Author Topic: What is Hell?  (Read 881 times)

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Offline AnonymousCatholic

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What is Hell?
« on: November 17, 2017, 10:46:30 AM »
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  • So I had a discussion a few days ago on the topic of hell. It started on creation itself and moved to hell. Quick summary: God created an efficient and meaningful universe where everything serves a purpose. Example the Catechism and Catholic teaching 101 is necessary to a progressive (as in a society advancing technologically, philosophically, etc, not some follow up to the liberal revolution) and prosperous society. The laws aren't meant to be imposing or harsh they're simply necessary. Casual sex is frowned upon because its SCIENTIFICALLY proven to be harmful to a person mentally. I put an emphasis on scientifically because science is the understanding of the natural world meaning we can see the cause and effect. It's not just "because that's what God's will is" or some other childish, protestant understanding of God. So now lets move on to hell. The idea is comforting that some sick child molesting queer goes to hell, but really whats the point of it? They're not learning they're just suffering eternally. But then I remembered hearing that hell is the absence of God. That reminded me of my 1st grade catechism and specifically reading "without God's love we would cease to be". God's love and our link to God is required for us to exist, but if hell is the absence of God would that not mean that people who go to hell cease to exist? Perhaps Lucifer and his demons only exist because hell is an endgame that hasn't been enacted yet? Because purgatory is the suffering to purify the soul for heaven. That is suffering with a purpose and it is consistent with the way God made creation. But hell and eternal suffering seems pointless. Justice perhaps?  Furthermore a lot of sin, especially like the previously mentioned child molester, is often the cause of the perpetrator themselves being victimized when they were young. Corrupted. They didn't know any better. It doesn't excuse the action of course but it makes hell seem pointless. Because that person isn't entirely functional is it fair to condemn them to an eternity of torture and suffering? The person ceasing to exist makes more sense. I am aware though how human this notion is, because I am applying what I would do if I had the power of life and death over said molester. They don't need torture they need a swift end. 



    So the question behind this mental splurge is, does anyone know any related resources specifically dealing with the issue? I'm going to hit up Catholic answers and actually do some research when I get the time, for now I figured I may as well pick the brains of cath info.
    "The things that we love tell us who we are" - Thomas Aquinas

    Pray for us Blessed Karl I of House Habsburg
    Matthew 10:34

    Offline Nadir

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    Re: What is Hell?
    « Reply #1 on: November 17, 2017, 03:34:59 PM »
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  • So I had a discussion a few days ago on the topic of hell. It started on creation itself and moved to hell.
    .
    Quick summary: God created an efficient and meaningful universe where everything serves a purpose. Example the Catechism and Catholic teaching 101 is necessary to a progressive (as in a society advancing technologically, philosophically, etc, not some follow up to the liberal revolution) and prosperous society. The laws aren't meant to be imposing or harsh, they're simply necessary.
    .
    Casual sex is frowned upon because its SCIENTIFICALLY proven to be harmful to a person mentally. I put an emphasis on scientifically because science is the understanding of the natural world meaning we can, see the cause and effect. It's not just "because that's what God's will is" or some other childish, protestant understanding of God.
    .
    So now lets move on to hell.
    The idea is comforting that some sick child-molesting queer goes to hell, but really what's the point of it?
    They're not learning, they're just suffering eternally.
    .
    But then I remembered hearing that hell is the absence of God. That reminded me of my 1st grade catechism and specifically reading "without God's love we would cease to be".
    .
    God's love and our link to God is required for us to exist, but if hell is the absence of God would that not mean that people who go to hell cease to exist? Perhaps Lucifer and his demons only exist because hell is an endgame that hasn't been enacted yet?
    .
    Because purgatory is the suffering to purify the soul for heaven. That is suffering with a purpose and it is consistent with the way God made creation. But hell and eternal suffering seems pointless. Justice perhaps?
    .
     Furthermore a lot of sin, especially like the previously mentioned child molester, is often the cause of the perpetrator themselves being victimized when they were young. Corrupted. They didn't know any better. It doesn't excuse the action of course but it makes hell seem pointless.
    Because that person isn't entirely functional, is it fair to condemn them to an eternity of torture and suffering? The person ceasing to exist makes more sense.
     .
    I am aware though how human this notion is, because I am applying what I would do if I had the power of life and death over said molester. They don't need torture, they need a swift end.
    .
    So the question behind this mental splurge is, does anyone know any related resources specifically dealing with the issue?
    .
    I'm going to hit up Catholic answers and actually do some research when I get the time, for now I figured I may as well pick the brains of CathInfo.

