A Journey Through Hell: Visions of the Afterlife (Introduction, page 1 of 2)


 
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Hell; the underworld, the place of eternal torment, has many different names: Jahannam, Hades, Naraka, Geihinnom. Not only are the names different, but the punishments, temperature, and beings vary from one religion to the next. Most know the myths of the Greek Hades or the Christian Devil, however, Buddhism, Judaism and Islamic faiths have their own versions.

It is argued that the concept of an underworld was invented by man, not by "God." Most faiths believe in a god that is merciful. Therefore, some argue that how can a place of evil and torment exist if there is a merciful and loving god? In reality, Jewish and Christian scriptures, in their original languages, do not contain such a place. In respect to the Christian Bible, many English translations do not contain the concept of Hell. However, a handful do, and it is described as an everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. But, since many don't contain that concept, a question, then, is posed, "Why do different faiths believe in the concept of a place of torment if it was created by man, and not by god?"

The answer to that question can be argued then that everyone needs something to believe in. Everyone needs to hold on to the assumption that their good deeds will be rewarded. Everyone needs to believe that the wicked will be punished. Without these beliefs, there would be no consequences, no fear. There would be no need to do good throughout the community, because, well...why bother? We are a materialistic people; we like to be rewarded for doing what we are told, or for going above and beyond. Without religion, our carefully constructed society would suddenly run amok.

 
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