The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Monday, June 20, 2005

from hell to heaven (and back again)

I've been musing a bit lately on the whole "you're going to hell" thing.

When is it too late to repent?

Isn't having death as a cut-off point a bit inconsistent with the soul as an eternal thing, and God being of a forgiving nature?

Say you don't live a very good life, you sin a lot, then you die and go to Hell. In Hell you realise the error of you ways - why shouldn't you then get a transfer to Paradise?

I'm really actually curious about this.


Commie Mutant Traitor said...

It makes perfect sense if you look at religion as primarily a means for the ruling class to control the masses. Post-mortem repentance isn't any use to worldly powers.

Anne Rice's "Memnoch the Devil" has an interesting take on hell - it's not an eternal punishment, it's a temporary state of being forced to confront and deal with all your psychological hangups so you'll become sane enough to enter heaven. Not exactly fun, but good for you in the long run, and it fits the supposedly omnibenevolent God rather better than the traditional interpretation.

The Denizen said...

I like your thinking ... may I put you in charge of my metaphysical constructs?

Rich said...

I'm with C.M.T. on this.

Incidentally, I've always found it highly inconsistent that religious authorities demand earthly punishment for acts that they consider sinful - surely eternal damnation would suffice?

Commie Mutant Traitor said...

That and mourning for the dead - they've either gone on to eternal heavenly bliss, in which case mourning seems kind of inappropriate, or they're evil people who unquestionably deserve their punishment at the hands of a perfectly just and infallible God.

span said...

yep it is a highly effective weapon with audiences that don't have much education (sorry that sounds incredibly snobby - i really mean people in centuries gone by who couldn't read or write, who had little experience of the world, etc).

i like the idea of heaven, i like the idea of reincarnation, but that doesn't mean that either are real or ture - won't really know until i get there i guess!