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Why a papal comment about hell triggered a misunderstanding

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ashbird

Dear sanmartinian,
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Good to read you, a Catholic person with a human touch, with whom an unbeliever can have a conversation without sooner or later its degenerating into a fight where one must die for the other to live, and the person who dies must not be the Catholic. On the theory that if you are a Catholic, you are ALWAYS right, about EVERYTHING, including things you don’t know anything about. And btw, great you return to post after TE shut down for a few weeks.
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Here are some fun Catholic jokes for your eyes only, with a small Martini, shaken, not stirred. Nothing vicious. Some very silly indeed, but the humor evokes a laugh; may even teach a lesson or two.
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Drawing a long face and regurgitating from the holy book is not my personal idea of being Holier than not only everyone, but “God” Him/Herself.
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The originator of the jokes is Catholic (without his permission, I shouldn’t disclose his name. The person lives somewhere in Virginia, USA. He is a teaching fellow and doctoral student studying Church History at Catholic University of America. He earned his M.A. from Holy Apostles College & Seminary. Is married. Has a daughter. He loves a good brew, plays the guitar. As far as anyone knows, does not HATE gays, and does not introduce himself as “Hey! My name is Christian. I am here to save your soul. You are bad, bad, bad”.
....

Here they go -
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–How do you make holy water?
Boil the hell out of it.
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–What do you call a sleepwalking nun?
A “roamin'” Catholic.
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–Jesus was standing over the woman caught in adultery and challenged the crowd that “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.” Suddenly, a rock hits the back of his head. Jesus turns and exclaims, “Mom!”
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–What do you call a priest in charge of the school play?
The spiritual director.
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–A Jesuit, a Dominican, and a Franciscan were walking along an old road, debating the greatness of their respective orders. Suddenly, an apparition of the Holy Family appeared in front of them, with Jesus in a manger and Mary and Joseph praying over him. The Franciscan fell on his face, overcome with awe at the sight of God born in such poverty. The Dominican fell to his knees, adoring the beautiful reflection of the Trinity and the Holy Family. The Jesuit walked up to Joseph, put his arm around his shoulder, and said, “So, have you thought about where to send him to school?”
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—A priest, a minister and a rabbi are discussing when life begins. The priests says, “It begins at conception”. The minister says, “Life begins at 24 weeks gestation”. The rabbi says, “You are both wrong, Life begins when the kids move out of the house and the dog dies.”
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–Man: What is a million years like to you?
God: Like one second.
Man: What is a million dollars like to you?
God: Like one penny.
Man: Can I have a penny?
God: Just a second.
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–What do you call a Catholic service that is very very important?
A Critical Mass.
 
–A priest was driving and gets stopped for speeding.
The state trooper smells alcohol on the priest’s breath and then sees an empty wine bottle on the floor of the car.
He says, “Father, have you been drinking?”
“Just water,” says the priest, fingers crossed.
The trooper says, “Then why do I smell wine?” The priest looks at the bottle and says, “Praise be to God! He’s done it again!”
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sanmartinian in reply to ashbird

Dear ashbird,
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Thank you for your as always delightful and kind reply.
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I'm in the process of moving definitely from the big, now very fashionable city to the fishing village where even cats and dogs come to greet me. So, I'm a bit short of time and will reply at leisure as soon as I can.
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I also have to recover from the fits of laughter caused by your jokes
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PS I'm not getting any better at typing. But even God in all His Kindness had raised his eyebrows when I wrote "priers " for "prayers", and the Pope will excommunicate my spell corrector. The Question is: where to if Hell no longer exists?

sanmartinian

The Catholic Church has now abandoned the Papal infallibility Dogma.
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If there's no Hell where can we find the Economist Editor who's decided not to have Readers' Comments except in Blogs?
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(Apologies to sincere fellow Catholics for this religious joke. You should hear those offered by Catholic priests in my homeland. They even claim God listens better to our national priers just on the off chance to hear one of their jokes.)

guest-ojeliiw

If you're a US-Christian reading this, you might find this interesting:
The whole idea of "Messiah" was copied by the Jewish tribes from their Zoroastrian overlords (because winning gods are sexy).
When the Persians went from Zoroastrian to Islam, they kept the idea of the "Messiah" which is now one of the major differences between the Sunites and the Shiites. The Shia still knows the "Mahdi" that will reveal himself, when etc. etc..
Therefore: The concept of there being a "Messiah" is, tadaa, Iranian.

