Monday, July 25, 2005

Why Is the Concept of Hell So Amusing?



Being raised in a minister's family (he was Presbyterian and then Baptist and then...) exposed me to blood curdling sermons and conversations about Hell. Hell was not a funny subject when I was a kid in Dinuba and Fowler and Niland, California, and then at the Stony Brook School for Boys, Stony Brook, Long Island, New York.

My parents had zero interest in understanding the earth and the universe in terms of science. My teachers also seemed to have zero interest in the revolutionary insights provided by science.

The conventional wisdom was that Hell was in the center of the earth. Many years later, I was told that modern methods of physics and geology have revealed that the center of our planet is mainly metal (iron) and that shot down my vision of the location of Hell. Of course this was no problem for true believers, since (according to those true believers) the planet is full of things that are too complicated for us to understand with our puny minds.


hell1

If you google up some jokes, a lot of them concern heaven or hell. This first item from Shirley H. is an example of Unitarian-Universalist humor, and includes a great question to ask your priest or your minister:


Eskimo: "If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?"
Priest: "No, not if you did not know."
Eskimo: "Then why did you tell me?"

hell2

(thanks to absolutelyjokes for the following joke):

A curious fellow died one day and found himself waiting in the long line of judgment. As he stood there he noticed that some souls were allowed to march right through the gates of heaven. Others, though, were led over to Satan who threw them into the burning pit.

But every so often, instead of hurling a poor soul into the fire, Satan would toss a soul off to one side into a small pile. After watching Satan do this several times, the fellow's curiosity got the best of him. So he strolled over and asked Satan, "Excuse me, Prince of Darkness," he said. "I'm waiting in line for judgment, but I couldn't help wondering, why are you tossing those people aside instead of flinging them into the fires of hell with the others?"

"Ah, those," Satan said with a groan. "They're all from Seattle. They're too wet to burn yet."

hell3

(thanks to boogieline for the following joke):

Bill Gates dies and is met at the pearly gates by St. Peter. St. Peter says, "Well, you've done a lot of bad things in your life, but you've done some good things too, so I'm going to let you take a look at both heaven and hell, and pick which one you want to go to."

Bill thinks this is fair, and takes a look around heaven. He sees a lot of people in white gowns playing harps and floating around, but it looks rather boring. He looks down at hell, and sees people laughing, drinking, smoking and partying down.

"I'll go to hell," Bill says, and instantly he is whisked away into hell, where he is immersed in a vat of boiling oil as flames and smoke fill the air.

"What happened to all that fun I saw people having?" Bill asks, shocked.

St. Peter looks down and says, "Oh, you must have seen the demo version."



hell4

(thanks to Kevin for the following two discussions of the properties of Hell):

The temperature of Heaven can be rather accurately computed. Our authority is Isaiah 30:26, "Moreover, the light of the Moon shall be as the light of the Sun and the light of the Sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days." Thus Heaven receives from the Moon as much radiation as we do from the Sun, and in addition 7*7 (49) times as much as the Earth does from the Sun, or 50 times in all. The light we receive from the Moon is one 1/10,000 of the light we receive from the Sun, so we can ignore that ... The radiation falling on Heaven will heat it to the point where the heat lost by radiation is just equal to the heat received by radiation, i.e., Heaven loses 50 times as much heat as the Earth by radiation. Using the Stefan- Boltzmann law for radiation, (H/E)^4 = 50, where E is the absolute temperature of the earth (300K), gives H as 798K (525C).

The exact temperature of Hell cannot be computed ... [However] Revelations 2:18 says "But the fearful, and unbelieving ... shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone." A lake of molten brimstone means that its temperature must be at or below the boiling point, 444.6C. We have, then, that Heaven, at 525C is hotter than Hell at 445C. -- From "Applied Optics" vol. 11, A14, 1972

hell5


A thermodynamics professor had written a take home exam for his graduate students. It had one question: "Is hell exothermic or endothermic? Support your answer with a proof."

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law or some variant. One student, however wrote the following:

First, we postulate that if souls exist, then they must have some mass. If they do, then a mole of souls can also have a mass. So, at what rate are souls moving into hell and at what rate are souls leaving? I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

As for souls entering hell, lets look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to hell. Since, there are more than one of these religions and people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all people and all souls go to hell.

With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change in volume in hell. Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in hell to stay the same, the ratio of the mass of souls to volume needs to stay constant. So, if hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter hell, then the temperature and pressure in hell will increase until all hell breaks loose.

Of course, if hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in hell, than the temperature and pressure will drop until hell freezes over.


hell6


(Thanks to Kevin Kelly) A group of Texans are driving down the road, whooping it up, drinking beer and shooting off their guns when they get into an accident with busload of nuns and orphans, killing everyone. The Texans go straight to Hell. When they arrive the Devil is shocked to see that they are not in agony over the heat and he demands an explanation.

"Well, sir, we're from Texas, and we're used to the heat," says one. This infuriates the Devil and he cranks the thermostat up to its highest setting. The lost souls all over hell start wailing. "I'll check on them in the morning and see how they like THIS." He snorts and disappears in a ball of fire.

The next morning, the Devil shows up at the Texans' camp site, and sure enough they are showing some signs of discomfort. They have taken off their 10 Gallon hats and are fanning themselves. One has even rolled up his sleeves. "Well, sir," explains a Texan, "when you have been on a cattle drive in Lubbock during August, this ain't hardly nothing." The Devil is now so angry he is seeing red.

"Those damn Texans seem immune to heat, let 's see what happens when I turn OFF the heat," he says as he heads to the thermostat. "I'll check on them tomorrow."

So in the morning the Devil arrives at the Texans' campsite, and they are all whoopin' and hollerin' and drinkin' the beers from the ice chest in the back of the pick up, now that they have ice to chill them with. The wail of the lost souls is deafening but the Texans are partyin' like there is no tomorrow.

"I don't get it," the Devil says, completely defeated. "I tried to roast you and it had no effect, and then I tried to freeze you and you are partying. You Texans are made of tough stuff. But why are you celebrating?"

A Texan takes a swig from a Bud in a longneck and replies, "Look around! Hell is frozen over. That's just gotta mean there is another Bush in the White House."

hell7


(thanks to lotsofjokes for the following joke):

The following is supposedly an actual question given on a university chemistry exam. The answer by one student was so profound that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state: that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell.

Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

1.If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2.If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, "it will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you", and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number 2 must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct ... leaving only Heaven thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting "Oh my God."

THIS STUDENT RECEIVED THE ONLY "A"!!!


hell2



3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

best regards, nice info film editing schools

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have an outstanding good and well structured site. I enjoyed browsing through it Find a domain by partial name Personal loans maryland Jim hjelm maternity bridesmaid dresses http://www.fantasy-football-0.info Gay greek welcome Online payment history Collapsable beach chair How to stop smoking clod turkey

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.cafb29b24.org/docs/buyativan/#54312 ativan gluten free - ativan dosage time

6:24 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home