The Psychophysical Limitations of a Judeo-Christian Hell

First of all, I need to say that there is no such thing as ‘psychophysics’.  It’s technically not a real thing.  There have been psychophysical experiments that have been conducted over the course of the last 100 years or so under the category, mainly, of neuroscientific research, or just ‘neuroscience’, which, itself, is actually a general term that encompasses a number of sciences, both natural and social.  Geneticists, chemists, biologists, psychologists, computer scientists, all—if they currently do or have in the past engaged in experimentation and building theories that seek to further our understanding of how the brain works, be it of mammal, bird, reptile, fish or even cephalopod, then they are conducting research in the name of neuroscience.  Of which some can be considered, depending on how the data is collected and the subject involved, psychophysical.

Secondly, I need to say that there is no such thing as Hell. But for the sake of argument, let’s just say you wind up there one day. And you’re colossally fucked. Sorry—let’s just say you wind up there one “day”. Sorry—let’s just say you “wind up” there “one” “day”. Wait wait, sorry—let’s just say “you” “wind up” “there” “one” “day”.

And you’re “colossally fucked”.

That Christian billboard that went up next to the porno store on the interstate got me thinking about this recently.

What, exactly, would happen?  Would you burn at the stake?  Would you be lambasted through a gauntlet by the lashes of a thousand demons, pushed in a baby stroller, tied in ass-first?  Would you be fastened to a wheel designed to be approximately the diameter of a human your height and, on that wheel, would you rotate slowly over a pit of fire?  Would the straps on your wrists be too tight?  Would you have to pee?  Would you be paddled and taunted by some sadistic, ghoulish version of the Village People?  Would you be paddled and taunted by the actual Village People?  Would you be paddled and taunted by the Founding Fathers dressed up as the Village People?  Would you be paddled and taunted by The Village People dressed up as the Founding Fathers?  Would you be forced to watch the Bader-Meinhoff doing the Riverdance?  Sitting between Ben Franklin, dressed like the hot cop from the Village People, and King George III in a bondage suit, spiked collar and dental dam?

Any number of scenarios are likely.  Because, in all honesty, anything is possible.

Wait a minute!  Didn’t you just contradict the premise for your entire argument right there?

Yeah, kind of. Hadn’t really established a premise yet. But yeah, kind of. However, what I also did is sum up everything upon which all modern-day theologies base their existence: Faith. And since no one can drag the MRI, TMS, EEG and EKG equipment necessary to conduct psychophysical/neuroscientific experiments upon transmigrant souls down into Hell—nor study the physical and chemical properties of Hell, for that matter—because one consists of, well, matter and the other of, well, faith, we need to just assume to move this whole thing along.

So, first and foremost, setting aside the argument that, since your body would be clinically dead and you would lose the ability to perceive anything with your electrical-impulse, oxygen-driven senses in this new place you arrive….  Wait, no—my entire argument—and the argument for the entirety of a Judeo-Christian theology, in fact, faith aside—is based upon one’s being able to perceive anything in the afterlife and to perceive the sights and sounds which are caused by things that can move from one “realm” to another.

Wait a minute! Didn’t you just nullify your entire argument right there?

Maybe.  But then I just nullified the existence of a human-perceivable “realm” outside of physical space, too.  Faith aside.

But for the sake of continuing, let’s just say you’re dead, you’re in Hell, and your “soul” can see, hear, feel, smell and taste, and has a sense of balance and proprioception. That it has a “sense”, anyway, of your former senses and self in space. That the sense organs that consist wholly of tissue, aqueous solutions, proteins, primary-and-secondary-messenger systems of more proteins, kept active by that oxygen in your blood continually pumped by your heart, made up of muscle tissue itself, kept functioning through electrochemical and impulsive activity of the brain, based on primary-and-secondary-messenger systems within neurons, designed and developed, most importantly, by the physical properties of the sun and other sources of heat and electron transfer, the moving Earth, disruption of air waves within the tolerable and livable range of atmospheric pressure, the naturally and artificially chemical properties of solid objects that have mass around you, of gaseous ones, of aqueous ones that your ancestors were exposed to over time (and everything else that I’ve missed that has shaped human form and sensory-motor function for millions of years), are still there in Hell. More or less. In your soul. A realm which, by the way, everyone agrees that you are incapable of perceiving right now—barring some questionable near-death experience (where your cells would still have enough oxygen to keep functioning as they do in all such experiences)—with those exact same senses that you actually do have, right now.

Okay, so then my soul, which is basically just me down in Hell so I’ll stop calling it a soul, will experience these things for an indeterminate amount of time. This it will, and only will, because I have faith that it will, right now. For, since I cannot ever scientifically prove that Hell exists, it only shall exist, right now in my imagination, if I have faith in it. For to say that it exists despite the fact there is not one, ONE, modicum of scientific evidence that it does while I live, even if I have no faith in it, is impossible to comprehend. And if I cannot comprehend it while I am alive, how can I comprehend it when I’m dead?

So all I need is to have faith in it for it to exist.  Until I die and lose all ability to not only perceive it the only way I and my physical body know how to perceive anything, but also my ability to either choose to believe or not to believe.

In the end, the problem lies in the fact that while science finds its near-zero-sum, theory-building resolutions on Earth or in the material universe, the resolutions of faith will always lie elsewhere–whether in daydreams, the unattainable future or in Heaven and Hell.

So now what?

Well, there’s one more thing.  If I’ve gone to all this trouble to think about the viability of a Hell and the likelihood of its existence, it very likely precludes my ever going to Hell in the first place, faith or no faith, because I likely know the difference between right and wrong, and that which has traditionally been known to put one into/keep one out of Hell.

So, in the end, the human brain wins–that thing which both builds theories of the physical world and conjures up the notion of faith in the first place.

Because a healthy brain, a little bit of education, a bit of positive social interaction and not having been raised by extremist assholes your whole life is the only real way to get the difference between right and wrong.  Which is what makes you a contestant, in the first place, in the lifelong game show that is the Pursuit of an Afterlife in Heaven or Hell.

But hey, don’t listen to me.  I’m just talking nonsense, here.  Kind of like all of…well…you know.

Oh, and if you actually do get down to Hell, tell Ben Franklin he made the $100 dollar bill.  And that most people today think he was a saint.  He’ll get a big kick out of that.