BaronessC

More interesting would be if he would explain if there are differences between the protestant and catholic hell. There was one time in my (close and afar) relatives mingle on which one thought the other was going to their hell. The atheists were/are not really worried.

LexHumana

I think the writings of any journalist who keeps no notes or recordings (especially at an advanced age) should be taken with a grain of salt, especially one known to be a deliberate provocateur in regards to theology.
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That said, there has been a long and lively theological debate on the nature of Hell spanning centuries, and I am certain that debate will continue for several centuries more. It gets even more complicated when you contemplate that Catholics believe in a bodily resurrection at the final judgment. Prior to then, at death, the corporal body and the immortal soul clearly separate, and while the body may go into the ground, presumably the soul goes to some sort of non-physical afterlife (whether that be Heaven, Hell or Purgatory is something I will leave up to God, rather than speculate myself). Thus, it is probably correct to question whether Heaven or Hell are physical realities (at least in the sense that our current world is a physical reality) rather than a spiritual or metaphysical reality. However, upon the day of the last judgment, presumably with a physical resurrection, everyone will need an actual physical place to go -- thus, Heaven and Hell might be metaphysical at the moment, but will become physical realities to us at some point.
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These kind of speculations were always fun as a philosophy undergrad -- I miss those days, when I actually had the free time and lack of responsibilities that would allow me the opportunity to drink a glass of wine and let imagination run wild.

blue asgard

C. S. Lewis, Oxford academic and lay theologian, proposed in his book The Great Divorce (1945) a modern view of Hell, here updated.
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The initial scene is of an endless plain of suburbia where everyone lived in endless terraces with the psychopathic neighbour from Hell on either side.
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And it rains, the freezing kind that gets down the back of your neck and soaks you where you can’t reach. No snow, just rain – and mud – and cold. And wall-to-wall cloud. There’s always a railway line nearby, and an airport close enough that you see huge airliners roaring barely overhead 24/7. Lots of trains, and lots of noise for a long time as each train passes also 24/7.
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In each of these houses lives a man, a woman, their 2.3 children and a narky little dog who bites everyone, when it isn’t being sick all over the place, or bringing its fleas in with it. The man will be a drunk who beats his wife who takes her revenge by poisoning his food. Alternatively the wife will be a hectoring bitch who has emasculated her husband long ago, yet he tries to take his revenge with the overblown floozie round the corner. She in her turn sends poison-pen letters to her faux-lover’s wife, and derives nothing but discomfort from her huddled attempts at sexual relief, while husband - or faux-lover - faces embarrassing impotence.
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The roof leaks, the plumbing ditto, none of the mod. cons work properly. The repairmen are all crooks and cowboys. The garden is an ecological disaster, full of carnivorous weeds and stinging insects. The kids are always screaming, the dog hates going out in the wet yet there is this twice-daily ritual of the master of the house taking the dog of the house for a walk they both detest. There are frequent, unpredictable power-cuts - and loads of industrial and domestic pollution, sewage in the streets, backing up into houses, rubbish discarded everywhere. Rotting smells abound, some domestic, some industrial, many personal, all disgusting, always changing.
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You can sometimes enrol on a one-day bus tour of heaven which is part of the torment because, however delightful C.S. Lewis’ version of heaven was, his version of Hell awaited everyone on the bus afterwards. In Lewis’ version, people who finally chose to embrace Christian faith wholeheartedly are ultimately allowed to get off the bus and stay there. Few ever do as the final defeat of not-yet abandoned hope has to be experienced first.
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The key point about the traditional view of Hell is that absolute feeling of helpless hopelessness about it. And this applied to Lewis’ Hell as well. You couldn’t derive pleasure from anything at all - and you could never escape it outside those severely restricted day trips. Everything would be tainted. Your bank would be endlessly threatening foreclosure and ignoring your entreaties. Your partner would snore in bed and keep you awake, that is when the endless night-time burglar and car alarms otherwise relented enough to make sleep an option. The alarm-clock would wake you up long before you were ready for it.
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Everybody would be bad-tempered and shout at one another, but somehow never manage to get in those oh-so-satisfying rejoinders. Outside, there would be a perpetual smoggy traffic jam and the pavements would be impassable because they were so filthy, muddy or waterlogged. Or beset with road-drills whose grating machine-gun noises endlessly filled the air. You could never get to the shops - the car wouldn’t work - but somehow there would always be food, never enough, but always plenty of whatever you disliked the most. And what you managed to eat or drink tasted ‘off’, or just evil, and would fester inside you, giving you gut-pains, gurgles and gas escaping loudly from both ends and adding exquisitely to the mix of the bad breath and stale smells you could never mange to get used to, because they were always changing, always for the worse. Booze for the drunks would taste like drain cleaner and burn all the way down, yet it was booze, they had to have it, ahead of turning into useless, embarrassing, or evil idiots, and later still, truly depressing, road-drill-grade hangovers. No pleasures, not even momentary ones.
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The TV, when it works at all, just shows endless grainy black-and-white repetitions of the Queen’s 1953 coronation. The radio, similarly, endlessly broadcasts Mein Kampf as its Book at bedtime, breakfast, lunch and tea, narrated in the original German by someone with a rough, guttural, Austrian, accent. The phone would ring frequently, always at the most awkward moment, with trouble of one kind or another at the other end including deafening crackles, confidence tricksters, robot telemarketeers, snake-oil salesmen. The dog always eats the post, but never the bills.
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One can get used to anything, but things always changed, and change was always for the worse. And no hope of ever getting out of it, unless….

