found this on the internet:
my point of view as an atheist
J.I.Packer writes: “Scripture sees hell as self-chosen … [H]ell appears as God’s gesture of respect for human choice. All receive what they actually chose, either to be with God forever, worshipping him, or without God forever,…
I like this modern version of hell because it actually ties in all Judeo-Christian philosophies of hell together therefore kind of makes the most sense.
Let me explain.
Hell is described with basically two names in the translated New Testament of the bible.
the word “hell” itself in the English translated bible is derived from “helheim” from norse mythology.
Same thing but from Greek Mythology.
these two words are translations of the Hebrew term for the underworld “Sheol”.
In the beginning Sheol is seen as simply an afterlife, where all the dead are gathered, that could basically belch the dead out temporarily if say. . a witch were to summon a spirit of a prophet.
After a while you see a transition where Sheol is separated for the righteous and the wicked. where the wicked are punished, and the righteous just… exist?
then Jesus comes down and what you see is an obliteration of that idea, when he basically states that all are wicked and are undeserving of the glory of God. in other words, Sheol means one thing, a place for the wicked, everyone. Going back to the roots, because according to the Jews, nothing can be in the presence of God without basically dying. And Jesus proclaims himself to be the key into being with the presence of God the only way out of Sheol.
Then after that in revelations hell is transformed into a place of torment, where souls are punished for rebelling against god.
as you see Christianity develop through the world you see hell becoming the hell from Dante’s inferno and the hell from revelations.
People often forget about the original way Hell was interpreted by the Jews and therefore the early Christians (who were Jews.)
If you look at Hell as basically a place with no god you begin to realize that Hell is not exactly punishment. it’s just. there. like a holding cell for “good” and “bad” people alike.
It seems as if modern Christians are finally letting go of the puritan, medieval idea of what hell is, and are actually interpreting it for what it is in the bible.
But with that said. it is still an interpretation. hell is very unclear in the bible because you see hell evolve. Hell in some parts of the bible is a place where all spirits go, in other parts where the wicked are tormented, in some parts neutral, in other parts evil. But that’s simply because the idea of Hell has evolved along with the Hebrew culture. And the idea of Hell is, as you can see from this interpretation, still evolving.
there are still things left unanswered. If god is everywhere then how is he not in Hell? If God created all things, surely he created hell, maybe for Satan’s sake.
maybe God built a shed in his backyard and he was all,”Yo Lucifer, you don’t wanna live with me so go live in that shed okay” and then Satan was like “yay finally a place where I don’t need to be with you and your stupid God stuff.” and then Satan got bored and he invited some other homies over and then he was like wouldn’t it be great if we got some people up in here?
And then in Revelations God is like “oh man Satan you obviously really suck without supervision so i’m gonna set this shed on fire if you still wanna stay fine but it’s gonna suck.”
Or maybe God didn’t create it. Maybe it was something that popped into existence in the moment of rebellion.
In any case. I have no idea where I’m going with this and I’m done entertaining the thought.