View Full Version : The Heaven & Hell Thread

21-07-2004, 06:25 PM
Whilst in deep perusal today of almost defunct video cassettes, I happened across the vaguely disturbing movie, Event Horizon.

I'm sure you've all seen it; the one where Sam Neil and Laurence Fishburne board a menacing looking spacecraft that's been to hell and brought back some rather less-than-tasteful souvenirs.

This got me thinking, y'see. Let's suppose Heaven & Hell do exist. What form do they take? Physical, Metaphysical, Astral, Psychological, OtherBigWord-o-logical?

Whilst abstaining from religious dabblings, I still find it enlightening to entertain such thoughts about the existence of such ethereal 'places', and how their existence may be perceived in the eyes of others.

With death being something of a prerequisite for a day-trip to the places under discussion, I decided to forgo the rather terminal job of checking them out and reporting back (although it would surely net me a rather fancy posthumous journalism award) and just think very hard instead.

I am undecided as to whether visions of the afterlife are common to all temporarily dead patients, but think that perhaps all human minds share a common "shut down" sequence, whose chemical and electrical signature is regularly characterzied as a manifestation of the journey to heaven within the soon-deceased's mind.

Perhaps the notion of an afterlife exists as an abstract state of conciousness whereby a person's sum total of life actions and experiences (whether classically determined "good" or "bad") are consolidated in one thought at the moment of death, crystallised as single state of mind by the "shut down" sequence as the last thing a person thinks.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

21-07-2004, 07:37 PM
Well, I've seen Event Horizon and I can't remember a thing about it. Heaven or hell, really, I don't think can be proven. The only close encounter anyone can get would be if a person were to die from drowning or something along the lines of that, and be revived. I have no idea what hell or heaven looks like, or if it even exists. For all we know, when we do die, we all just fall down a black hole and that's it. I like to still think of heaven or hell by simple colors, heaven is bright, hell is dark. Forms, in terms of physical, unseen to the human eye. That's about all I can say.

21-07-2004, 07:42 PM
I would think it all depends if such a thing as a 'soul' existed. If so, then there is the possibility that a soul would exit from a body and enter into some other plane of existence - heaven or hell, in particular. I come from a religious standpoint, so it's hard for me to think of heaven or hell as some sort of physical plane of existence.

Some theologians ponder the existence of heaven and hell simply because they believe that Earth, as our home, is meant for something greater or worse in comparison. The greater - in essence, 'better' - version of Earth would be heaven, and the worse version would be hell. To be honest, I don't really think this makes it a justifiable excuse to believe in either one or the other. Some Christians even go as far as disbelieve the existence of hell (which, to be sure, is still a huge topic of discussion in theology anyway).

I would like to think there is something after we die, that all we live for, all the morals and the ethics that serve our overall human society in some good way, will be rewarded in some other time. We may live in obscurity for our entire lives, simply doing what we think is best for others and living an alright decent life, but it technically is not really worth it, if we are not given merit at the end of our trials.

But, biochemically speaking, how would that necessarily affect those who die instantaneously? If they do so, I doubt they could really have their entire lives flash before them, in some ultimate judgment sequence.

21-07-2004, 07:47 PM
Heaven: Keira Knightley in various stages of undress, feeding me dark chocolate and bourbon. (In heaven this doesn't make you puke)
Hell: It's Roseanne Barr.

Seriously, I have absolutely no idea. I was raised a Godless heathen, so I have only recently begun to understand Christianity.

22-07-2004, 12:07 AM
I'd like to think of Heaven as a bright haven extending atop white clouds and Hell as a burning city of ruins with people suffering through endless hours of labor. With that said, I hope we don't just die and not live an afterlife. It's depressing to think life would continue without our minds and souls unable to participate in it.

22-07-2004, 01:06 AM
DR brought up a good point on wishing for an afterlife as a reward. It's a good thought really, if some people do choose to work hard and do good through-out their lives, then I do too wish for some kind of afterlife. There's really nothing worse than working so hard and not getting anything in the end.

