The Invention of Heaven and Hell

Methinks Solomon had a touch of atheism

Ecclesiastes 9:2. All share a common destiny—the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not.

5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even their name is forgotten.

7 Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do. Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun.

10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

There is no difference
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Author: jimoeba

Alternatives to big box religions and dogmas

67 thoughts on “The Invention of Heaven and Hell”

  1. I actually do not remember those verses, Jim. Not surprising, it has been almost 60 years since I last read the bible. But they do not sound like the KJV, which was the only bible available when I was being brainwashed by my Sjunday school teachers. (Please note: Brainwashing failed miserably!)

    So, where do the terms heaven and hell enter the conversation. To be honest, I don’t remember either of those words even appearing in the KJV bible, not in their current appl8cations anway!

    But since these words are the words of men, and not those of a god, they mean nothing anyway. In my belief, as you know, there is lIfe after death, just not the kind of life we here on Earth think we know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Every notion of heaven, hell, or eternal life of any kind is vanity. That is a hard sell when building a religious control mechanism. We can live forever, pain free has many captivated and smacked of self importance.
      Man’s fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth? Eccl 3:19-21

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Hmmmm. Certainly I do believe all living things have the same origin and the same outcome. We come from life, and we die to life. It is only while we are separate (relatively speaking) that we feel separated. Life needs to learn, not svience, not religion, but about life, and it has no one to interact with in its own sphere of existence, so it uses our sphere, and others, to communicate with itself, and thus to learn. On its own, life can only live — but what is life without learning? Can we even imagine being alone for our whole lives, without anyone to communicate with, or anything to interact with? I can, and it gives a whole new meaning to the word loneliness!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Maybe Solomon means we’re all in the same boat- not one of us knows nor can attain to heaven and hell. I think Jesus talked about them via revelation. Like us he was empty of that knowledge yet open with his Father.

    Remember, many times OT guys bemoaned not knowing God on our level, as one of us- ‘Show yourself.’ So I think here Solomon’s saying, ‘Impossible.. vanity.’ And so why I believe Christ the game-changer.

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    1. @Arnold

      If the character Jesus of Nazareth was ostensibly Yahweh ( your god) how is it possible he was completely ignorant of Heaven and Hell?
      Furthermore , the bible claims he visited both places.
      And while we’re at it, why on earth do you give even an ounce of credibility to such utter ridiculous nonsense in the first place?

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I believe Jesus Christ: is fully man and fully God- God emptied, unplugged, whatever- to show relationship with God as was intended in the beginning. AND, via the cross brought us back to that relationship, per our consent. He makes 100% sense to me.

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        1. Well, I believe that if I eat enough sugar and pink food colouring and I spin around a few times I will be able to fart Candy Floss. But just because I believe it to be so does not make it so.
          Your gobbledygook theological drivel has no more basis in fact than me farting out Candy Floss.

          And your reply does not answer the question I asked and is simply an example of the apolgetic nonsense you have been indoctrinated with.

          So, how about showing just a little integrity and for once answer the question?
          Go on, have a go.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. You wrote AN answer but you didn’t answer my question.
              Come on,Arnold, even the Bible instructs you to make answer.
              Have a go…

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            2. 1.What were the emotional issues surrounding your belief you needed to confess your sins and seek salvation via the blood of the crucified Jesus of Nazareth.

              2 As most Trinitarian Christians consider Jesus to be Yahweh ( your god) made flesh, how do you reconcile your devotion to this god who, in his Old Testament manifestation, is a genocial meglomaniac?

              Liked by 3 people

            3. Lol- with the flu or with the Christ? Well I couldn’t move yesterday, will be home all rainy day today, and pending energy, will work on my firewood pile Saturday. And, I started on my answers to your questions.

              Liked by 1 person

            4. With the flu one takes a vaccine and / or anti -bs, for ‘Christ’ I’m sure one needs an exorcism?

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            5. More than emotional, I made a business-like decision. 10 years ago the final straw of my drinking days was driving into a lake blacked-out drunk. (Cue for baptism joke.) I’d tried God before to fix things my way (still do), but now it’s the personal Christ and his way.