llora in reply to blue asgard

The apostle st. Peter in one of his letters wrote that "we don't even have a foggy idea of what heaven is gonna be like", I think the same applies to hell. Besides we are not even able to explain what the sun is yet we see it daily. The important thing is stick to good acts always. It seems to be the ticket to heaven and avoid bad acts which are the corresponding ticket to hell. Besides, one enjoys one's stay here better carrying-out good acts than bad ones. Either way everyone is gonna die and no one knows for sure what after death is gonna be like. True, Jesus made promises but promises are not laboratory facts nor has any of us met Jesus in person. We only have testimonies and even the authors of these testimonies we did not meet personally but only writings attributed to them, lol. So there's a lot of walking on top of cotton here. But what would one do if one is escaping for good to a city one knows very little about? One listens to every dick and harry that has something to say about the city and apply one's reason. But what one does not do is to travel in utter ignorance.

blue asgard in reply to llora

You are taking this April 1st business too seriously, I think. Either that or you don't understand that you won't learn anything about Yeshua the Charismatic Healer from the writings of people who believed what someone chose to reinterpret his teachings taught them. All of the document in the new Testament were written by followers of Paulus. 'Acts' even describes how much the real followers of Yeshua (Shimon Petros, ha Migdal, Chaim etc.) hated the way Paulus twisted their beliefs, to the extent of ambushing him on his last visit to Jerusalem and precipitating his arrest and departure to Rome.
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Of course pushing the Pauline version as genuine is the ultimate April Fool's joke. But he did get his way by making Christianity into an empathy bomb which blew up the fascists Roman empire, as described in Gibbon's 'Decline and Fall..' It was 'mission accomplished' back in 1452 so why is the joke still circulating unchallenged?

nfinityman

Separation from God for eternity is certainly the worst aspect of Hell, but it is not all that occurs. Its not surprising to many Christians that the Pope would openly contradict what is actually written in the Bible, particularly the New Testament. This Pope has issues and seems bent on moving Catholicism even further from its roots than his predecessors.

