Heaven Runs out of Room

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Postby Tasoth » 2008-01-12 02:11am

Initial response to stravo's question: I would cherish and catalogue every beautiful and joyous moment I experience and live my life to the best I can. And then, when suffering in hell, I'd use those to fall back on while suffering an indescribable fate.

Aside from that, what version of satan are we dealing with? The one that came about with the Plague (destroyer of man) or the one from before that period of humanity, where he was still a servant of god, even if he was trying highlight our faults. If the latter, I'd either attempt to personally try to work something out with him if I lived as a relatively good person, or see if he takes pity on those who don't deserve to be in hell. He is one of god's angels and said beings are supposed to be full of compassion, so I don't see how he'd take great pleasure in the punishment of the innocent. And if he has an axe to grind with the lord, more the better. If he isn't that way, damn.

As for the war with hell, at most, your more powerful demons are going to be as powerful as a well equipped bomber or a tactical nuke, but, as stated, they're going to fall prey to modern weapons. Even if they can't die, I don't see how they'll be much of a threat as a debris strewn field. Also, given that the demons will either have to keep the dead souls in line or deal with an encroaching army, this would give rise to a possible insurrection in hell. It'd be interesting to see what a guerilla group could come up with in hell.

As for the taking on angels with modern technology, it reminds me of the RPG Armageddon. A full third of heaven's host gets scattered to the metaphysical winds by Leviathin's army because of their superior technology.
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Postby Tasoth » 2008-01-12 05:36am

This just hit me as I was laying down. I really don't think religion would disappear, it would just change who was being worshipped. Since religious devotion is getting into favor with your chosen deity, the worship of satan or, if there are more, a given devil would become the basis of religion in hopes that your lot in hell is made that much easier. It'd be surprising to see fundies advocate their positions not in the name of god, but in that of satan/lucifer/what have you and nothing else changing.

Also, are there any instances of non-plot important persons in the bible turning away demons? I was never a very good catholic, so I don't know personally, but are the instances of individuals who leave a relatively good life in the manner that they help their fellow man casting out devils? Is there also a clause like in zoroastrianism where it's not who you worship, its your good deeds and words that are important? If these things exist, that could mean good people could be off limits to the effects of hell. While I doubt these people would make good soldiers, the concept of them creating safe zones in the after life by expelling devils and demons from their presence is intriguing, and since such a reward in the afterlife would be desirable, living in such a way while alive would mean that hell would eventually be overrun by such individuals.

Of course, that could all rely on being granted some kind of divine boon and since god pretty much said 'fuck y'all', could mean jack shit.
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Postby Surlethe » 2008-01-12 07:04am

Gullible Jones wrote:Uhh, Jehovah can create violate conservation of energy, creating matter from nothing. And, presumably, antimatter, if he created the whole universe. That would present some trouble.


Not so. He can terraform, but he can't violate conservation laws. Where in

    In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was fromless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters

does it say anything about God creating the universe ex nihilo?

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Postby Ace Pace » 2008-01-12 07:21am

An interesting note, Surlethe made me look this up, the Hebrew version of Genesis 1:1 is
א בְּרֵאשִׁית, בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים, אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם, וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ.


Which translated(with two words changed place for grammar reasons), gives us "In the beginning, god created the sea, the skies, and the land". Here we are given an even more explicit phrasing, where god In fact, did not create the universe.

One approach would be to say he terraformed earth and gave it an atmosphere, water and shaped the lands. Rather than God creating the universe/earth as Surlethe says, ex nihilo.

Note: This approach explicitly does not work if we're working off the Tanach, seeing as how Judaism denies literalism.[/quote]
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Postby Gullible Jones » 2008-01-12 11:17am

I just realized: James Blish covered this. In fact, I've got the relevent book (The Devil's Day) sitting on my shelf, in fact. And IIRC Blish did his research for it.

I think it's time to put down Century Rain...

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Postby Xess » 2008-01-12 11:26am

ray245 wrote:So, all we need to do is to burn paper Abrams tanks, paper F-22, paper aircraft carrier, paper artillery etc...VOVLA! We got an unlimted supply of military equipment.


If we can send the afterlife equipment by simply burning a paper representation of the object why should we constrain ourselves to actual objects?