22-07-2004, 01:28 AM
Well I can try to explain what Catholics believe to the best of my ability, as it is what i believe. Faith Hope and Love are the three theological virtues and they make the deiffrence between heaven and hell. They have god as their object and they make the gate to heaven.

Faith is trust or reliance on someone, or biblically the act be which we recieve Gods eternal life- a yes to God. Most importantly the baltimore catechism says Faith is the act of intellect prompted by will by which we belive the truth of all that God has revealed on the basis of the authority of the one who has revealed it. (i had to memorize that when i was 7). Faith seeks understanding, to know God. "Unless you believe, you will not understand"-faith, "In thy light we see the light"- understanding. In knowing God you simply answer yes or no.

Love is God's esscence, it is more than a feeling. Love/Agape comes to us by free choice. We aren't responsib le for our feelings but we are eternally responsible for our love or lack of it. God is agape and Agape is not a feeling. God is not a feeling. Agape is concrete love to the indivudal, not abstract notions of humanity. It wills anothers Good ultimately.

Hope is the life of the soul, Hope is thought of as escapism, it reminds us that our citizenship is in heaven. In world of hope we look at the skys and see the heavens, our modern world sees only space. It is a guarentee, not a feeling. Feelings change while hope has a foundation in christ. Hope's object is God, as faith's object is God. It isnt vague but definite as God has promised definite and specific things, evidence by scripture. Most importantly Hope means taht the reason i choose to live is that "at the heart of reality, life is chosen. Hope means taht my implicit desire for God however obscure or unconscious is God's own trace in my being" (Peter Kreeft). Thats key to a catholics view of Hell. That all men desire to be with God. Hell then is the abscence of God and his love.

On these virtues hang all other virtues- why be courageous with no hope for heaven, why risk your life with no hope that you life ends in anything but decay. Without Gods grace, which comes only from Hope Love and Faith no one can be goo. Without love justice turns to cruelty, without hoepe courage becomes despair and rage, without faith wisdom becomes foolishness.

One who has no faith in God, no hope in God and no love of God cannot go to heaven because it would be hell to him. He couldnt endure God's prescence after death anymore than in life. All other virtues rely on these, you dont practice them to get into heaven but because heaven has gotten in to you. Heaven is the state of being united in spirit with God.

22-07-2004, 12:24 PM
I find it hard to believe God would create people who would never have had the chance to be baptised, then be rejected out of heaven because of that. I've always found myself wondering, what if the Western World didn't follow Christianity? What if Peter and the Apostles didn't spread the "good word"? What if the Muslim faith was taken up by the Roman Empire instead of Christianity? Would we find ourselves wondering about a heaven with Allah in the throne instead of God and his kingdom? Anyway, since I don't plan to be baptised any time soon, I guess if I have an accident I'll just remain an empty corpse won't I? Heaven's a nice thought...

22-07-2004, 04:18 PM
i'll keep my simple. the idea and images/pictures of heaven and hell are all from people who have never been there. it also all depends on the person and their acts in life, and what they image heaven and hell to be, i all think we have our own idea if we can get past the already imprinted in our brains ideas of clouds and pearly gates and fire and torture. i would image heaven to be sleep, xbox (halo), and friends, all my favorite actives. hell...well i'm still not done seeing all the shit in the world, probably being a starving child in sudan fleeing from my home, ethic cleansing there. it's really depressing when they show it on BBC world news every night, i just wish there was something i could do. i think that's worse then torture, being helpless and on the run.

22-07-2004, 08:10 PM
In a way, I imagine heaven to be what you really desire at the end of your life. If you died young, then perhaps heaven would be playing xbox, hanging out with friends, finally catching that girl you've been eyeing for the past couple months. If you died a ripe old age, it might be sitting on the porch with your loved one, simply watching people wave hello and walk past, perhaps eating a batch a fresh, new chocolate chip cookies. But, heaven does not leave you ignorant or naive: in the back of your mind, you have some idea that this is what and where you were meant to be. Through providing you with your greatest desires, God is actually placing in front of you His idea of reunion with him.