Some prefer to "interpret" what gets said as metaphor, but it is clear that the writers were referring to both a state of being (or non-being) as well as a place.

Matthew 10:28
Matthew 13:42
Matthew 13:50
Matthew 16:19
Matthew 25:41
Matthew 25:46
Mark 9:43
Acts 2:27
2 Thessalonians 1:9
Jude 1:7
2 Peter 2:4
Revelation 19:20
Revelation 20:13-14
Revelation 21:8

Psalm 9:17
Proverbs 15:24
Proverbs 23:14
Proverbs 15:11
Ezekiel 18:20

Rulus in reply to nfinityman

most of the references can be read as hell being the death of the soul. And there are many references that definitely imply that at the end there will be no more suffering and even death will be destroyed (look at my post below). Very eloquent is St. Therese of Avila vision of hell . "But even this was nothing in comparison to the agony of the soul. It was an oppression, an anguish, a sadness so profound, such a vivid and desperate pain that I do not know how to express myself. To say that they suffer continual agonies of death is inadequate, because at least in death it seems that the life is ripped from others, whereas here it is the same soul who makes himself into pieces.
Sounds better in Spanish !
Esto no es, pues, nada en comparación del agonizar del alma: un apretamiento, un ahogamiento, una aflicción tan sentible y con tan desesperado y afligido descontento, que yo no sé cómo lo encarecer. Porque decir que es un estarse siempre arrancando el alma, es poco, porque aun parece que otro os acaba la vida; mas aquí el alma misma es la que se despedaza.

llora in reply to nfinityman

Lol! Do not worry. This pope is a sound guy and if he is not, his love for his fellow men would make up for his deficiencies as a pope. Besides it was a private conversation that was not meant to be made public. The pope's personal opinions are not the same as the time-tested dogmas and doctrines of the RCC. In addition, stopping to exists is worse than hell, at least in hell you might still habour some hope that some day God may just force you out of there, lol, but in non-existence, the you, your memories, your consciousness ends, just as before you became conscious of yourself.

Sabertooth

As a Christian, I have always found it difficult to reconcile the concepts of « forgiveness » and of Hell.

Both are central tenets of Christianity.

But why go to Hell once forgiveness has been obtained ?

Christ had bestowed forgiveness upon his torturers and killers. Did they end up in Hell ? If they did, they weren’t really forgiven, were they ?

Maybe « forgiveness » is merely virtue-signaling on the part of the forgivee.

Worse, blanket « forgiveness » is cowardly. Would you forgive the murderer of your child ? I hope not.

So here’s my take on the subject: « forgiveness » for the minor stuff; Hell for the major sins. Let’s hope St-Peter knows where to draw the line or I’ll be stuck in Hell with some of you forever ; ).

LexHumana in reply to Sabertooth

Forgiveness is only one half of the equation. The person being forgiven must be willing to be reconciled, and if they are not, then they are deliberately segregating themselves from redemption. God may open the door (i.e. forgiveness), but the sinner must be willing to enter (i.e. reconciliation). If they choose not to do so, they are effectively choosing self-exile (i.e. Hell).

BaronessC in reply to Sabertooth

Forgiveness isn't just virtue. It is also self preservation. It allows you to put a hurtful event behind you. You don't even need to truly feel it. Just the attempt to utter or think of forgiveness allows you to say that: you have no control over that situation; you also have made mistakes; tomorrow is another day, a renewed start. And in many ways is important to remember forgiveness does not mean forget the lesson learned.

