Hell. We’re all familiar with the concept. There are many religions that claim its existence. Even the idea of reincarnation offers a dismal look at eternity if the cards one is dealt are not played right. Hell is the ultimate prison. Prison for eternity. I’ve never been to a prison, but can only imagine the detriment of a cage populated with humanity’s worst offenders. People, wicked as any demon, lie in wait for the fresh fish entering their population. I couldn’t fathom being held in an earthly prison – let alone – a metaphysical one for all of time. If I were to believe in hell, I’d probably stammer in my very foundation.
Luckily, the idea has never entered my mind as credible. Yet, I remain civil regardless. I’m a pacifist and see violence as a crude technique employed by the less evolved. I didn’t need hell to scare me into this line of thinking. But…I digress…
I may not stand among the average person when I state such convictions. On a world scale, violence is a reality that refuses to sleep throughout recorded history. It seems to be a reoccurring subject. What confuses me is that though I may not feel the judgment of God or gods – devil nor demon, I choose to live with a code of ethics that surpass those written of in holy books. I would never attend a public execution – or, stoning (depending on what age I find myself in). I want to help those in need. No traditional god or threat of eternal prison has defined this idealism for me. In contrast, a simple look at the natural suffering of life has lead me to this conclusion – ranging from the cuddly herbivore to the human slave.
I have made others helpless under my physical strength in self defense and only felt saddened. This is who I am. I have seen others do the same as well. I have likewise witnessed those who gain some kind of thrill by inflicting suffering upon others. Some of whom believe in hells and gods. I witnessed no difference in their behavior. Perhaps at time – but no lasting influence over their behavior. Yet, holding others in my view only cloud it. Clearly, all I speak for is my self.
I seek the same ends as those that contend morality is influenced by the fire of hellish threat do. I seek peace on Earth. Yet, tales of hell have never accomplished what I feel is a humanistic progression. In fact, the most violent times existed when hells were most widely believed in. Only objective morality has ever paved the way to righteousness. Only through arriving at the realization that our actions affect those around us in a manner that echo universal repercussion have we sought to change direction. This threat is immediate, relative to action, and thus, founded in objectivity. This is consequence in real time.
Hell is scary indeed, but alas, holy books fail us. A real threat walks among us, threatening something we need not imagine – Earth. If future generations do not act – they will be verifiably doomed. Hell is no longer needed. The real threat is written in non-fiction. Facts condemn us – not gods or devils. The pieces are set for all to see – and, any prevention is “holy.”