    Just had to make it more reader-friendly, with a few commas and paragraphs.


    Offline Marlelar

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    Re: What is Hell?
    « Reply #2 on: November 17, 2017, 03:52:59 PM »
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  • I think it is more accurate to say that it is the will of God that continues our existence.  I cannot remember ever reading that we must be "linked" to God to continue to exist.  

    I think we have a few Thomists on CI who will do a better job explaining it than I can but for the time being here is a quote from the Baltimore Catechism #3:



    Q. 1379. What is Hell?
    A. Hell is a state to which the wicked are condemned, and in which they are deprived of the sight of God for all eternity, and are in dreadful torments.
     
     
    Q. 1380. Will the damned suffer in both mind and body?
    A. The damned will suffer in both mind and body, because both mind and body had a sharein their sins. The mind suffers the "pain of loss" in which it is tortured by the thought of having lost God forever, and the body suffers the "pain of sense" by which it is tortured in all its members and senses.

    Offline AnonymousCatholic

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    Re: What is Hell?
    « Reply #3 on: November 17, 2017, 06:32:08 PM »
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  • Just had to make it more reader-friendly, with a few commas and paragraphs.
    I wrote it in a hurry and I apologize for it's... unruly presentation.
    "The things that we love tell us who we are" - Thomas Aquinas

    Pray for us Blessed Karl I of House Habsburg
    Matthew 10:34

    Online Ladislaus

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    Re: What is Hell?
    « Reply #4 on: November 17, 2017, 07:47:18 PM »
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  • I think it is more accurate to say that it is the will of God that continues our existence.  I cannot remember ever reading that we must be "linked" to God to continue to exist.  

    Well, everything which exists does derive its existence from God.  So, maybe in that sense.


    Offline Nadir

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    Re: What is Hell?
    « Reply #5 on: November 17, 2017, 07:56:54 PM »
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  • No problem. I'm a frustrated editor.


    Quote
    Furthermore a lot of sin, especially like the previously mentioned child molester, is often the cause of the perpetrator themselves being victimized when they were young. 
    Did you not mean the result?


    Quote
    Corrupted. They didn't know any better. It doesn't excuse the action of course but it makes hell seem pointless. Because that person isn't entirely functional is it fair to condemn them to an eternity of torture and suffering?


    We don't need to ask if what God ordains is fair. Rest assured it's the way to go, or rather not to go, in the case of chosing Hell. Besides whoever ends up in Hell has chosen the destination. God wants all of us to be saved, i.e. happy with Him in Heaven for all eternity. But He does not force the issue.


    Offline jvk

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    Re: What is Hell?
    « Reply #6 on: November 17, 2017, 09:46:57 PM »
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  • An excellent book on Hell that I'm reading to my children for school is "The Sight of Hell" written by Rev. John Furmiss.  It goes into the reason for Hell, and how just it is, as well as explaining some of the tortures and attempting to give children some idea of the length of eternity.  Although written for children, it's fascinating to me as well.  It addresses some of your questions regarding the purpose/justice/existence of Hell.  Just a thought...

    As far as someone being "not right", well, only God truly knows the interior state of a person's mind and their true intentions, and whether they are truly responsible for or aware of their actions.  He judges accordingly.   

