Ninavism - The Philosophy of Immortality
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1. Technological Immortality
2. Final Immortality
3. Life Creation and Propagation
4. Life Centres in the Universe
5. Reincarantion Combined with Resurrection
6. Complete Model of Immortality
7. Postimmortality
8. History & Evolution of Immortality
9. Ninavism
10. Supernatural Forces
11. Problem of Evil
12. Epistemology
13. Methodology
14. Compatibilities of Immortalities
15. Heaven(s) & Hell(s)
16. Implementation of Final Immortality
17. Implementation of Present Immortality
18. Paradoxes & Puzzles of Final Immortality
19. Animals & Plants
20. Atheism
21. Population Control
22. Gays
Glossary of Terms
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Chapter 15

Heaven(s) and Hell(s)

Summary of Chapter

Ninavism uses the words HEAVEN(S) and HELL(S) as little as possible, preferring instead the generic terms, IMMORTALITY or WORLD(S). One reason is the over-negative or over-positive emotional connotations associated with the words, HEAVEN(S) and HELL(S); another factor is their complexity and multi-meanings. Ninavism prefers to use different terms to carry out similar meanings, but for historical reasons, it is important to analyse these words.

Rewards and Punishments

Rewards and punishments are used by religions in relation to beliefs and morality. The conduct of living creatures in this world, their faith in Immortality, increasing moral goodness and decreasing badness, has an impact on personal lifetime achievements. In view of the major religions, when a person dies, the results of life are rewarded or punished. This has the form of a higher or lower quality Immortality, good or bad, rebirth, etc. Not all religions make the connection between conduct on the earth and Immortality. This is especially true for early religions, such as the Australian Aborigines and Animism, where good and bad people have exactly the same Immortality. In modern times, some religious groups emphasize the faith component as the main ingredient of rewards, and diminish moral conduct as having an impact.

Complexity of Concepts of Heaven and Hell

No one has yet invented a description of the rewards and penalties, in terms of a scientific mathematical equation. Instead, religions describe them using traditional concepts of Heaven(s) and Hell(s). Heaven is understood as a reward, and Hell is understood as a penalty. Those concepts sound outdated to some people. They are metaphoric, imprecise, and frequently artistic, but this is the easiest way to understand faith and morality.
      Ninavism presents parts of Immortal World as a place where some individuals have life of good quality, while others have poor. This roughly corresponds to Heaven(s) and Hell(s), with some exceptions. Traditional concepts of Hell and Heaven make a physical separation between those two regions of Immortal World: those in Heaven do not interact or mix with those in Hell. Complete Model of Immortality (CMI) does not make such a distinction. In Present Immortality, individuals of good quality mix with those of low quality, which is similar to this world. Traditional Heaven only partially corresponds to the high quality of life in CMI. Semi-Permanent World is also not a full traditional Heaven. Final World of CMI is comparable with Heaven.

Meanings of Terms HEAVEN and HELL

Both Heaven(s) and Hell(s) are part of Immortality. Some religions do not have concept of Heaven or Hell; it is just one Immortality. However, most religions divide Immortality into parts: Heaven, Hell and some other sections. Some religions treat the two concepts as equal, defining them separately and treating them as independent but, in general, they are not equal. Ninavism considers Heaven to be a primary concept and Hell is secondary. This is because, in some beliefs, Immortality seems to be like Heaven only; some beliefs do not describe Hell at all, and finally, it is possible to define Hell in terms of Heaven, relative to it. This is the conceptual supremacy of Heaven over Hell.
      In the view of the world's major religions, there are two main reasons to end up in this or the other part of Immortality. The first one is the faith in Supernatural Forces or Immortality. The second reason is the moral conduct. Most commonly, it is both faith and morality that decide. For religions that do not have Heaven(s) or Hell(s), such as the Australian Aborigines, neither faith nor morality play a role in Immortality.
      The idea of HELL as a penalty for a lack of faith is the first meaning of the term. The idea of HELL as a penalty for moral misconduct is the second meaning. Ninavism treats these two meanings of term HELL separately. The two concepts both relate to a penalty, but they are very different, even if traditional religions use the same term to describe both.

Hell as Lack of Heaven

The Philosophy of Immortality supports the salvation of all those who believe in Immortality, regardless of the particular religion; Hell and Heaven are not absolute. For the context of faith, Ninavism interprets term HELL, as a lack of Heaven in the relevant religion. Under the above reinterpretation of Hell, Atheists who reject any religion or philosophy, end up in Hell of all religions, where Hell is understood as a lack of Heaven. For the context of moral conduct, Ninavism treats term HELL, as a penalty. It is used in relation to Present Immortality.

