Fear is normal. Fearing a make believe place like hell is not.
Well, so you're saying I'm not normal? I would disagree. I think lotsa people have irrational fears.
Say, are you a fan of Supernatural
? If not, then why not? I had troubles with the HD conversion (I refuse to buy cable) and missed a season. I missed the season where Dean was in Hell. I just saw the last scene of the season where we see this M.C.Escher infinite depth design and Dean was impaled on spikes above an infinite grid, and pitifully calls, "Somebody, GET ME OUT OF HERE!"
You probably haven't seen Legend of the Seeker
because it's been stuck on late night. In the cosmology of the Sword of Truth (the general name for Terry Goodkind's books and the TV serial) there are 2 deities: The Creator (female) and The Keeper (male). They were once lovers but had a falling out and She had to seal him in the Underworld. He is still raging about how his girlfriend dumped him and wants to get back at Her. (This is way cooler than the Lucifer story.) If He can only break free He's going to do what a lot of jilted lovers do: Take his/her favorite property (her clothes/his baseball card collection) and DESTROY IT. That
will teach him/her a lesson! So if He can break out Her most beloved property is the varieties of life. He will destroy all life and leave the world an empty desert. Besides the Underworld is awfully crowded.
This leaves a dilemma in the cosmology. In effect, in this cosmology everyone goes to Hell when they die. Mostly it's miserable but The Keeper has some snotty, self-righteous extra punishments for people who were bad, by his standards. When serial killers arrive, however, He tells them He has always had a sneaking admiration for them and they may get jobs as straw bosses bullying the rest of the dead. He makes a big deal of sexual sin. He has a special cavern just for tormenting prostitutes supposedly because they sell love and it reminds Him how She never really loved Him so the poor hookers are surrogates for his anger at his Ex.
The morals of this universe are that life is very beautiful so enjoy it while you've got it because everyone goes to the Underworld when they die.Supernatural
is Deist. God created the world and is now busy in another part of the universe. He left the Earth in the charge of angels. The angels don't have human feelings like sympathy and are faintly contemptuous of humans. THEY want the apocalypse. The current situation is a cold war and they'd like the nuclear option. A lot of us would be wrecked in the middle but, hey, that's collateral damage. In one of the last episodes Dean declares his new found belief. He wants a war against the demons and
the angels. "This is our
world! They can both get the hell away from us."
Did you see the Stargate SG-1
episode where Te'alc is tortured to give up info and the Go'uld who is doing it tells him that they are going to kill him in any case but if he dies in sin (disobedience to the Go'uld) they will, regrettably, regrettably, have to send him to an eternity in Hell. So the Go'uld torturer pleads with him to confess -- and then goes back to torturing him. This is exactly what the torturers of the Inquisition did and said. In the SG-1 cosmology the whole idea of Hell was a propaganda tool of creatures from outer space. Their technology gave them overwhelming power but they couldn't be everywhere. So one of them invented the Hell idea. That not only scared humans into being "good" when they weren't around but also created lots of terrified Quislings who out of fear would be poorly paid enforcers for them. Or how about the episode where Ra incarnates himself into a woman. He asks the hero O'Neill what happened to his old buddies, his fellow gods such as Hathor and Thoth. "We killed them," says O'Neill, flatly and unapologetically.
How about Firefly/Serenity? In that space opera, the preacher man finds River Tam writing notes on his Bible and crossing things out. It is the first time she's seen it. She says it has some good material but it needs a second draft. It's a very poor scifi story -- it strains suspension of disbelief. "I mean," she says, "No one is going to believe this story of Noah and the Flood. There isn't enough water to drown the Earth. And you can't get that many animals in a ship that size. It needs to have some device for folding space so the Ark can be larger inside than it is outside."
Then read some Trekkie material. Or some Matrix fan forum writing. There is no net energy gain off of humans in tanks eating slurry and giving off body heat. So I saw a fan figuring maybe the machines used some sort of psychic stimulation off of our creativity and couldn't do without it. If you lose the momentum of the story the fans have to do a lot of mental work patching on it to keep suspension of disbelief.
I dig horror fiction and so should you. It is cathartic. You can get really scared for an hour at a time. As you can see, you have to explore its theologies as well. Which is cool.
Then go back and read the Bible. Note when the theologians patch the story with things that were not said, stretches of things and cherry picking to jump over scenes and episodes you'd like to forget because they are so inconsistent. With scifi that's called fandom, with the Bible that's called apologetics.
Read the preachers' descriptions of Hell. Read Dante's. Compare it to horror fiction.
And then like River Tam, maybe YOU can write a second draft of the Bible. All the denominations, including Judaism, have had to do that. Combine some characters, add some dialogue. Use lots of speculation to explain inconsistencies. Then, if you are dishonest, you can make your own denomination and possibly make millions. Or if you are honest you can get some books on script writing and circulate a pilot script. You can possibly make thousands that way. Hey, if you work some teenagers (especially teenage vampires) you can sell it to the CW. Then give us a heads up. I promise you I'll tune in.