Tuesday, December 17, 2013

How logical is the concept of hell?

Almost in every religion and many scriptures one can find description of place called Hell, in some scriptures this imaginary place is described in very graphic details, many people literally believe these descriptions and really think that some place like this exists somewhere. They also describe what may or may not happen if someone lands in this imaginary place (or real place according to some). I call it imaginary because there is no direct or indirect evidence of existence of this place, every religion or scriptures describe it somewhat differently but they all agree on one thing that it is really really bad place to be there and no one should land there even by mistake. Some religions or scriptures go beyond just describing the place, they also list number of punishments one might get if one lands there, actually as per their logic no one just lands there, they are forced to go there as a punishment after death for their bad deeds during their stay on earth, this punishment which sounds so inhuman and cruel is awarded after judgement by highest authority (God) of that particular religion, at least scriptures say so (I hope they give the guilty a chance to explain his/her side also). Some of the punishments described are very cruel and inhuman, like frying in oil or burning in fire, etc. this all just for not following some rules written in those scriptures, and that too these rules are so different from on scripture to other that whatever is considered as sacred in one can be totally blasphemous in other. I think if any government or any authority try to award some of these punishments they can be tried in court for human rights violation, only some radical extremist organizations like Al-Queda can justify such barbaric acts, for this they get criticism from all quarters of the world, but no one seems to mind when these are mentioned in scriptures, people's attitude suddenly changes when there is involvement of their supreme commander in these type of issues, one reason might be because these punishments are awarded to already dead people so they don't care much about dead as there are enough issues to deal with which are related with living people.

I often wonder if people at all think how logical is all this description of hell and those punishments described in any book? The descriptions about these things are so cruel and inhuman that no one with normal sense and logic can agree to such punishments even for hardcore criminals forget about something as trivial as not following path prescribed by any organized religion or cult movement. They all look like something straight from fiction book where people kill each other for small small reasons, in that case there is no limit how far one can go but many people don't take them as fiction, they literally believe in these things. I agree that these books are really really old but I feel that today's authors do somewhat better job in writing fiction stories (just see the popularity of some of their books to check this) but I must also say that today's authors also have the advantage of time and better technique. Many people fear about this imaginary hell, they all have strong desire to go into similarly imaginary heaven (because of rewards and prices promised to people entering there) but they don't care about their cowardice acts (like terrorism) or heinous crimes (like rape or murder)  or many other mistakes in their day to day lives (like corruption, domestic violence, sex abuse, etc.) so clearly these threats (about hell) and lures (about heaven) are not working in a way they were supposed to work in reality, rather they create an illusion in many people's minds that no matter what they do in their personal lives if they ask for forgiveness with their God almighty and surrender to him or her everything will be fine and they will be pardoned, this very generous offer is advertised heavily by almost all religions and sects. This fear and attraction of illusionary world of heaven and hell has created unique mindset among peoples minds, many care and worry about these things rather than their own conduct in day to day life, many times they don't even care about land of law but care whether they will land in heaven or hell. Many religions and sects make use of these theories and fears to attract followers towards them, they make tall claims which are difficult to prove or disprove and lure people in their trap, people who need some solace fall for this trick.

Do we really need promise of heaven to do good deeds or fear of hell to deter from doing bad things in our lives? Why our own conscious mind can not guide us to follow righteous path in our lives? Why fear of law of land is not enough to deter people from committing crime? We all need to ask these questions to ourselves and try to find honest answers, may be this will help each of us to introspect and realign our beliefs, may be this will help us to follow righteous path without worrying whether it will land us in imaginary place like heaven or hell. Kindness, love, compassion, truthfulness are all wonderful qualities to have, everyone should try to have them, I don't think anyone should require lure of heaven or fear of hell to lead life full of love and kindness so let's concentrate on all the good work we all can do without worrying about these imaginary things.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

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