              And more than confessing sins, I returned to God. Sin is independence from God and sins are the result. Sins still happen, and I (mostly) own them as I go, yet the focus is my relationship with him. I believe he speaks via the people, places and things he puts in my life.

              I absolutely don’t know how to reconcile my ‘devotion to a genocidal megalomaniac.’ That’s on him. I surely do believe he’s behind it all. I don’t know. Says in the contract- “Return to me and I’ll return to you,” so I stay returned to Christ because I DON’T know.

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            6. Okay, now we are getting somewhere.
              So, there was the initial cultural association/ link.
              Most of us in the West were exposed to Christianity at some level,even if only the Lord’s prayer and Sunday School
              as kids).
              Those who regard themselves born again invariably suffered some sort of breakdown that also caused varying degrees of damage to themselves and those around them. For some it’s drugs – I’ve encountered two blokes who, according to their own testimony, had serious issues with pornography, and then there is drink, or more likely alcoholism.

              The question arises; how does one account for all those people who surmounted such issues without abrogating responsibility to the Christian god,Yahweh/ Jesus of Nazareth?
              What about Hindus,Jews, Muslims?
              And of course all the non-believers?

              So you give your god a pass for being the most heinous murdering monster in the history of our species?
              Don’t you feel in the least bit ashamed of yourself for pinning your colours to this vile supernatural Canaanite deity but also for ditching critical thinking for a first inventory human sacrifice?

              Liked by 1 person

            7. Being dead to God is a biblical theme from Genesis 2.17 onward. Ecclesiastes’ view is from “under the sun,” without God. Solomon’s using ‘tongue-in-cheek sarcasm’ (bible.org). I think he may have been at least a bit nutty, overloaded with human wisdom, without God. An antitype of godly wisdom, Jesus Christ.

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            8. Sin is defined as “an act regarded by theologians as a transgression of God’s will.” (My emphasis.)

              Considering this definition, it would seem you are relying on the word of other humans to determine that you have “sinned.” Even if you reference the “Good Book,” it was written and produced by humans.

              Since no believer has been able to provide undeniable evidence that your god –or any god– exists, how can you “sin”??? You have been greatly misled.

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            9. Hi Nan, we’re having a lovely all-day rain. I love rain in the fall, it’s good for the ground and air and trees and everyone. Except my sister- they lost their power.

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            10. @Arnold
              Still wondering why you ditched critical thinking in favour of supernturalism, and also why you do not feel ashamed by your worship of the genocidal Canaanite deity Yahweh/ Jesus of Nazareth?

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            11. Critical thinking keeps an open mind, doesn’t dismiss what it can’t see or hear.
              I feel no shame because it’s all on him, he took responsibility. “It is finished.”

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    1. This according to the wisest of all the biblical prophets, dead is dead. I suppose this doesn’t set well with the inflated egos of todays believers.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. 1) Yet another great Bible study, Jim–simply allowing the book to speak for itself.
      2) Thanks for adding another arrow to my quiver of bible knowledge when confronted by a “true believer” in the “word of “god”.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Nice to see you sir. Funny thing is Jehovah’s Witness use this to prove the very point—but go on to extrapolate how this is only temporary and believing will eventually bring you back to life. But once your dead you’ll never even know that!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Very.

        And isn’t it interesting that so many of today’s believers try to undercut the Book of Ecclesiastes and consider it irrelevant? In actuality, it’s holds more truth than all the other books combined!

        Liked by 3 people

  3. You have rightly the afterlife of the OT. People did not go to Heaven. People did not go to Hell. They went to Sheol. People dying and going to Heaven/Hell is an invention of the NT, so Jesus, the God of Love can be considered the inventor of Hell for Christians. (Of course the concept was borrowed, but it was implemented on His watch, so he gets the tag.)

