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2009-08-07

Thank Zeus for loopholes!

Hell is just another one of those horrible atrocities that Christians believe an all-loving, all-forgiving god is capable of. Unfortunately, Hell will have to be addressed many times in this comic.

This particular depiction of Hell was painted by Luca Signorelli. It is lovingly titled, "The Damned" and was completed in 1505. You can view the entire piece here.

 

Comments

Mr Know-it-all writes:

 

Nothing much to comment on today's entry, but I made a counter-reply to yesterday's.
I kinda forgot to be a wise-ass a couple strips ago, in the "our image" theme. That is indeed not the trinity, since such a concept didn't exist, and even if it did, the holy ghost shouldn't have an humanlike form.
It can be a monologue of god, and the pluralization might be a mistranslation. After all, the bible has jumped back and forth between lots of languages.
However, I believe that would be yet another vestigial judaic verse. In it, YHWH would be talking to Adam Kadmon, the first and the highest being in all creation, second only to YHWH itself. And second only in hierarchy, since it has too omniscience and omnipotence and immortality and, well, YHWH basically made a copy of itself. Aditionally, it could be talking to some or all of the angels, at least in the original the creation time was Light&Space&other prerequisites>Adam Kadmon>Angels>World>Life in a order of its own which I cannot recall>Humans. The angels, however, would not be humanoid either, and more akin to what the holy ghost is conceived to be, so that's likely not the case (that is, the angels might have been there, but the "our image" bit was clearly not meant for them).

Heh, I have a feeling I'll be commenting in this site a lot. Have I thanked you for making it? (No I haven't. Thanks).

Pyroponce writes:

 

First of all, as a semi-practicing Catholic, I must congratulate you on an offensive yet hilarious webcomic. I cannot help but appreciate something that puts my beliefs in a new light, and humor is always a plus.

That being said, I feel compelled to share with you a teaching about hell that I learned when I was young. My priest told me once that assuming that God loves us all and wants us to be with Him for eternity, God respects our choices otherwise. When Lucifer and the one-third of angels rebelled against God, he created a place within existence where God's presence does not exist, and that place is Hell.

What makes Hell so painful and such an unappealing place is the total lack of God. It's not painful because God wishes to make it painful, but because an existence without God is painful. And allowing us a choice between spending eternity with or without Him is much more merciful than a choice between spending eternity with Him or having our immortal souls wiped out of existence by Him.

Unfortunately, I am not familiar with specific Scripture passages that back this theory up, but I thought you might like to know anyway. I'd appreciate any insights you have. And keep up the comic!

TheAlmightyGuru writes:

 

Pyroponce: I appreciate the kind words, thank you! It's always nice to know that some people can have a sense of humor about their beliefs.

That description sounds more like Milton's "Paradise Lost" than the bible. However, some of the tenants of Catholicism are not founded in biblical scripture, but in papal bulls. Also, Catholics and Protestants have different books in their bibles, so maybe this telling is from one of the Catholic books I'm not familiar with.

Regardless of the differences, let's assume that the way you describe Hell is accurate. This raises some serious questions about God.

Why would God allow Lucifer to create and run Hell? If you were God, would you want a rebellious fallen angel deciding how to punish your children who have been led astray?

If Hell is really devoid of God, that would mean that God is not everywhere (omnipresent). It would also mean that Lucifer has the power to keep God out of Hell, which seems kind of silly since God is supposed to be all-powerful (omnipotent). Regardless, as an atheist, I can assure you that existence without God is not painful; quite the opposite, in fact!

My main problem with Hell is that bears no semblance to justice. The bible explains Hell as being eternal (2 Thessalonians 1:9, et al.). Would you consider it just to punish someone for an infinite amount of time when they've only committed a finite amount of crime?

another christian writes:

 

like pyropance i must say that this is humorous, despite some lapses in logic (not trying to argue just making a statement)

however, i would also like to point out that god being omnipresent implies that he can be anywhere, and as far as i know god being omnipresent isn't supported by the bible.
the reason you aren't pained by the lack of god is that you still deny his existence, people in "hell" know what they are missing and are entirely creatures of spirits, they don't have physical pleasures to distract them.
actually you do commit an infinite crime, sin is not a single act sin is rebellion against god. basically its like saying that even though god made the universe so perfect that you could live in it, and he designed life as beautifully as he did, and he loved you so much that he allowed himself to be killed by humans in the most painful way that could be concieved of at the time (emotionally as well as physically), you still don't think hes intelligent enough to tell you how to truly find fulfillment in your life. and thats is a choice that you make constantly.

TheAlmightyGuru writes:

 

another christian:

You state that I am not pained by God because I deny his existence. Am I to assume that if I were to believe his existence that I would be pained? If that's the case, I intend to be without God for as long as possible!

If sin is an infinite crime, and all people have sinned, then all people are damned to Hell. If the grace of God removes infinite sin, then the sin was never infinite to begin with, it was conditional.

If Hell is as unpleasant as Christians claim, then a single second in Hell is all it would take to make any person a believer. If God allows souls in Hell to repent and come to Heaven, then Hell would be totally vacant—if he doesn't, then he is not all-forgiving. The fact that I have to bring up excruciating torture when talking about an all-forgiving God should act as a red-flag.

If God designed the universe, Earth, or people, he did not do so perfectly. There are a large number of flaws in their design. See this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_poor_design

God's love is conditional. If you don't love him back he punishes you with ever-lasting torture. That's pathetic.

Jesus' crucifixion was not very impressive. Many people have suffered a far-more painful death. Also, ever-lasting torment in Hell would be far worse than any man-made torture. Therefore, if I'm going to Hell, then my sacrifice will be infinitely greater than that of Jesus.

Katy writes:

 

"God's love is conditional. If you don't love him back he punishes you with ever-lasting torture. That's pathetic."
Well, Yahweh is a pretty young god, and he's quite self-conscious and insecure. He figures that if he can't make people love him he'll take his balls and go away or something. Actually, scripture doesn't support the concept of hell - if you study it carefully, what it supports is that person who have not "accepted" Yahweh simply die and are gone; only those who have specifically gone against god in some way (as opposed to simply being ignorant or apathetic) will be "punished" by being cast out of the presence of god and beyond the gates of heaven. There are a lot of different ideas as to what that means.

Of course, everyone will have their own opinions about what they have read in the Bible means. *shrug* And please don't ask me to re-look up all this stuff and give you book, chapter and verse - my Bible is long since packed up and I've no idea where it is. I'm working from memory here ... :-)

TheAlmightyGuru writes:

 

@Katy: Don't worry, the Internet is a wonderful search tool! Here is a site that houses many passages about Hell.

http://www.biblebb.com/files/tniv/HELL.TXT

Notice that all the references from the Old Testament treat it simply as the grave, while the New Testament has it with fire and brimstone.

Though I agree, it's up to each person to interpret it their own way.

you don't need my name writes:

 

to many long comments

 

Oh the irony!