Why send our armies in hell aircraft carriers when we can send them Death Star's and endless armies of fully shielded droidekas?
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Postby ray245 » 2008-01-12 11:46am

Xess wrote:
ray245 wrote:So, all we need to do is to burn paper Abrams tanks, paper F-22, paper aircraft carrier, paper artillery etc...VOVLA! We got an unlimted supply of military equipment.


If we can send the afterlife equipment by simply burning a paper representation of the object why should we constrain ourselves to actual objects?

Why send our armies in hell aircraft carriers when we can send them Death Star's and endless armies of fully shielded droidekas?


Nice idea...fighting mythological creatures with human creativity at it's best.

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Postby Hawkwings » 2008-01-12 01:41pm

Why stop there? Burn paper Grey Knights! Heck, burn a paper representation of the GEoM. I'm sure he would take offense to all of humanity's souls being devoured in hell.

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Postby NecronLord » 2008-01-12 01:53pm

In the spirit of the question, I expect a lot of people would just stop working or doing anything until hunger gets them. The more community minded would have to work together to impose law and order again – the kind of people who’ll commit crimes because of despair will also be terrified of capital punishment, and so can be kept in line. There’ll be anarchy and suffering for a good while.

There’s also be huge movements to ‘get ready for hell’ by self-inflicted torment and scourging – these might be identical, or spring from – religious penitents. The more extreme might favour other people by kidnapping and torturing them slowly to ease them into it.

Others will do their level best to make themselves and (in more charitable people) those around them enjoy themselves as much as possible.


As for the invasion plans, assuming this is the actual Bible God, whose legends are literally true, then it also possible to raise the dead – mentioned in the Bible – and that the Egyptian Gods exist; Atum, Re, Osiris, Set, et al would potentially be useful assets to the Glorious Infernal Army of the Revoluton. They're capable of granting those who worship them magic powers.
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Postby The Duchess of Zeon » 2008-01-12 02:18pm

You're right. And that means that important people could be kept out of Hell by calling on the Egyptian Gods to animate them after death. I doubt you would much appreciate being a mummy, but if you know state secrets in the war, we can't let you fall into the hands of torturers with thousands of years of experience.

God is powerful enough to run roughshod over the Egyptian Gods, but they clearly exist from the phrasing and statements of the Bible. That gives us the reasonable chance of working with 'supernatural' actors who have never been part of the system.
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Postby Rye » 2008-01-12 09:32pm

Patrick Degan wrote:Going by what's been described in the biblical texts, their "pretty cool abilities" have already been outstripped by modern technology.


What modern technology outstrips the genocide, odd effects like water sources turning to blood and orbital bombardment described in Revelation?

Isolation, for a start.


Why do you think they're isolated?

And if beings can be summoned up and commanded by a book of magic words and phrases, that indicates that they've not changed all that much in the last five thousand years. That is, after all, what the Ars Goetia is about.


Humans can be commanded by whips and chains, so I guess we've not changed in the last five thousand years.

BTW, that hands humanity yet another weapon or at least a means of confounding the enemy or learning their secrets, since once summoned and bound under the proper incantations, the demon must obey its summoner and answer all questions put to it. Far more efficient and quicker than waterboarding.


Absolutely. And with the threat of Hell applying to everyone regardless of adherence to his rules, there are really no reasons not to massively embrace the black arts (unless it causes Chaos-esque problems) so long as they work.

Also, Yahweh is not driven off by iron chariots, the men of Judah are turned back by them to foreshadow God destroying an army of iron chariots in the next couple of pages.
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Postby ray245 » 2008-01-12 10:49pm

The Duchess of Zeon wrote:You're right. And that means that important people could be kept out of Hell by calling on the Egyptian Gods to animate them after death. I doubt you would much appreciate being a mummy, but if you know state secrets in the war, we can't let you fall into the hands of torturers with thousands of years of experience.

God is powerful enough to run roughshod over the Egyptian Gods, but they clearly exist from the phrasing and statements of the Bible. That gives us the reasonable chance of working with 'supernatural' actors who have never been part of the system.


Assuming this scenario to be true...why do we stop to admit only the egyptian gods?

Get the Norse god, chinese gods and any other kind gods that human pay respect to.

Add in the greek gods as well...

It won't be a war of humans vs chrisitanity's satan and etc.

It will be a war of gods on a epic scale.

