Explain Hell and Eternal Damnation And also Are there any untrue beliefs regarding God, Heaven & Hell?
On 12th June 2008, YouTube user Ozone1979 from the U.S.A. posted:
Question for you, explain hell and eternal damnation.
& Later the same day also posted:
Are there any untrue beliefs regarding God, heaven, and hell?
Hell and Eternal Damnation are fantasies that in the past were promoted by the likes of Roman Emperors and Catholic Popes, in order to Control people and/or extract their wealth from them. First you get people to believe in it, then you convince people that you have authority in the knowledge of the determination and means by which people become condemned to this supposed Eternal Damnation. If you tell people that they goto Hell for not doing what you want them to do and for doing what you don't want them to do; in this way you can get people to behave and do whatever it is that you want, i.e. make them good behaving Roman citizens or Catholics, make them pay their taxes and collect indulgences(payments for forgiveness of sins) from them. This is control through instilling fear. It worked a treat and still does.
Include the idea, of an eternal paradise to be obtained after death, then to the 'stick' of Hell you have added the 'carrot' of Heaven. A truly effective and efficient instrument for the dominion and enslavement of large masses of gullible people.
Concerning any untrue beliefs regarding God, Heaven and Hell? I suppose this would include most of the doctrines and beliefs of the main stream religions and also the more fringe sects and cults. But what then are you left with? Well the truth.
When we study religion in depth then we find a set of core esoteric beliefs that are common to most of the World's religions. Also certain metaphysical assertions about the nature of God that recur again and again. i.e. That God is One and indivisible, that God is within us, that somehow we're all images or reflections, even if imperfect, of God's nature. I believe that what these commonly recurring themes are alluding to is the mystical notion that a person's real identity is ultimately God. And that this is where the truth of religion lies. Also it's a truth which can proven through the experience of a person becoming 'One with God' and realizing his or her true identity.
There exists the idea of 'God in the gaps', which means God is in the gaps in our understanding and knowledge of the Universe that science hasn't yet been able to explain. Generally this notion is used by Atheistic Secular Humanist types in order to deride religion and spiritual belief. It is usually seen as the triumph of Scientific Rationalism over irrational Religious belief. I am actually a believer in the Scientific Method and also believe that Religious Faith and Rational Understanding should go hand in hand. So when religious doctrines or beliefs come into conflict with scientific understanding or archeological evidence then we need to look at things critically. And if religious ideas don't stand the test then should be abandoned. This is a process which started in earnest during the Enlightenment period and continues to this day. Over the centuries it has caused many people to reject long held religious beliefs and even abandon religion altogether. It is this process which seems to have forced God into the gaps that haven't been reduced to the Godless assumptions and theories of the predominantly Atheistic Scientific Community.
However, there is one gap that has become a major stumbling block for the Atheistic Materialist Scientists and Philosophers. A puzzle that they cannot solve and a phenomenon that will not lend itself to being accomodated into the current scientific scheme of things. This phenomenon is Consciousness, and no matter how hard they try, the Materialistic Scientists and Philosophers of the age, can neither explain it or reduce it into the physical substrate of the brain.
But I believe, that this is where Science meets God. For Consciousness is truly the Christ within, the Krishna within, the Buddha within, Allah closer than you Jugular vein etc. God is immanent but God is also transcendent, which is exactly the same properties as consciousness. There's nothing more immanent or closer to you than your consciousness. And consciousness is also transcendent for it doesn't reduce to and is above and beyond physical matter. So what we're saying here is that the mystery of Consciousness and the Mystery of God are one and the Same. Yes, God is in the Gap, the most important Gap there is in our understanding of ourselves and the Universe.
Going back to what I said earlier about the core esoteric truths about God behind all World Religion where the truth lies; this is really talking about consciousness, that is God. And it is at this juncture that Science dove tails and combines perfectly with spirituality. It is these core esoteric truths common to all the World's religions that will survive the inexorable advance of Scientific Rationalism and in turn will provide the catalyst for a total revision of the Scientific outlook. For it is the destiny of Science to become sacred, for the knowledge of the physical Universe, all along was the knowledge of God. It is the false Materialistic assumptions of the age which prevent people from starting to see this.
Returning to your question. In the spiritual revolution to come, most of the existing dogmas, doctrines and tacit assumptions of existing Religion will go out of the window, to be replaced with a new revelation that unifies Spirituality and Mysticism with Science and Philosophy.