Hell Denied

Bertrand Russell’s famous essay “Why I Am Not a Christian” of 1927 cited as one of his major reasons the key religious idea of Jesus’ that the vast majority of humanity would spend eternity suffering the torments of hell. Hell is supposed to be supervised by the devil. In rejecting Christianity, Russell was also denying the existence of the devil. What is the origin of these concepts of hell and the devil? All of these ideas originated in Persia with the religion called Zoroastrianism, a belief in a theist dualism of two equally powerful deities, a god of light and a god of darkness. The Persian king Cyrus was hugely influential upon Judaism because he conquered the Mesopotamians and freed the Hebrews from their Babylonian captivity. Zarathustra, the Persian prophet originated the concepts of heaven, hell and a day of final judgment. So, ultimately Russell was rejecting these Persian concepts.

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