A war of Heavens

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Postby Gandalf » 2008-01-12 10:54pm

Because the bible mentions the Egyptian gods, and a few miscellaneous ones, but not the Norse/Chinese/Etc ones.
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Postby ray245 » 2008-01-12 11:01pm

Gandalf wrote:Because the bible mentions the Egyptian gods, and a few miscellaneous ones, but not the Norse/Chinese/Etc ones.


That mean the possibility of them existing cannot be ruled out though...

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Postby Patrick Degan » 2008-01-12 11:18pm

Zuul wrote:
Patrick Degan wrote:Going by what's been described in the biblical texts, their "pretty cool abilities" have already been outstripped by modern technology.


What modern technology outstrips the genocide, odd effects like water sources turning to blood and orbital bombardment described in Revelation?


Atomic bombs and ICBMs. Ever hear of those?

Isolation, for a start.


Why do you think they're isolated?


Since when have there been regular trade exchanges or diplomatic relations between human society and Hell? What indication is there to show that Hell is keeping up with the modern world?

And if beings can be summoned up and commanded by a book of magic words and phrases, that indicates that they've not changed all that much in the last five thousand years. That is, after all, what the Ars Goetia is about.


Humans can be commanded by whips and chains, so I guess we've not changed in the last five thousand years.


Humans can also rise up en masse against whips and chains. They don't control the mind, unlike the incantations in a magick book can do with demons. Really, you're being a bit dense here.

BTW, that hands humanity yet another weapon or at least a means of confounding the enemy or learning their secrets, since once summoned and bound under the proper incantations, the demon must obey its summoner and answer all questions put to it. Far more efficient and quicker than waterboarding.


Absolutely. And with the threat of Hell applying to everyone regardless of adherence to his rules, there are really no reasons not to massively embrace the black arts (unless it causes Chaos-esque problems) so long as they work.


The Black Arts can be a useful adjunct in certain applications. It's technology and science, however, which will win the war.

Also, Yahweh is not driven off by iron chariots, the men of Judah are turned back by them to foreshadow God destroying an army of iron chariots in the next couple of pages.


Really? All Judges 4:13-16 says is that the Lord "discomfited" Sisera and it seems it's down to his using a sword and Barak who's acting for him. Sisera's forces are destroyed on the pursuit by Barak's army —not Yahweh. That does not contradict the earlier passage in which he wasn't able to drive out the inhabitants of the valley with their iron chariots.

Somehow, I don't see a modern armoured force in Abrams MBTs getting too "discomfited" by a sword-wielding deity.
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Postby AniThyng » 2008-01-12 11:24pm

Re hell keeping up with the modern world, who's to say they aren't? Rock music is the devil's music after all :lol:

Besides, if we take war and killing to be sins worthy of being sent to hell for, Hell could be the ones actively/passively guiding the hands of science and technology for the furtherance of those on earth - deals with the devil et. al.
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Postby Winston Blake » 2008-01-13 02:19am

This may be relevant: why does Satan torture human souls? IIRC he rebelled against heaven because God gave humans status above angels. If God rejects us, then there's no reason for Satan to hate us any more. This would make organising an alliance against heaven perfectly reasonable.

This is more in fanfic territory, but regarding the mechanism for finding incontrovertible proof of hell, there are instances ofteleportation in the Bible. If teleporter probes is how we discover Hell, the question of its location can be neatly sidestepped. Then it's just a matter of developing the technology to the point that militarily significant payloads are feasible. The advent of such technology may be the reason God got scared and barred the way to Heaven - because human probes were sneaking in against his will.

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Postby Junghalli » 2008-01-13 03:26am

NecronLord wrote:As for the invasion plans, assuming this is the actual Bible God, whose legends are literally true, then it also possible to raise the dead – mentioned in the Bible – and that the Egyptian Gods exist; Atum, Re, Osiris, Set, et al would potentially be useful assets to the Glorious Infernal Army of the Revoluton. They're capable of granting those who worship them magic powers.

This opens up a very interesting and elegant solution to the whole problem.

We contact the Egyptian Gods and tell them that we're in a bit of a bind and we're ready to start building temples to them and worshipping them again, and in exchange we'd appreciate if they get the Egyptian Land of the Dead open for business again. It might be a bit of a pain to have to mummify ourselves and bury ourselves in fully furnished apartments with TVs and computers and stuff, but it'd sure beat Hell. Heck, even the bad people would be better off; they "merely" have their soul destroyed by having their heart fed to some crocodile-lion demon when it comes up too heavy the weighing ceremony (i.e. they basically get what we probably all really get in RL anyway).

