Wednesday, January 2, 2013
The Purpose of Hell
A few weeks ago, tragedy struck the nation when a shooter went into an elementary school and gunned down a bunch of young children and their brave teachers who were trying to protect them. He killed a bunch of innocent people and then turned the gun on himself, so the end result for him and his victims is exactly the same. This reality feels really shitty. I want that mother fucker punished! For the first time in a long time, I can really understand the appeal of the concept of hell. It would be somewhat...satisfying...to know that someone who has caused so much pain is getting what is coming to him.
Of course, this only works if you don't think about it too much. Hell is not merely punishment, it is torture forever. Is justice really being done if this guy is still burning in a lake of fire a billion years from now? As much as there is a part of me that wants this guy to be punished, torturing him doesn't make things right, and the idea of him going through that makes me sick, even though he has done something unimaginably bad.
And then there is the mental health angle. Whether it was nature or nurture, this guy was clearly not right in the head. I think it is safe to say he either got a bad set of genes or he was severely damaged by a terrible upbringing (maybe both). In any case, had he survived I'm sure he would have to be removed from society in either a prison or a mental institution. But would it really be right for us to torture him? Even though there might be a part of us that wants to beat this mother fucker to a bloody pulp, I think we can recognize that we would be monsters if we actually went through with this action.