    Offline Neil Obstat

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    Re: What is Hell?
    « Reply #7 on: November 17, 2017, 10:45:27 PM »
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  • So now lets move on to hell. The idea is comforting that some sick child molesting queer goes to hell, but really whats the point of it? They're not learning they're just suffering eternally. 
    .
    Those in hell have passed their opportunity for learning. God's the Creator who has given us this world and this life as a test for our eternal existence. You're judging eternity on the basis of this world, but this world is not the "real" world. It is only a test to determine what your real world will be. Our understanding of reality in a spiritual sense must be based first of all on the reality of our eternal destiny. It is from that perspective that we need to view this world, in other words, it seems to me you have your perspective backwards.
    .
    Quote
    But then I remembered hearing that hell is the absence of God. That reminded me of my 1st grade catechism and specifically reading "without God's love we would cease to be". 
    .
    This is a good example of what happens when catechism teachers get too far ahead with the children. As God's creation we are "contingent beings" because we rely on God, and He is the cause of our existence. But there is no cause of God's existence. God is not a contingent being. God is the unmoved Mover, the uncreated Creator. 
    .
    In hell every person (devils are persons too) will suffer the absence of God, but that doesn't mean that God does not sustain hell's existence. God gave the angels their test, and some of them failed the test which is why they went immediately into hell for all eternity. Angels have a different manner of knowing and intelligence than men do, and for them, when they made their choice, they were perfectly informed and completely competent to decide with their free will. But their perfection of understanding meant that their choice was not reformable, and the moment of decision was all they got. 
    .
    To say that "without God's love we would cease to be" is a strange doctrine to put into the heads of children. How many of your classmates promptly forgot all about it? But you remembered. You never know what children will remember. Catechism teachers should be very careful. There may have been a lot more to that lesson that day, but that one sentence is what stuck in your case. The point is, we are reliant on God's love, because God IS love. We rely on God for love because that's what God is. 
    .
    There is a lot more to this, because you can say that about everything that is good. God is justice. God is truth. God is freedom. God is beauty. God is purity. God is righteousness. God is friendship. God is wisdom. God is light. There is nothing that is good that is not what God is, but we cannot say that God "has" any of these things, because in God there are no parts. God, in the final analysis, is being itself.
    .
    Therefore, take God away, and being as being would be taken away.  "We" are not the only thing that would cease to exist -- existence itself would no longer exist! Do you see how that covers the statement that without God we would cease to be? It is a more over-reaching or universal concept that embraces the thing that you heard many years ago, before you were ready to hear it!
    .
    Try to imagine existence no longer existing, and you'll see it's just about as ridiculous as contemplating the moment before the so-called Big Bang (which is a stupid conundrum of the modern mind).
    .
    Quote
    God's love and our link to God is required for us to exist, but if hell is the absence of God would that not mean that people who go to hell cease to exist? Perhaps Lucifer and his demons only exist because hell is an endgame that hasn't been enacted yet? Because purgatory is the suffering to purify the soul for heaven. That is suffering with a purpose and it is consistent with the way God made creation. But hell and eternal suffering seems pointless. Justice perhaps?  Furthermore a lot of sin, especially like the previously mentioned child molester, is often the cause of the perpetrator themselves being victimized when they were young. Corrupted. They didn't know any better. It doesn't excuse the action of course but it makes hell seem pointless. Because that person isn't entirely functional is it fair to condemn them to an eternity of torture and suffering? The person ceasing to exist makes more sense. I am aware though how human this notion is, because I am applying what I would do if I had the power of life and death over said molester. They don't need torture they need a swift end. 
    ...
    I have to go right now, but I'll be back later.......
    .
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    Offline Neil Obstat