Relativity of Heaven(s) and Hell(s)

Morality depends, to a large extent, on religion. For example, it is frequently not adulterous to maintain sexual relations with several partners in polygamous societies, while it is adulterous in those that are monogamous. Some religions allow alcohol and gambling, while others do not. Some religions ban eating pork, some beef, some all meat, and some ban none. Hell is the penalty for violating moral and religions prohibitions. Since these prohibitions depend on religions, then the penalties and Hell itself also depend on beliefs. It is like the law. Since legal systems in different countries are different, the penalties in each country are different. If Hells of separate religions are different, then Heavens are also different, because they are relative to Hells.
      Ninavism treats Present Immortality as relative to religion. Present Immortality has sections that correspond to separate Heavens and Hells for each religion. It does not mean physical separation for each section of Heaven and Hell, but rather means that each religion has different rewards and punishments. Semi-Permanent World might be interpreted as having Heavens different for each religion. For example, Buddhist Nirvana is different to Christian Semi-Permanent rest before Resurrection, but both belong to the same ontological part of Immortality. Final World is generally thought to be the same for all religions. However, it does not exclude variety, like different cultures within one country.

Evolution of Heaven(s) and Hell(s)

The terms HEAVEN(S)and HELL(S), refer to two fundamentally different types of entities. One category includes Heaven(s) and Hell(s) themselves. The second category are the human concepts of Heaven(s) and Hell(s). Entities in both categories change with time; Hell(s) itself evolves and the human's concept of Hell(s) evolves. However, they do not change in the same manner, or with the same speed. The same applies to Heaven(s).
      Some human concepts evolve even if the underlying objects that are described by these concepts remain completely unchanged, or change much slower. For example, the concept of light evolves, even if the light itself remains unchanged. The concept of the sun evolves much faster than the slow evolution of the sun. Only two hundred years ago, some scientists were thinking that the sun shines due to coal burning; now they are convinced that it is due to nuclear reactions. In a similar way, the human concepts of Heaven(s) and Hell(s)evolve much quicker than the Heaven(s) and Hell(s)themselves. The historical evolution of the concept of Hell is clearer than the evolution of the concept of Heaven. For this reason, Hell is the main subject of analysis in the remainder of this section. It does not exclude the evolution of Heaven.

Evolution of the Concept of Hell

The most important feature of the concept of Hell is the harshness of its penalties. It is sometimes given as a physical descriptions of penalties, such as burning in fire. However, more commonly the harshness of the penalty is described by its duration, such as temporary or eternal, without actually saying how the penalty is delivered. The duration of suffering in Hell is different in various religions. In Ancient Egypt, there is no eternal or even temporary Hell. Following death, each person is first Resurrected in the underworld. After that, the individual is judged by the God Osiris, and a team of judges. Immediately after Judgement the people who are condemned are destroyed, body and spirit. This is their second death, the final one.
      The Judaic Bible describes Hell as a place where condemned individuals suffer forever; in the Old Testament, Hell is eternal. This view was inherited by Christianity and Islam. All condemned individuals suffer in Hell forever, and they are never admitted into Heaven. This is the concept of eternal Hell. In some traditional religions, including Catholic, only some condemned individuals suffer in Hell forever, and they are never admitted into Heaven. Some other condemned people suffer in Hell temporarily, after which they are admitted to Heaven. The type of punishment depends on the severity of the condemnation. This is a concept of eternal Hell mixed with a temporary one.
      The Bible was written over two and half thousand years ago. Currently, many Christians reject eternal Hell, or even reject the entire concept of Hell. In the Universalist view, all condemned individuals suffer in Hell only temporarily, after which, all of them are admitted to Heaven. This type of Hell is known as Purgatory. It is the concept of temporary Hell. The Catholic view slowly changes in the 21st century and is leaning towards a temporary Hell. In the view of some modern Christian groups, such as Jehovah's Witnesses, condemned individuals are not Resurrected after death. They are never admitted to Heaven; they are dead forever. In this concept, no Hell exists, not even a temporary one.

Evolution of Hell

What do people know about evolution of Hell itself? This question is much harder to answer than the question about evolution of the human concept of Hell. The evidence about evolution of the concept of Hell is easily available, while all judgements about evolution of Hell itself are indirect. Analyses of evolution of Hell might violate the rule of discussing the details of Immortality as little as possible; it might be an unnecessary speculation. However, the issue is too important to be silenced.
      Hell could evolve in a similar way to evolution of the human legal and penal system in this world. On the earth, the laws deciding on penalties evolve, as well as prisons where punishments are meted out. They have changed over the centuries into a multitude of types, such as regular prisons, heavy security prisons, solitary confinement cells, hard labour camps, house arrests, weekend detention centres, working farms for light crimes, etc. In the past, prisoners were forced to do hard labour, and male prisoners were strictly separated from women. In current times, prisoners can choose whether to work or not, and women can visit male prisoners. Evolution of the penal system on the earth could serve as a model for evolution of Hell itself. The changes in Hell could resemble the changes on the earth.

Reasons for Evolution of Hell Itself

Why are punishments in the Judaic Bible harsher than the punishments as taught in some present-day churches? The reason is that the punishments in Immortality are similar to the punishments in this life. They were harsher in the past than they are in present. The general rule is that the punishment is related to its effectiveness. In the past, there was a need for harsher penalties, as the weaker ones would not deter people from offending. In the current period, some countries need harsh penalties, as the weak ones would be laughable in their society. The principal reason for evolution of the penal system on the earth and Hell itself are the changes in the effectiveness of penalties. As effectiveness evolves, so does Hell. The evolution of Hell itself partially explains why different religions have different concepts of Hell. Those concepts were created in different times, when Hell itself was different.

Key Points of Chapter: