Why more pain than pleasure ?

Why more pain than pleasure ?

Some christian denominations go to great lengths describing “how bad man is” and how we will burn forever in hell. Now if you add up all the conceivable pleasure in a 100 years long life it will always be enormously less than an eternity of hell. Why more pain than pleasure ? Why such a psychological violence unto people ? So then terrorized (especially the young) they follow the religion ?

What I mean is that if in a lifetime you “sinned” alot and also had alot of fun and pleasure, killed etc, all this for 100 years, and never had any religion, well according to most denominations you go to hell. Now I don’t get the “mathematics”. You should at least suffer for 100 years, not eternity. And it seems to me that the punishment is always greatly vaster than any pleasure you got in life. (ps most life isn’t pleasure anyways, if you haven’t yet noticed…)

I wouldn’t say it’s a math thing. And I wouldn’t say hell is necessarily a place of punishment. It just may be as simple as it being a place where God, and all that God represents, is not. Cold, lonely, loveless, absent of any beauty. If God is, then maybe there is a place where God is not. If a person during the course of his or her life doesn’t reconnect in some way (spiritually is the only word I can think of to describe it) to his or her source and with those things of God, then perhaps that person is left with no way to reconnect after death. The body returns to the bodily world, and the spirit - absent spirituality - simply has no place to go. The Bible’s descriptions of Hell I would think of as metaphorical.

Try to say that to some fundamentalist christians in texas and alabama and they might burn you on a cross for heresy. The point is that some of these fundamentalist sects have a totalitarian and violent view not dissimilar to the revolutionary “left” that thought man was bad (or the system) and it had to be overthrown. There is alot of extremism in these denominations.

Well I can’t speak for the fundamentalists (of any religion). I’m just suggesting a possible theory of Hell that might be consistent with Christianity if we accept biblical descriptions of the place as being more metaphorical than literal.

I think hell, whether or not it precisely matches its scriptural descriptions, is a place of punishment. But we are warned of that. It can’t be mathematical, where a year of good work here equals a year of happiness there, and vice versa. Why? Man is a slave to his desires. What motivation is there to fight one’s desires when he or she knows that a year of baseness and amorality will only amount to a year of punishment? Also, we are provided with the tools (religious texts, our minds) and told quite clearly what the repercussions are for good & bad behavior. We are told exactly what will happen if we are righteous and pious, and what will happen if we are sinful and immoral. We may not like that we have to suffer, but that’s the whole idea…fighting your desires.

Additionally, and I’m not sure of the Christian view here (I’m a Muslim) but in Islam, when someone performs a small righteous deed, the reward is multiplied (as if he performed several good deeds). However, it is not so when someone sins. A sin is a sin. A good deed is several good deeds.

So we are rewarded for doing good, we are given these motivations to do good…but we also have to be deterred from doing bad. I don’t know if there is a better way than to give an account of hell that is torturous and difficult, whether or not the accounts are metaphorical. Would man be more inclined to sin if hell did not seem so bad? I would answer in the affirmative. Please offer any disagreement you may have.

Of course, I don’t think a person will receive an eternity of hell unless he or she is truly base & vile. Otherwise, punishment & reward are divided accordingly.

Also…just as hell is described the way it is, heaven is described as a beautiful place, and one who lives a life of morality and righteousness will receive manifold rewards (in spite of his or her sins…we are all sinners, we can’t be perfect). It’s a two-way street.

Just my two cents.