Interestingly, the modern conception of hell as "The Place of Punishment Where All the Evil People Go" is something that developed between about 500 A.D. and the Middle Ages.
If you look at the Old and New Testaments, the closest concepts to "hell" are the following, neither of which directly correspond to the modern version:
1.Hades or Sheol, the place where ALL people's spirits go when they pass into the non-physical. The spirit realm, not divided or differentiated according to moral "value" or "judgment."
2.Tartarus, a vast chamber under the earth (according to lore, beneath the desert of Dudael) in which the Fallen Angels were bound and imprisoned by the loyal angels, on order of God, after the war in Heaven.
This is speculation on my part, but I believe the modern conception of hell may have resulted from these two concepts being confused.
So if you stopped believing in this idea of Hell, you would just end up having a belief system closer to the original Christians or Jews. :)
we as humans seem to need
answered 08 Apr '13, 19:41
There would be no rewards or justice. So there would be no incentive towards honesty, compassion, or love. Greed, get what you can at whatever cost to anyone else, it's a jungle out there, only care about self preservation, these are what I can see of believing when you die you are gone, nonexistent.
On the plus side, more would see how valuable life is. It is so fragile and all people lives should be preserved with greater research towards cures for all life threatening diseases including aging and death itself. This would lead to value of human life but would kill altruism to replace it with honest compassion that includes the self.
I believe the second view would take time for humanity to wake to but would eventually overshadow the quick gains of the first.
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