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    Re: What is Hell?
    « Reply #8 on: November 18, 2017, 01:27:46 AM »
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  • God's love and our link to God is required for us to exist, but if hell is the absence of God would that not mean that people who go to hell cease to exist? 
    .
    When you say "our link to God" perhaps you've been stuck on a false notion. God does not need our existence but we need God's existence. God does not depend on us for anything, but we depend on God for everything. So this "link to God" to which you refer can be thought of as a one-way link, inasmuch as it is our reliance on God for everything. However, when considered as our act of prayer and God's response to prayers as His gift of grace to us, it's not a one-way link. So what are you talking about?
    .
    In hell, there is no more opportunity to pray to God, so those who are in hell have no more opportunity to receive His grace. This world is our time for mercy; after this comes the judgment, which is the time for justice. It is a terrible thing to be touched by the hand of God.
    .
    In eternity the glory of salvation is founded on being saved from the alternative and that alternative (hell) is as eternal as the glory of heaven. All the saved in heaven will rejoice at the reality of hell's existence because it manifests the eternal goodness and wisdom of God. All the saved in heaven will have full knowledge of the opportunity passed up by those who are damned and being saved will be one and the same as accepting this finality and permanence. Anyone on the way to heaven who cannot accept God's eternal and perfect wisdom will have to remain in Purgatory until such time as they leave their erroneous opinions behind them, since such erroneous opinions are imperfections, and nothing imperfect is possible in heaven.
    .
    Quote
    Perhaps Lucifer and his demons only exist because hell is an endgame that hasn't been enacted yet? 
    .
    There was a Pope who held the heresy that hell is not effective until the general judgment at the end of the world.  A saint counseled him as he lay dying and he fortunately repented of his error before he died. The Church has always taught that the moment a man dies he goes to his particular judgment and if he is condemned there his soul goes directly to hell, that is, without his body. After the general judgment all those who inhabit hell will receive their bodies back and will continue to experience the torments of hell with the full complement of sensual pain because they will have their bodies again. The devils have no body so they won't be getting one, however, they will manifest themselves to the people in hell in their various hideous forms in order to inflict torments on the damned.
    .
    A man complained to Padre Pio that his friend does not believe in hell. Padre Pio told him, That's okay, tell him he can believe as he likes for now, but he will have no doubt how real hell is the moment he arrives there.
    .
    Quote
    Because purgatory is the suffering to purify the soul for heaven. That is suffering with a purpose and it is consistent with the way God made creation. But hell and eternal suffering seems pointless. Justice perhaps?  
    .
    Purgatory, correct. The pains of purgatory are the same as the pains of hell, however, there is a difference in two ways, first, those in purgatory don't have their body back yet just as those in hell don't, but in purgatory there is the awareness that the suffering will eventually come to an end and then there will be eternal bliss. Since this time or duration (there is no time really after death, but that's another topic) will transpire in the spiritual existence of the disembodied soul, the awareness of the passing nature of purgatory will be an enormous consolation for the inhabitants thereof, and an enormous torment for those who were so unfortunate as to not make it to purgatory. Therefore, the second difference comes from the additional intellectual torment that the damned already suffer even before they suffer with their bodies, and the souls in purgatory don't have that manner of suffering to endure. One way of suffering is the pain of being in this place of purification (purgatory) or of damnation (hell), while the other way of suffering is due to the knowledge that this purification will eventually (as it were) end, a sort of negative suffering or consolation, or else the knowledge that this eternal judgment will never come to an end and it will only get worse when one's body is reunited. 
    .
    I wonder if the souls in hell will try to run away from their bodies when they're being returned. 
    .
    If hell were to be extinguished then God's perfect justice would be less than perfect, which is impossible. All the persons in hell are there because that is what they have chosen with their free will. No one goes to hell when they don't deserve it, and they become deserving of it when that is what they have chosen.
    .
    Quote
    Furthermore a lot of sin, especially like the previously mentioned child molester, is often the cause of the perpetrator themselves being victimized when they were young. Corrupted. They didn't know any better. It doesn't excuse the action of course but it makes hell seem pointless. 
    .
    The sin that was perpetrated during his childhood on a person is the cause of his injury. Such an experience is less than ideal, certainly, and it can have life-long implications. Anyone with such a handicap should take measures to seek help and take care not to perpetuate this injustice on others. God only knows the interior disposition of anyone. It's a big leap from there to say "it makes hell seem pointless." No one goes to hell who doesn't deserve it. It's not the place of the Church to pronounce on who is or who is not in hell. 
    .
    Ultimate justice is a principle that is necessary for man to live a moral life. Without the responsibility to become accountable for one's actions or sins, there would not be any reason to try to do the right thing.
    .
    Quote
    Because that person isn't entirely functional is it fair to condemn them to an eternity of torture and suffering? 
    .
    It isn't our place to say whether "that person" goes to hell. Certainly God knows whether he was "entirely functional" or not. It's nice that God's the one who has to make this decision. No doubt there are many degrees of perfect or imperfect functionality, and perhaps some of them are not relevant, God only knows. But one thing is sure: Nobody Goes to Hell Who Doesn't Deserve it.
    .
    Quote
    The person ceasing to exist makes more sense. 
    .
    It seems to me you could only be saying that because you've become dug in to an erroneous notion of being, justice and eternity.  You can't just have "the person" that is one individual, being snuffed out completely. What about everyone else?  One of the principle errors of liberalism is for the exception to become the rule. So then if one person ceases to exist, then ultimately everyone ceases to exist, because there are no exceptions to perfect justice, otherwise it wouldn't be perfect.
    .
    Quote
    I am aware though how human this notion is, because I am applying what I would do if I had the power of life and death over said molester. They don't need torture they need a swift end. 
    .
    We can rest assured that God knows what He is doing. If He can take that said molester and put him in purgatory till the end of the world by which "time" he would be made perfect, then that's God's business, not ours. But consider the young girl in 1917, a friend of Lucia of Fatima about whom Lucia asked Our Lady if she was in heaven, and was given the reply that the girl (who couldn't have possibly done anything so terrible as molesting children!) would be in purgatory till the end of the world -- it doesn't look too good for the pervert.
    .
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    Offline Stubborn

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    Re: What is Hell?
    « Reply #9 on: November 18, 2017, 04:14:19 AM »
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  • Here is a nice, easy to read little online book on Hell. 
    I say that it is licit to resist the Roman Pontiff by not doing what he orders and by impeding the execution of his will; it is not licit, however, to judge, punish or depose him, since these are acts proper to a superior." St. Robert Bellarmine

    Offline Stubborn

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    Re: What is Hell?
    « Reply #10 on: November 18, 2017, 04:19:33 AM »
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  • ...But hell and eternal suffering seems pointless. Justice perhaps?  Furthermore a lot of sin, especially like the previously mentioned child molester, is often the cause of the perpetrator themselves being victimized when they were young. Corrupted. They didn't know any better. It doesn't excuse the action of course but it makes hell seem pointless. Because that person isn't entirely functional is it fair to condemn them to an eternity of torture and suffering? The person ceasing to exist makes more sense. I am aware though how human this notion is, because I am applying what I would do if I had the power of life and death over said molester. They don't need torture they need a swift end.



