Starting with why there's a need for hell, the concept: it's a place God sends bad people isn't exactly accurate because if you take Jesus' words on what would make you worthy to go to heaven
Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. - Romans 10:9-10
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. - John 3:36
All you have to do to be worthy of heaven is accept Jesus as the Son of God, basically bend the knee or perish. This has one very important implication, it's not the good deeds you do that makes you heaven worthy, it helps, it's considered more of a perk but a cold hearted killer who's a devout Christian technically could be heaven bound. If you have doubt on the killer part you should know that God had no issue killing, in fact take when he told Moses when he came down from the mountain to find some of the Israelites worshiping a gold bull to pick a side then kill the others, feed them molten gold. In fact God has directly caused more deaths in the bibl than the devil
Here's the problem, if you must believe in God and his Son to go to heaven then for starters only Christians would be worthy of going to heaven, second there's a couple of problems that crop up as a result:
- What of those who lived before Jesus, same as those who've never heard of Christianity of the Judaic God their entire lives, legend has it according to biblical scholars like someone who missed taking an exam due to complications, on judgment day you'd be asked a simple question, whether you believe in God an Jesus [sic] funny because even an atheist in heaven would say yes... does it mean he/she wants to go to heaven, I'll save that for another article. Doesn't matter whether your good or not. You might argue that's not the case because of statements like a rich man would have an easier time going to heaven as a camel going through the eye of a needle, basically impossible. If that's the case starting from the pope a very rich man, all the bishops, priests, almost every preacher and most of us taking into consideration by the standards set at that time of rich most of us would be considered rich. If you think about it, the Jesus who promises a thief nailed next to him a place in heaven, he could just as well be a murderer he just came to him humbly and accepted him as the son of God and that's all he needed to hear. Point is, it would be better if you never heard of Jesus because like in a court of law you can argue for innocence because you knew nothing about this. Can you think of the irony of how many people have indirectly then been condemned to hell because they were told about Jesus and refused to accept this truth.
- It's not the just that goes to heaven, case and point the New Testament talks about a story of the good Samaritan, a Samaritan was a non-Jew who wasn't liked by the Jews, a Jew who was hurt was ignored by some other Jews including a rabbi if I remember correctly but then a non-jew, the Samaritan was the one who helped him. This kind man if he kept to a different faith and as a result doesn't believe in this God or his Son would be damned to hell. That means there's a lot of good people damned to hell because they failed to bend the knee, if that is just then God is more of a dictator than an impartial judgemental being.
- Those who could never get a chance to make this choice, children who died too early, the mentally disabled would need a free pass, especially those mentally disabled. The Catholic Church has a special clause for the kids, not rooted in scripture that if you anoint the dead child God will accept them to heaven.
- Christianity has split up so much that it's denominations in competition for the monetary gain of giving tithe have started to declare the other denominations are fake and as a result you stand a serious lower risk of going to heaven if you follow the others and not this one
One example if Pope Francis made a statement that atheists can go to heaven, the Vatican replied they can't, they'll go to hell.
One quote did stand out:
Vatican spokesman Rev. Thomas Rosica said people who know about the Catholic church “cannot be saved” if they “refuse to enter her or remain in her.”
This is an opinion that shows they believe we are the way, the only way in Christianity.
I'd argue that if a God existed given he knows and the Christian God did know we live in a world with multiple stories of gods, he would be more disappointed at the believer whichever faith they believed in who didn't pursue to do good to others or one way or another make the world a better place. Ignoring the fact the bible expects the world to be going to ruin and be practically unsalvageable due to sin as we head to the biblical Armageddon. The person who chooses not to pick a side when religions ask him to believe with nothing to offer as evidence because all the gods seemed to have ceased performing miracles or making a visit to earth. If he proves to be good, in our own terms a model, law abiding citizen I don't see why God would see a person who needs to burn for eternity.
So now assume you've been condemned to hell for whichever sins, all of you get the same sentence, the chronic masturbator, the child rapist and the serial killer. You all get the same sentence, an eternity in hell, this lacks one key feature; the punishment doesn't fit the crime. An equal punishment for all sins implies all sins are equal to God's eyes in which case why would a person who commits one sin be different from one who commits a lot, in context; how is a person who's killed millions the same as a person who's killed one, all are equal crimes to God's eyes, plus the guy who keep's using the Lord's name in vain, saying omg (Oh my God) on every single tweet and text just to show the care about something when they really feel meh about it.
The punishment is also insanely cruel, it has no intent to rehabilitate, teach you a lesson or end the suffering at some point, if you can imagine an enemy who fights you but goes into great care to injure you but make sure your not dead then takes all the injured and then tortures them. Not to extract some valuable information, not to scare off those who remain in the field, but because he can. He would still be more merciful than God because he can only torture you for so long, you have a finite life and the torture you endure likely will reduce your expected lifespan greatly.
The idea of being tortured for eternity then has no comparison; if you take into account phrases like there's a road to heaven and a highway to hell implying the capacity of travel on vs the other then a majority of people will go to hell. Ask yourself why this is the case, God is supposed to be the almighty, the creator, the one who predestined your life, the one who knows everything you will do before you were ever born and he also loves you, all of you, those he sends to heaven and hell. There's a really dark side to the intended idea of saying someone who loves you, greater than the sentiment of cares for you would torture you, as the bible implies we are like his children, a father who would torture his children, to be specific, burn some of his children and leave the others to leave is beyond a monster, it's better not to create a soul damned for hell. Contemplate the idea that hell has more occupancy than heaven, that he will burn the majority and in comparison if the idea of what Hitler did to the Jews makes your skin crawl, I'm curious how you feel about then the concept of hell. Not only are we talking about an insurmountable huge number of people in comparison, the period of torture is incomprehensible, where as the Jews likely only suffered for a few minutes, this is an eternity. In terms of gravity, this is orders of magnitude worse than Hitler, Stalin or any other monster humanity has created.
I used to believe the devil wanted as many people in hell, because misery loves company I assumed but think about it, what is hell to the devil, home? Not really, he was cast to hell by the very same being that will sentence you to hell, he plays no part in being the judge or jury on whether your hell or heaven bound. He would prefer to be out of hell if he wanted and in fact he's likely to be if you take the revelations seriously left to be burning with us for eternity or obliterated by God in that final battle. I not only find it funny to entertain the idea that God considers the devil a worthy adversary, a being he built, one who simply could never surpass his might, one who simply can't ever beat him because the bible like every story has good triumph over evil. Though I can argue there's nothing good about God, I'll save that argument for later.
Here's the thing, if you live in hell in constant agony you'll change, like a dog who used to be a good boy by every definition of the word, a dog who if your a dog person 10 seconds with it would melt your heart, if you left him with a sadistic people who tortures it eventually it would regress to an animalistic reaction to people like a wild wolf and it would scare you to come into contact with it. This is torture that happened over a short period of time. Consider the consequences of torturing a human soul for a 1000 years, compared to the likely lifespan they had, say 80 years the 1000 years will make the 80 years of relative peace interrupted with some traumatic event, it would make this period of time feel more like a distant dream than a reality. If you freed this person after this time, there's simply no hope of rehabilitation, the old person is dead, this person knows only pain, simply put a life even without pain would feel uneasy like your just experience the pause before while they refill the gas tanks.
If you were the one dealing justice to a person you deam deserves it, the torture won't heal your mental scars, in fact the more you torture him the more likely you'll look into the mirror and see less of the person who's dealing his own version of justice and more of another type of monster lurking within. You'd see in the person you've broken nothing more than something you eventually pity more in time and in you a monster the more you ignore the cries for sympathy and continously torture the person.
If God sees this as just, where there's no signs of Justice then he's another form of monster lurking as a good person, a wolf in sheep clothing and we see, some of us the savior sheep who is casually helping the flock by taking away some sick sheep to another place. If you do end up in heaven and have to spend an eternity worshipping a person who's likely sent a number of people you know, relatives, siblings, parents, kids, friends to hell. If you have to sings songs of glory while you hear the cries of people you knew day in day out, I wouldn't be suprised if some people sick of this would demand this ceases, put them out of their misery or send me to hell with them because I'll have no part to play in this, I wouldn't be suprised regardless if discontent brews and people wish he would die when they see the being that lurks behind the smiling mask the bible leads you to believe he is. Because it's either one of two things, the bible was written by people who wanted to manipulate people with fear of hell or God is the worst enemy of humanity, we just don't know it yet.
This is one thing I'll say, heaven can be nuked, angels can be killed and God whatever he is has to have a weakness, an impervious thing simply doesn't exist otherwise you have to accept that the fight between God and the devil is the same as a 3 year old trying to beat and adult, even if they bite you, it only hurts a little bit, nothing compared to a serious bite by an adult. You have to face the fact if you believe that an army will descend from the heavens to punish humanity simply because some of us do something that aren't pleasing in his eyes, expect people will fight back if not for the very least not all of us believe this would be the true God even if there's a God. Think I've covered all scenarios regarging how things would be like if hell exists and why you shouldn't entertain the idea as fair.