On your blanket forgiveness what if questions: Would you ever forgive Hitler? I sure would not

LexHumana in reply to john4law

I think you may be conflating God's forgiveness with the forgiveness offered by humans to one another. God's forgiveness is an exercise of spiritual attonement, and requires a two-way street (forgiveness and reconciliation). On the flip side, human beings can engage in a one-way version of forgiveness -- it does not require the other person to repent or even accept your act of forgiveness. It is not an act of "playing God", because a human being's act of forgiveness does not absolve the other person from their transgression (only God can do that). Instead, forgiveness is best understood as an act between you and God, rather than between you and another human being -- you are telling God that you are willing to let go of any pain, resentment, vengeance, or retribution, in order to become closer to God and voluntarily relinquish burdens that might separate you from God. In this sense, it is never an empty gesture -- the transgressor may view it as an empty gesture (because they are not repentant), but between you and God it is spiritually a most fruitful gesture.

john4law

How many people, EVEN in the Catholic Believer Community, care about "Hell"?? Islam appears the only significant Religious Culture that takes the Doctrine of Hell seriously and USES this doctrine to DEGRADE Peace on Earth as opposed to the Ultimate Dominance of Islam Worldwide. A good way to lessen the Hellish Conditions on Earth is to STOP thinking HELL serves ANY useful purpose in this World or any other.

llora in reply to john4law

You need to interview the catholic believer community to find out the number. Though radical Islam is one of the causes of unrest in the world, but they do not surpass natural disasters, wall street provoked financial crises, the arms industry, the porn industry, US foreign policy, Chinese foreign policy, African corrupt governments, environmental pollutions, micro-organisms, accidents, wild animals, and the wide-spread individualism where the other is a stepping stone for me to get access to more goodies. Does the prison system serve any purpose as a deterrent to bad acts? There you've got your answer Mr Lawyer.

john4law in reply to llora

I may be wrong, but I submit you can state your points quite effectively WITHOUT being NASTY and DEMEANING. The fact I am an "Attorney" [not disclosed] means NOTHING and adds only SARCASM to your "comment". I suggest you behave better in your commenting practices OR take your (SELF) demeaning SARCASM and ad hominen style ELSEWHERE.

ashbird

Thank you, @blue asgard, for your post. Infinitely mind-teasing. Always fun to read your posts - something to learn from.
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"Given mental states are themselves energy patches it is possible that, due to a phenomenon called stochastic resonance, alternative realities driven by common belief systems could form ('morphic resonance'). One such is a belief in Hell.” quote from your text, which cites QM.
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In the Mental Health field - generally known as Psychiatry, but specifically in the context of the idea I outline here, it is post-modern psychiatry where the knowledge made available by another field known as Neuroscience (a subfield in Medicine, approximately time of development is since the 1970's) about the human brain in using the tools of CT, MRI, fMRI and PET in intense controlled studies of diseased brains (such as Dementia, inclusive of all subtypes such as Alzheimer, Vascular, traumatic brain injury, substance-induced neurocognitive deficits, etc. ) do reveal one thing about 2 types of reality - Consensus Reality and Non-Consensus Reality. <--- If you put in one room 100 subject (Room A)all in the throes of a major psychotic breakdown* (*definition of "psychotic breakdown”, with differing pathoetiogenesis, is found in a body of literature at least a few thousand pgs long, thus I shall not attempt a one-line "synopsis here", suffice to say definition is located in the anatomy and function of each area in the brain, plus psychopharmacology), you might find a consensus reality rather different from another room of 100 subjects who are free from a psychotic process (Room B). Multiply Room A by N where N is a positive integer, and control Room B at a constant of 100. Result is likely to show the reality experienced and asserted by Room A outnumbers the reality experienced and asserted by Room B. If consensus reality rules the day, Room A rules. A real life example was Jones Town (many years ago, google the year), or any kind of CULT where members were not allowed to have social intercourse (let alone any other kinds) with outsiders, thus the in-group consensus reality is guaranteed intactness for as long as the CULT can maintain the WALL (visible or invisible, physical or mental) that excludes ALL external stimuli.
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llora in reply to ashbird

Lol! So all the millions worldwide who have believed and still believe in hell were or are all in throes of a major psychotic breakdown? Or they formed or form part of a cult maintaining a wall that excludes all external stimuli including this comment of yours? Just further down the page you wrote something nice about respecting the others irrespective of their beliefs now you brand hell believers - pyschotics, cultists, and walled-up. Or am I the one who is misunderstanding your comment?

