Sunday, January 14, 2007

The devil you say

I don't believe in hell. At least I don't believe in hell, the place. Well, I do believe there is a town in Grand Cayman called Hell. But you don't go there when you die. You go there when you are on a Caribbean cruise. That is an important distinction.

Not believing in hell bothers some people. One, it doesn't mean much when they tell me to go there. It's kind of like calling your parent's bluff when they say they are going to count to three when they are trying to make you do something. Though my mom generally only got to two before I caved. I never really wanted to find out what happened after she counted to three. My father never counted. He just smacked you.

But I digress.

Not believing in hell conversely means I don't believe in heaven either. So, I'm really messing with some people's punishment-reward motivation concept in controlling behaviour. But if punishment-reward motivation worked, we wouldn't have so many prisons now would we? So what good is hell and heaven in controlling morality?

I'm amazed that there are people who can't accept that heaven and hell aren't literally, physical places that people go to when they die based on which side of the moral ledger they end up on. If anything, heaven and hell are metaphors for the states of mind we can reward or damn ourselves with.

Isn't that a hell of a concept?
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