For me, hell is not all 'fire and brimstone'. It is simply this: life without God. Gracie puts it beautifully: "Hell then is the absence of God and His love." If our ultimate desire is to be reunited in God and His love in heaven, then hell would be our worst fears.

But yeah, I'm getting too religious.

22-07-2004, 08:23 PM
Heaven, as some people have said, "has streets paved of gold." I figure heaven as a light coloured version of earth, only some things are somewhat seethrough (that are light-coloured by alot) and we can see humans on the earth if we want to, but they cant' see us. And there's really nothing bad, but we have our own versions of what we think is heaven, and that's what the earth takes form of. Hell, is what we hate the most, and it's everywhere, as the earth takes shape of our own Hell... That's what I think...

23-07-2004, 12:16 AM
What about and heaven and hell on earth?

23-07-2004, 04:56 AM
What about and heaven and hell on earth?

it'd be anyones worst nightmare. differs for each person.... or unless you're talking about a designated place. say a pit or a disneyworld, which could both be heaven and hell, depending on your view.

23-07-2004, 11:01 AM
it'd be anyones worst nightmare. differs for each person.... or unless you're talking about a designated place. say a pit or a disneyworld, which could both be heaven and hell, depending on your view.

Hehe...well sometimes (and last night when I posted that comment I was in this frame of mind) I think life's pretty much all hell, and death would be release from that, and thus heaven...bleak eh? :D

As for heaven...I agree with what DR said...I think it's what you desire most in the world.

24-07-2004, 07:04 AM
Heaven: Keira Knightley in various stages of undress, feeding me dark chocolate and bourbon. (In heaven this doesn't make you puke)
Hell: It's Roseanne Barr.

Seriously, I have absolutely no idea. I was raised a Godless heathen, so I have only recently begun to understand Christianity.

that is my Idea of a perfect heaven. Keira half dressed? who wouldn't want that? oh and you forgot to add her doing a sexy belly dance.

hell to me would be courtney love and andy dick...shudder.

08-09-2004, 05:08 AM
Barrington, the more I read these posts, the more I'm starting to like you.

Afterlife eh?
There very well may be an after life man. But truthfully, there is no way of knowing unless you die, but by that time it's already too late to tell anyone. I'm a scientist, I deal with numbers and facts. If things don't match the numbers and facts, then I don't usually take the matter seriously. That's not to say I totally dismiss it though. I believe there is a little truth in everything.

However, just because I'm a scientist does not mean I don't have faith. I do have faith in things my friend. But only if probability leads in my favor... hehe. However, there are times when it is absolutely necessary to go against all odds and these things are the things you truly have passion for. For me, it'd be me madly in love with Keira and vice versa. hehe. You know and I know I'm against all odds here, but I still keep the faith.

08-09-2004, 09:23 AM
As a born and bred atheist who has been forced to sit through numerous sermons on JUDGEMENT, I don't think there is a heaven or a hell. Nor do I believe heaven and hell are here on earth.
I don't fear death, because once you die, chances are you won't be aware of anything anyway. You'll just cease to exist. I don't believe in a soul, your brain is in charge or your memories and decisions, and when it decomposes or gets burnt or whatever, you'll become part of everything. The trees and grass and worms lol.

The Black Rider
08-09-2004, 04:06 PM
Well, there's no way of knowing for sure, but the most interesting theory of Heaven and Hell I've ever read was in the form of Dante's Divine Comedy, which I strongly recommend on the basis of its poetry, but also the ideas explored in the story.

I believe that Heaven is, in some way, a form of unlimited inner peace, whether it be angels prancing around in the clouds or complete nothingness. Hell, on the other hand, I would think is some form of spiritual torture, again either a place where demons poke you with pitchforks or complete nothingness. Either way, it's not fun.

But it is a fascinating subject no matter what your religious preference is, I agree.