Of course, God is more powerful than the Egyptian gods so they may not be able to protect us, but there may be a solution to that. We can give the Land of the Dead modern weapons. Remember than in Egyptian mythology anything that's buried with you becomes yours in the afterlife. Bury somebody with an M-16 and a good supply of ammo and he's got it in the Land of the Dead. Even better, for large equipment it isn't strictly necessary to bury the object itself, just a representation of it. Bury a dead airforce pilot with a wooden model of an F-16 and it becomes a real F-16 in the Land of the Dead.

The biggest problem would be getting enough soldiers (you need to be mummified for the Egyptian afterlife to work, so reburying dead soldiers probably won't work). Sending large military contingents to the afterlife in Aztec-style sacrifice-a-thons is one possibility, but the Egyptians actually came up with a much more humane and convenient alternate, to solve a similar problem (giving Pharoah servants in the afterlife). Egyptians often buried their dead with little dolls called shabti figures that, supposedly, would become people in the Land of the Dead. A landowner might be buried with a bunch of shabti figures that would become his peasants in the Land of the Dead. So there's no real need for actual soldiers; we need simply create vast numbers of soldier-shaped shabti figures (most of them could literally be simply consecrated commercial toy army men) with appropriate equipment and the Land of the Dead now has an instant modern army that could easily be made to dwarf the one on Earth if we felt like it. Bury a bunch of model F-16s with little pilots in the cockpit, instant F-16s with skilled pilots spring up in the afterlife. Bury a model of Nimitz with appropriate shabti figures, a real fully crewed replica of Nimitz now exists in the afterlife. Keeping them supplied isn't a problem either; just consecrate and bury appropriate items like barrels of oil, or small models thereof. For that matter, why stop there? Create shabti figures of powerful fictional units like Terminators and Culture Drones. God or Satan wants to be a cock and get the dead out of the Egyptian afterlife and into Hell and his angels or demons are going to have a huge army to fight their way through first.

Of course, if God can intercept the dead souls on their way to the afterlife it may not work so well.

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Postby Androsphinx » 2008-01-13 03:57am

Personally, I'd be less worried about the direct military ability of YHWH, seeing how he tends to fight through proxies most of the time (Josh and Judg ad nauseum) - although when He does send an angel (2 Kings 19) it kills 185,000 in a single night in an unspecified manner - and more about the kind of environmental damage He could cause.

For example, He can turn mud into people (Gen 2), and people into salt (Gen 19); the entire Nile Delta into blood (Ex. 6), and provide food rom the heavens for upwards of 2 million people for 40 years (Ex. 16); withold rain for 3 years (1 Kings 7) and produce earthquakes with six days' notice (Josh. 7).

On the other hand, when manifesting in a particular form, there's no indication that YHWH has any powers over and above what that form would usually possess - be it a thundercloud (Ex. 19), or a person - where He can eat (Gen. 17) and be wrestled to a draw (Gen. 32).
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Postby NecronLord » 2008-01-13 06:08am

ray245 wrote:Assuming this scenario to be true...why do we stop to admit only the egyptian gods?
Only the gods of the egyptians, and of other local semitic tribes, are mentioned in the bible-verse source material.
ray245 wrote:That mean the possibility of them existing cannot be ruled out though...
Indeed. Our next best bet are the likes of ba'al et al, but while the bible is fairly explicit that the gods of the egyptians exist, and are dieties humbled by god, the ba'als of various semitic tribes are identified with the 'Baal Zeebul' character of the Bible, which suggests that said gods might actually be satan, and thus part of the system, with little to gain from working for us. Worse if one goes back to the earlier biblical conception of Satan as the loyal servant of Yahweh, sent to tempt his followers.

Androsphinx wrote:Personally, I'd be less worried about the direct military ability of YHWH, seeing how he tends to fight through proxies most of the time (Josh and Judg ad nauseum) - although when He does send an angel (2 Kings 19) it kills 185,000 in a single night in an unspecified manner -
The other people in the camp are described as waking up afterwards and finding their comrades dead. It did something analogous to slitting their throats in their sleep. Mind you, it's till pretty impressive.


And while Junghali's idea is interesting, all we can really say from that is that the gods of the Egyptians exist. Not that they're necesserily running an afterlife as the egyptians thought.