Rulus

We are here in the realm of faith in general, and catholic faith in particular. The destruction of the soul due to a personal decision does make sense. It would not be a contradiction the idea that God knowingly would condemn myself and still create me to live and everlasting punishment. It would be perfect love and justice; God creates us (again we are on the realm of those who believe) in His own image, free to accept His love or to turn Him away. Those we turn their backs on Him are denied of God´s Providence and their souls are, sadly to God, just extinguished. In 1 Corinthians we can see "For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death" And in Revelation we can find " He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the former things have passed away."

Kremilek2

I guess that a vast majority of Catholic believers would never believe that the hell doesn't exist. Moreover, it must be preserved as a mighty threat for all sinners. I think that the current matter is indeed a misunderstanding.

llora in reply to Kremilek2

Perhaps, it could serve as an inhibitor to bad acts, but those who live without worrying much about good or bad acts will tell you that a bad act in itself destroys happiness irrespective of whether there is hell or not. Was Hitler happy? Are serial killers a happy lot? All those guys who have opened fire on innocents are they happy? Are terrorists happy? Are rapists happy? Are porn or drug addicts happy? Are divorcees happy? Are abortists, homicidists happy? etc the list can go on. The human being is a creature whose happiness is tied to good acts and when it does bad acts it is because it is looking for a good and not the bad act in itself. Beside, in my own opinion, I think if I had to choose between the catholic version of hell and non-existence, I'll choose hell. At least in hell, there is a kind of hope that perhaps after 1 million years or however time is counted God would pity me, but the end of existence, of memory, of my consciousness, yes that is really scary at least for me.

blue asgard

Apologies to all, edits still not working.
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'defined by a single wave-functions and its patches' should read 'defined by a single wave-function'. And

'Peas' should be 'Please'.

When are the 'report', 'edit' and 'reply' buttons going to be fixed the way they were? Maybe they are - in another reality, but it isn't in ours.

blue asgard

Perhaps we can bring some science to bear on the whole issue of the nature of Hell. The place to start is with Schrödinger's cat. You will recall the thought-experiment in which a sleeping cat is placed in a box with an apparatus which will silently kill the cat after a random amount of time which has a probability of 1/2 of happening after a fixed time t. (Radioactive substances behave like this). We open the box after time t to discover whether the cat is alive or dead. But what is cat's condition immediately before the box is opened? In the now commonly accepted 'many worlds' hypothesis, reality forks so that in one reality the cat is alive, and the other it is dead.

We now bring energy conditions to bear. If the Universe forks as the consequence of a quantum mechanical event, e.g the cat's death is determined by the decay of a radioactive particle, then the entire mass of the universe would seem to need to be duplicated. This seems an absurd condition so, as is invariably done for quantum mechanical calculation the principle of locality is invoked. Only those aspects of the universe which involve the cat (and the radioactive particle) directly need be considered. Thus the universe may be considered to be defined by a single wave-function (the way everything is described in QM) which is locally 'patched' by either the function which gives us a living cat or the one for a dead cat. Thus the universe might be considered to be defined buy a single wave-function which is locally altered for every quantum mechanical event by at least one patch. The wave-function might be reconstructed for each fork but only the matter deltas need to be distinct, i.e. not quite duplicated.

This doesn't lead to a colossal number of wave-functions because of the principle of equivalence. If two wave-functions are equivalent under Heisenberg's uncertainty principle after patching, as applied component-by-component, then they are the same, not distinct. We inhabit a single reality (defined by a single wave-functions and its patches) among a blizzard of alternatives with, mostly, very short lives because the get equivalenced away. With equivalence the vast majority of these alternative realities coalesce within the established uncertainty boundaries. but it doesn't follow that the core wave function (the one that gets patched) is unique. So we can have multiple realities, as many modern models of the Universe promote. Given mental states are themselves energy patches it is possible that, due to a phenomenon called stochastic resonance, alternative realities driven by common belief systems could form ('morphic resonance'). One such is a belief in Hell.

