I am delighted that today will inflict ‘Conscience #3′ on you.
The Invention of Hell
I know some of you believe Hell is a real place that has existed since time immemorial. I don’t. I believe Hell is a place invented by humans trying to make sense of an unfair and capricious world where seemingly bad people triumphed and good people met disaster too often. How does it all even out? There has to be a place that those bad people go after death to make it fair. That place is hell.
Hell on Earth
Since those same moralists don’t actually know for certain that there is a hell as evil as they want, they make sure that those they hope are going there suffer along the way. There are of course the usual, time honored punishments of burning at the stake, drawn and quartered, etc. But that is for one individual. Far worse is when the moralists devise a hell on earth for an entire population. There is the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, the Armenian genocide, the Cambodian Khmer Rouge regime, just to name a few from the past 100 years.
Why Do People Do This?
How does a person, government or a whole nation justify something like this? They justify it by saying these people deserve it because they are immoral and sinful, thus less human. In their moralistic hunger they have rationalized the most barbaric behavior imaginable.
It’s not just in history and it’s not just in some foreign land. Being a self-righteous moralist, especially an uneducated and zealous one, is a very dangerous thing everywhere. Look around you in your own life, watch for it. You will see it. And when you do I hope you stand up and fight it.
Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman
“The infliction of a cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists. That is why they invented Hell.”