    Liked by 7 people

  4. I remember reading this back in the day as a Christian and being a little confused. It really undercuts much of the Christians belief on heaven and hell. As someone who isn’t convinced of an afterlife now, I’d say this book makes a lot more sense than the rest of the Bible. As others have mentioned, hell as we know it didn’t come about until the NT.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. What gets me is all of those puffed up believers, having visions of soaring on cumulus clouds, looking down on all those bad people in hell, writhing in pain and torture, as they enjoy every moment of it.

    Says a lot about why I gave up on trying to believe… Once you get a glimpse into the minds of these people, you see it as one hell of an ugly place. You want hell? There it is.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. I remember living that life, never knowing if I chose correctly but going all in with a ridiculous line of compromises and mental wrangling.
          Here we have Solomon, the wisest of all the prophets talking it like a boss and it is readily dismissed out of desperation.

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          1. That’s because it made too much sense, and did not fit well with the scheme to make $$ and garner followers for the religious armies. Got to ditch that!

            Funny how there is so much in that thar magic book that falls into the category of “we don’t have to listen to that,” because, insert reason here _________

            Conversely, it is also strange that there are madates they must follow that aren’t even in the book.

            And… funny how they tend to pick and choose the parts they like.

            Almost like it was all made up in the first place!

            Liked by 2 people

    1. One of the greatest distractions is religions asking who am I, why am I here, and where am I going and then proceed to answer the questions for you.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m a great one for straightforward and no nonsense, so you don’t need to compose a treatise on my behalf. As the detective once said: “Just the facts( Ma’am), just the facts.”

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  7. “Critical thinking keeps an open mind,…”

    Do you accept evidence that demonstrates unequivocally when a firmly held ( lifelong?) belief turns out to be wrong? In context, for example: something such as,the human genome project finally dispelling any notion of veracity regarding Adam and Eve?
    Noah’s global flood, or even Jonah and the Whale?

    ” ….what it can’t see or hear.”
    You consider there is veracity to accounts of ghosts.poltergeist, or UFOs, and alien abductions?

    “I feel no shame…”
    “It is finished”
    The claim that the character Jesus of Nazareth uttered these words was for the sins of humans.
    The shame I was specifically referring to was your worship of this monster for the atrocities he(Yahweh/Jesus of Nazareth) committed. Why are you not ashamed for worshipping a genocidal monster who lay waste to the entire human race and who sanctioned and codified slavery?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Why are you equivocating and not directly addressing
    the comment?
    Will/Do you accept evidence that refutes a previously held belief?

    “…I’m going with Christ”
    Jesus is simply Yahweh in the flesh. Are you truly telling me you feel no shame for worshipping such a vile, genocidal monster?
    What would you think of someone who hand- waved away the Holocaust

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Ark. With addiction we find a common psychology with religion and trying to solve, or understand the complexities of our behavior/existence. Resignation—giving up trying, Jesus take the wheel, is the key that affirms contentment, whether it be Christian, Buddhism, Alcoholics Anonymous, Islam, or whatever, surrender is the solution and the trap. One can then handwave any criticism of their belief, party, or dogma. Life has no meaning, but that doesn’t settle well with certain ego-types that have to believe there is some underlying meaning. There is value and stability in this for many people. Imagine the anxiety and frustration (and suicide) certain types would have when you take away this outlet?
      I have a good friend who claims Jesus cured his alcoholism even though he still has a sponsor, attends meetings, and still has this constant desire to drink. Because he doesn’t drink he thinks someone else has cured him even though he is still sick. It is most likely a good thing our own minds can trick us into believing. In evolutionary terms this equals biological fitness and survival which rarely has anything to do with truth.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good points, Jim. I think we tend to evaluate others from our own life experiences and often find it difficult to understand why others do what they do (e.g., become a Christian). There’s no doubt some are stronger than others.

        It’s just unfortunate that for so many Christianity is the “cure.”

        Liked by 1 person

          1. I’m good, finally! After being off September, caught Covid and age-related back issues which took a bit to get under control but feeling pretty fit now. 🙂 How about you?

            Liked by 1 person

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