Being a young adult, the idea of hell doesn't really make a whole lot of sense- yet I still fear it! I think it makes sense that the concept would have been created to scare people into being law abiding citizens in a era where law didn't exist. There was no police to stop them, so fear was the only surefire method. Today, people still buy into the fear. Although this explanation makes the most sense, I still fear the concept, that if I don't believe and I end up being incorrect, that I may suffer an afterlife of torture. Some of my fear stems from a few videos and books I have read about people who make the claim that they visited hell-- I KNOW! Being a young adult I should know better than to buy into some propaganda online or in a book, but for me, it's easier said than done. I want to let go of this, but I feel the best way to do this is to write down why I fear it, and deduce some logical conclusions with the help of others on a site where religion isn't the primary focus. On the contrary, logic is the primary focus.
I saw a few videos where people either had a Near Death Experience, or had a dream that they visited hell. What I found to be somewhat frightening was the fact that many people described the same concepts in their versions of hell. Commonly, they were:
- fire and brimstone
- demons which look like reptiles that attack them
- the people who say they went to hell often report being put into a cage or a cube
- they hear other people suffering and whaling
- often they get burnt or beaten, and when they lose a piece of skin or a body part, it grows back and they get tortured again.
Now, I know this all sounds like some fairy tale, but I saw at least 10 accounts like this. I don't know what to make of it. I know the concept of fire can be found as early as Augistine in the 300s or 400s, and I know the bible implies torment to those who do badly in their lives. Much of the imagery isn't too much of a shock there, but the idea that people report a multitude of cases seeing demons which they report look similar among accounts, and often torture or laugh at people suffering is what I cannot understand. Being raised Christian, I always had an image of what hell may look like. I could totally imagine how my brain during a Near death experience or a dream could create most of the fire and suffering imagery, but I would never expect hell to be filled with demons who look like reptiles. I asked some of my Christian friends, and they say the same thing. Why then, is this demon thing so consistent across "hellish" experiences? If I could get a logical answer to that, then I would be willing to say that these experiences are nothing more than a brain that is scared and confused trying to fill in the gaps during an episode. Does anyone have a plausible explanation here? It would be greatly appreciated.
Many thanks and have a great day,
These people that went to hell and came back. Did their body really go anywhere? Of course not. Where in scripture does it say this is even possible? Sorry, it's not there. Only hinted at that somebody should be sent to warn the wicked. Today many make a living telling you of their trips to heaven or hell. Be advised that it never happened.
Why would I believe a near death experience? Near death simply means the body is shutting down. It's no proof the body went anywhere. Believers want to claim it was the soul than went. Really. Explain to me about the soul. How do I know I have one? Where is it? This is the breath of life and you are the soul. You became a living soul and can also be a dead one. Best selling books are written about this nonsense and believers eat it all up. They are afraid to die. It's better that they close their eyes and are instantly in heaven. This is nonsense from that lunatic Saul of Tarsus.
I'm an ex- Pentecostal who studied to be a preacher. Maybe I studied too much. I have no dreams of hell or heaven. I have no doubts except for the religious myth. Keep in mind that Lazarus did not come back from the dead speaking of "how wonderful it was over there." According to scripture nothing like that happened at all.
If I believe any of the god myths which one am I to believe? Is the only true god one whose name we derive by adding vowels to JHVH? If so, what would his name be in other languages besides English? Maybe I can approach the "name of god" in another way that has become popular. How many different ways are there to say "Joshua." Would it matter. When would my god become bigger than your god?
Just a few of my ramblings on the subject. I have no irrational fears and certainly no irrational fears of a place called hell.
but what would you say about the consistent sighting of demons and their consistency? I just wonder how so many people can claim to see them in their experiences.
Those that see demons believe in demons or have been told about demons before. It's that simple. When are these demons sighted? While the near death body is shutting down and deprived of oxygen? Maybe they are reported as sighted by the person whose body never went anywhere and he came back to tell you of the experience. None of this holds up to objective reality. That's all that counts. I will not discuss "what if" with you or anyone else
that's a good answer, I hate to bother you, but would you not take a video like this seriously?
this man was an atheist who claims he saw Hitler in hell, was tortured by demons, and he wrote books about it
Just because its on youtube doesn't mean its factual.
Why would I watch it? Maybe to laugh or see how delusional people are. It carries the same weight as saying Spiderman lives in New York City.
People rely on their conceptual framework, particularly that from childhood, to make sense of unfathomable threat that shakes them to their core. If they were raised to fear fairies, near death experiences would be described as a fairy encounter. The experience and emotion are strongest in the primitive brain, which has no language. We must use our higher brain to make sense in words of what's happened. I've found that when I experience a deeply terrifying primitive brain event, it's possible to capture that to memory as images sounds feelings etc. if I do it immediately. Then I can step back mentally to examine my first attempts to make sense of the event, and apply higher level thinking. For example, a profoundly disturbing dream included a warmth at the end. My first thought was "God loves me", from early childhood indoctrination. Then I was able to introspect to examine the process by which I'd grabbed that interpretation, to step back. It's interesting to examine one's own mental processes (I've had training). I learn a lot about myself from how I handle such events.