    So the question behind this mental splurge is, does anyone know any related resources specifically dealing with the issue? I'm going to hit up Catholic answers and actually do some research when I get the time, for now I figured I may as well pick the brains of cath info.
    Snip from a sermon on hell from Fr. Wathen:

    ...Intrinsic in the idea of hell is it's everlastingness. One cannot conceive of a punishment sufficient for those who have defied God all their lives, till their deaths, and who have simply refused to accept God in His sovereignty and refused to do His will. It is altogether contrary, repugnant to reason that there would not be a punishment. This punishment has to last forever simply because these individuals, if hell did not last forever, would have beaten God. They would have defied Him and gotten away with it.  

    So of course, those who go to hell, don't go for temporary chastisement, they go there because they hate God and they will never do other. That is why hell lasts always, just as the devils do not hate God less because they have been there who knows how many eons. If anything, we would say that the devils hate God more after all that they have suffered because their suffering does not determine whether they will serve Him or despise Him, their own wills determine this.

    Our Lord spoke of hell 15 times in the Scriptures and the things that He said make it clear to us that hell is a state and a place of everlasting burning. He mentioned hell more often, more times then He mentioned the doctrine of the Blessed Eucharist. Among the things He said - "Depart from me ye cursed ones, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels."...

    "...where the worm dieth not, neither is the fire quenched". And therein does Christ tell us of the two terrible torments of hell. "The worm that dieth not" refers to the pain of loss and the "fire that is not quenched" refers to the pain of sense. Because people are inclined to give too much intention to the pain of sense, we want you to consider the pain of loss, which is the essential punishment of hell.

    The pain of loss is simply the everlasting recognition that one is in hell because one chose to be there. On earth he made his alibis and he pointed fingers at others and he imagined that he is going to blame his parents or blame society or blame hard luck, but in hell, no one blames anyone but himself because in hell, everyone knows why he is there, because he knows that he has rejected God -  and in turn, God has, despite His love, rejected him. And the pain of loss is that terrible torment of the recognition of what one might have done but did not. That one might be enjoying the beatitude of heaven, but will never.....
    I say that it is licit to resist the Roman Pontiff by not doing what he orders and by impeding the execution of his will; it is not licit, however, to judge, punish or depose him, since these are acts proper to a superior." St. Robert Bellarmine


    Offline Viva Cristo Rey

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    Re: What is Hell?
    « Reply #11 on: November 18, 2017, 02:42:18 PM »
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  • You can learn about Hell by going on a St Ignatius SSPX Silent retreat.  During the holy retreat there is instruction on avoiding Hell.  Heaven to be with Jesus is our goal.  

    The bible tells us what happens to those who harm children.  
    To live with the Saints in Heaven is all bliss and glory....To live with the saints on Earth is just another story!  (unknown)

    Offline Viva Cristo Rey

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    Re: What is Hell?
    « Reply #12 on: November 18, 2017, 02:53:30 PM »
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  • Douay-Rheims Bible
    But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea.   St Mathew
    To live with the Saints in Heaven is all bliss and glory....To live with the saints on Earth is just another story!  (unknown)

    Offline Incredulous

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    Re: What is Hell?
    « Reply #13 on: November 18, 2017, 04:02:57 PM »
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  • A cavernous lake of fire, within the earth's center.


    Go here to listen to the lost souls rave about it:  

    It's like being burned alive at a rock concert... for eternity!
    "Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it underfoot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Our Lord Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor but a destroyer."  St. Francis of Assisi

    Offline Neil Obstat

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    Re: What is Hell?
    « Reply #14 on: November 18, 2017, 04:13:08 PM »
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  • A cavernous lake of fire, within the earth's center.


    Go here to listen to the lost souls rave about it:

    It's like being burned alive at a rock concert... for eternity!
    .
    I was going to say, reminds me of one of the local "haunted houses" for the Eve of All Hallows. 
    .
    Wait a minute -- are you trying to stir up some opposition from the flat-earthers again!?!?
    .
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