesty to make their point.  A lot of militant theists disagree with this and believe it’s all nonsense and lies.  Their concern is close to that of a conspiracy theorist and in this day and age where every piece of information is available at our fingertips it’s a wonder that it’s even questioned.

Anyway, what I’m going to do today is question the need for medical care for those who are religious.  I myself don’t believe in faith healing, so I have no business in a healing session. So what business do militant theists have in a hospital where numerous cures and treatments have relied on the information given to us by the study of evolution? If they don’t believe in it then why even take the treatment?

Let’s take something like tuberculosis.  A bacterial infection which attacks the lungs.  The key word here is “bacterial”.  That’s right, over the years tuberculosis has evolved and medicines have been updated to combat the new species.  Surely this is irrelevant to theists who don’t believe in evolution though.  Surely if there’s no such thing as evolution we can just treat it as we always have.  Leave the modern cures to those who need and appreciate it.

We can also rule flu vaccinations out.  There’s no longer a need to update the perfect vaccination we have.  After all it worked last year, it should continue to work until the vaccination runs out.

Another thing we need to reconsider is blood transfusions.  Whether or not you believe in evolution is irrelevant on this one, it’s taken straight from the book of Leviticus.  That’s the book most commonly used to hate on homosexuality.  If you stood against equal rights on the grounds of religion then you really should read the rest of this book, some of the rules are very overlooked by theists.

Leviticus 17:10-12:  “And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people.  For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.  Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood.

Seems pretty clear to me that blood is off the menu for you.  It’s only meant to be used for sacrifice and atonement.  Blood itself is in very limited supply so wouldn’t it make more sense to give it to people who are not forbidden to take it.  Any believers in God have eternal life to look forward to anyway so why prioritise them?  It’s the sinners who’re going to suffer more if they die.

This next point isn’t as important but applies to people who pray when surgeons or specialists are at work.  Doctors receive a great amount of training.  They are expected to be in top form every time they take to the operating table.  In short, they will perform to the best of their standards whether you pray or not.  Another point to take from this is you’re praying to an almighty being.  If he’s as powerful as boasted in the bible then why even go to the doctor?  To pray and thank God is an insult to the doctor.  The one who did all the work whilst you gave the credit to your chosen god.

For the record, I’m not discouraging seeking medical help.  All I’m doing is attempting to point out the sheer hypocrisy in saying you don’t believe in something then accepting help which required what you didn’t believe in to be there in the first place.  I’m also pretty sick of Leviticus being used when it suits people but dismissed when it isn’t convenient.  As I said, if you’re against gay rights then you have a lot of work to do to keep up with the other demands in this book.  As for me, I’ll be eating prawns whilst wearing cotton and polyester waiting for my tattooist appointment whilst you read up.

– Bob Crofts is a self-published author and critical thinker, and focuses on the philosophical issues of religion within every-day situations.