So long as enough people are in lock-step belief in the same Hell it is possible that Hell is indeed one of these realities. If you believe in it along with lots of others you could really get there when you die. And it will indeed be as your belief system requires of it - in fact it has to be so. Accordingly mucking around with one's ideas about Hell could cause the place to decohere with embarrassing consequences for the Devil and his minions, who, naturally, would have a position to take about this possibility. The importance of suppressing heresy by the most determined means possible now becomes clear. Those old medievalists were right.

So Heaven, Hell, God, the Devil, anything enough people can dream up can coexist with quantum mechanics and other hard physics. But no heresies, mind.

Peas note the date. Happy easter everyone.

llora in reply to blue asgard

Lol! Happy easter my dear! So if I believe that if I dive off from a high-rise with superman's hood I'll fly then it would be so for me, lol. Well, evidence shows that no one can fly with only superman's hood, l0l. The evidence for hell, heaven, purgatory etc is that approx 2000yrs ago, a guy who did all sorts of things that are contrary to the law of nature (e.g. making another guy who has been buried for 4 days to start performing all the function of living things) claimed that he is equal to the jewish God, he was killed and after 3 days he disappeared from the grave and was seen by about 500 persons with a superhuman body, and took-off from earth as a rocket to where no one was able to follow (then, they did not have SpaceX rockets), his followers where so thrilled that they kept talking about him till date, even the easter holidays is all about him. Currently he has 1billion people that identify as his followers and the most powerful nations on earth and the nations that have offered the most to the world are nations that have been inspired by his teaching for centuries and his only commandment is love God, love the others and do good to those who hate you. And if we all choose to live by this just imagine how sweet life's gonna be?

blue asgard in reply to llora

You really don't get it, do you?
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1, Remember the date of posting.
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2, if you dive off a high-rise with Superman's hood there is no guarantee you won't come crashing down unless a whole lot of people (millions) believe that you are superman, including you. By the time you try such a stunt presumably your own faith in same will have taken something of a dent already so you are unlikely to try.
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3, Remember the cat. Alive in one reality, dead in another. You might indeed come crashing down in one reality but in another, the one you survive in, you don't. The reality in which you don't survive you won't take any interest in anyway. The real point about the alternative reality is that it will pre-exist because the micro-realities, all those minute changes coming into existence every 10^-20 seconds or so will get equivalenced away to something soon after. If enough people believe in that alternative reality then you could transition between them on a wave of micro-realities. That will only happen if the core wave-functions are energetically similar enough to allow for a new 'pole' to develop for micro-realities to amortise themselves against. And could happen at any time, yesterday, last year, 30000 years ago. Doesn't matter, you might get there from here but the probability of your getting back here again to tell us about it is about 10^-32 over your remaining lifetime (<~10^6 seconds) i.e. not very likely.
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And in the end you can never find out which version is correct until you try. But remember 1. I really don't recommend putting it to the test. There are those who have done so, as we know. In our reality they are all dead. But in theirs? How much risk is a theory worth?

ashbird

Under the best of circumstance, it is hard enough to hold a serious intellectual and theological discussion on the existence of Heaven and Hell between a Believer and an UnBeliever, let alone to put in summation what was said in a few words.
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This would be true even had there been a tape recording of the words each person uttered. There is such a thing as context - not on tape.
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Perhaps the most instructive aspect of this particular interaction between Pope Francis and Mr Scalfari, Editor of La Repubblica, an anticlerical giant of Italian journalism, is the readily observable absence of animosity between the two men. Both, in fact, evince sincere affection for the other (they have had chats in the past on theological Q’s; this is by no means the first time), even though they know the respective beliefs they hold in matters having to do with life after death, indeed, the existence of an “afterlife” itself, are diametrically opposed.
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Both know they would not be made to face reprimand, ridicule, insult from the other for holding a belief inimical to the other’s. Neither thought it was necessary to kill the other to establish they are right, not wrong, or that the side each represents needs to be vanquished in order for the other to live. I think this, from the point of view of PEACE on earth in THIS life, which we all would agree does exist, is as good as it gets.