Satan needs help: Hell is redundant!

Monday, August 20, 2018

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Dear Editor,

Assuming that he even exists, if the television series Lucifer is anything to go by, Satan isn't really such a bad fellow after all. According to the series, Satan got tired of hell and his pitchfork and 'escaped' to Earth. Once here, he wasn't into much evil at all. In fact, he joined the police force and helped a lot of people — mainly by solving crimes.

Also, if the many women who he was been with in that series is anything to go by, Satan, or Lucifer, was hot — well, you know what I mean.

One of the main attractions of Christianity isn't really the loving nature of God, assuming that he even exists at all, or his son Jesus, if he is still alive somewhere, at all. For most Christians, it is not love that drives them to join the faith, but fear — the fear of a very hot after life in a very, very hot place called hell.

To convince people to become Christians, Christianity has a very big and flaming stick to win new converts — hell and its horned and pointy-tailed manager, Satan. Over the centuries, the Church has used the fear of Satan's hell to scare people into joining the faith — and I must say, a lot of people over these many years have rushed to Christianity to escape the otherwise hot afterlife.

Interestingly, in recent times, some interpretations of hell have downgraded the heat of hell. According to these interpretations, hell is not a place filled with fire at all, but simply the grave. Even though we are all going to end up there sooner or later, Christianity has it that if we obey Jesus — “the good Lord” — we won't have to stay there for long, you know, 'when the lights go out', as we will be whisked off to a land of eternal bliss, which I think is somewhere orbiting the Earth.

Some Christians even believe that, with good luck (or good servitude to Jesus), they can escape hell altogether, whether it's just a reserved spot in the ground or a hot place deep below it.

Of course, I would suppose that all organised religions have served their roles, perhaps some better than others, in shaping the evolution of human morality over these many centuries, so I am not knocking Christianity too hard — even though I am an atheist. Surely, some may argue, the fear of Satan poking you with a hot pitchfork forever may get you to be a good person and do good — whatever “good” is. This, in turn, has made many of our societies, including most Western ones, into what they are today. So, hell, or the fear of it, did serve a role.

However, times have changed. We live in modern times now, and if we as humans still haven't learnt from our past, then it is really hard to see when we ever will. Christianity, sooner or later, will have to realise that hell doesn't really scare that many people these days. As such, it needs to start emphasising more the “love of Jesus or, better yet, the “live and let live” doctrine, than the fear of hell to win converts, if it wants to survive for long.

These days, I get the feeling that most people don't really fear Satan and his hell too much, and they don't consider those good enough reasons to become Christian. For some, these days are so hot and their lives are so difficult, hell would indeed be a relief.

So, away with the devil! Many no longer consider him a threat worthy of any serious thought. In the eyes of many he and his hell have long been redundant.

Michael A Dingwall

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