Sunday, December 08, 2002

Am I going to hell?

Please don’t clog up my comments thingy with a bunch of claims like ‘there is no hell.’ In fact, I think I won’t post a comments thingy just because I don’t want to hear it.

I simply find the view there is no hell so darn boring. It’s so utterly dull to believe only in those things one has proof of or can confirm by the evidence of one's senses.

Empirical objectivity, etc. Yawn. Rationalism is so much more amusing. Or scholasticism even. The kind of world view that allows you to believe the ontological argument
is much, much more fun…Try it and see for yourself...

Oh, please—there is hell. Deep down inside we all know there’s hell! Not just the hell we live in every day.. But a hell of eternal burning fire and torment ruled over by a malevolent being.. Or perhaps a place of boredom and mediocrity and suffering that you spend eternity in.

The hell you go to after you die because you were bad in this life.
That kind of hell.

And I’ve been bad…I’ve been very bad. Well, OK, I haven’t been the worst. Perhaps I should say then: I have not been good. I am so rarely good and occasionally somewhat bad.

Hey! I just remembered I did this good thing a few weeks ago. In the subway car a man got his wheelchair stuck in the little gap between the car and the platform. Even though I was in my usual somnolent state I somehow developed this superhuman strength and lifted his wheelchair and got him onto the platform.

It was amazing…And I’m sure it will not be enough.

Thus, it seems quite likely that I am a perfect candidate for hell.

Yet: It seems so strange that God would not want me in heaven. I can be very entertaining. And I’ll go to hell where no one is allowed to be entertained? I could be like the court jester of heaven. All my talents will be wasted in hell.

What makes a person a candidate for hellfire? One of the major sins, according to Aquinas and Milton, that one might go to hell for (at least this was the reason Lucifer was cast into hell) is pride.

What is pride, exactly? Hard to say. Does this mean, for example, that all gay people will go to hell for having gay pride? (Clearly, it is completely absurd to think gay people will go to hell for loving and appreciating one another’s fabulousness and having hot sex. There’s no point in even considering the idea you go to hell for this—it’s obviously good to do this as much as possible.)

No, gay/black/brown/red pride—that’s mere self-affirmation. Confidence. We say “proud” because it sounds better than “just as good as everyone else.”

No, I think real pride—the kind that makes you hellbound is a matter of believing oneself better than others in some kind of disturbingly suspect way. Not the simple realization that the inner life of others is dull and insipid in comparison to your own and their problems just don’t matter the way yours do. Since that’s often the case.

Rather, I think pride is a failure to realize the equal value and worth of every human being. A belief that you really do matter more while leading a life that reflects this belief (even if you don’t admit it to yourself).

Isn’t it so hard not to believe this and to make this belief rule your life? I mean, let’s face it! It’s you! I have to give away not only that fabulous fake fur coat I got on Ebay a few weeks ago but my cloak as well? Because you—coatless person—matter just as much as I? What, do you want my sweater too? OK, but you can’t have the mohair one!

Who could do this?

Aren’t these standards just a little bit high? Yes, they are. But what can you do? We can’t say they aren’t good standards and although we supposedly live in a world of slipping standards we probably don’t want God’s standards to slip all that much.

I’d say my greatest sin is sloth. I am the most slothful being who ever walked the face of the earth—except slothful people like me generally drive. And all my vices sort of run together—the sloth makes me lustful, gluttonous, prideful, greedy, envy and angry.

I’m just too lazy to fight my impulses, in other words.

So does this mean we’re all going to hell? I’m working on an excuse for myself and for us all—a get out of hell excuse. But man, it’s hard. God is omniscient, don’t forget. The success of most excuses depends on the ignorance of those to whom they are offered.

(Well, hard in one way, but easy in another. It’s easy—since it’s easy to see that I didn’t totally plan to end up this bad and there are lots of mitigating circumstances. Hard because I’m pretty sure that God won’t buy it. Like “I forgot!” That one is actually true. Most of the time I did forget to be good. I just imagine God will have a quick comeback to that one. Maybe he will say what everyone’s been saying to me lately: “Why didn’t you make a list?” I sure hope not. I really lose it when people say that and yelling at God will just get me in even more trouble.)

Are you going to hell?

How does one get to hell?

Are there a lot of new age people in hell?

Bill Clinton the second most evil person in the millenium? Bill beat Eichmann by a mile!

Is it possible to do evil to rid the world of evil? The answer is yes, by the way...


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