Of course, if any part of it is, we might at least be able to get Ammit to consume our souls.
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Postby Androsphinx » 2008-01-13 07:17am

NecronLord wrote:
Androsphinx wrote:Personally, I'd be less worried about the direct military ability of YHWH, seeing how he tends to fight through proxies most of the time (Josh and Judg ad nauseum) - although when He does send an angel (2 Kings 19) it kills 185,000 in a single night in an unspecified manner -
The other people in the camp are described as waking up afterwards and finding their comrades dead. It did something analogous to slitting their throats in their sleep. Mind you, it's till pretty impressive.


"And the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast/ And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed".

Assuming a ten-hour night, it works out at 5 deaths a second. A more impressive example is the Plague of the Death of the Firstborn, where an unspecified number of Egyptians across the Nile Delta drop dead simultaneously.
"what huge and loathsome abnormality was the Sphinx originally carven to represent? Accursed is the sight, be it in dream or not, that revealed to me the supreme horror - the Unknown God of the Dead, which licks its colossal chops in the unsuspected abyss, fed hideous morsels by soulless absurdities that should not exist" - Harry Houdini "Under the Pyramids"



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Postby Invictus ChiKen » 2008-01-13 08:16am

A question what would be the aftermath of God deciding to do a preemptive bombardment as seen in revelations?

I.E. causing stars to fall from the sky turning the seas to wormwood and blood and causing great destruction?

Could he possible just up things and Base Delta Zero all of us?

What about a second flood? Yes he promised he wouldn't flood us again but then he also promised everyone a chance and well I think the answer is obvious.

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Postby NecronLord » 2008-01-13 08:31am

Androsphinx wrote:Assuming a ten-hour night, it works out at 5 deaths a second.
Indeed. Of course, a less charitable interpretation would be that it just poisoned their water supply with something slow acting but very lethal. As the king and his retinue would have been drinking and eating better, they would have survived, as the text indicates.
A more impressive example is the Plague of the Death of the Firstborn, where an unspecified number of Egyptians across the Nile Delta drop dead simultaneously.
Not instantly, as the Angel has to know by marks over the door who's not to be targeted, and 'pass over' their house. Of course, all the bible says is that the (several million) Israelites are many times (they 'wax mightily' over and over in Exodus 1, even though they're already outnumbering the egyptians - this is ludicrous, of course, but that's the bible for you). Each family can only have one firstborn - Jehovah is clearly only targetting children below a certain age, vile little coward that it is, else the King of Egypt himself would surely be slain {Why wasn't he? Maybe Horus protected him? Practically everything the Pharaohs owned was covered in spells of protection, we should investigate that... Perhaps all God can do to Pharoah is 'harden his heart...'} - and with infant mortality, many families' firstborn children would be dead, and many of the others, would already be grown. You're probably not talking about a number greater than a few hundred thousand there. Of course, he also takes time to kill the firstborn of the domesticated beasts.

Incidentally, a curious note WRT the 'rivers turned to blood' trick, the egyptian socerers knew how to do that too...

Invictus ChiKen wrote:I.E. causing stars to fall from the sky turning the seas to wormwood and blood and causing great destruction?
The stars involved are not what we understand as stars. More like 'shooting stars' as life persists after that. And remember, his actual power is to give John a 'revalation' that all this will happen. We can do that too, it's called cinema.
What about a second flood? Yes he promised he wouldn't flood us again but then he also promised everyone a chance and well I think the answer is obvious.
The flood cannot be as bad as God claimed it to be. The race of Nephilim, elsewhere in the world, who were not on the Ark, survived. It is possible it was only regional.
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Postby Rye » 2008-01-13 08:52am

Patrick Degan wrote:Atomic bombs and ICBMs. Ever hear of those?


Yeah. Last I checked, they couldn't kill the majority of the planet as in revelation.

Since when have there been regular trade exchanges or diplomatic relations between human society and Hell? What indication is there to show that Hell is keeping up with the modern world?


Why would hell go in for trade exchanges or diplomatic relations anyway? Surely you don't think this would be an appropriate argument for the nonexistence of alien technology, so why would it apply to Hell?

Humans can also rise up en masse against whips and chains. They don't control the mind, unlike the incantations in a magick book can do with demons. Really, you're being a bit dense here.


No, I am pointing out that potentially being dominable by force doesn't stop technological progress within a society.

The Black Arts can be a useful adjunct in certain applications. It's technology and science, however, which will win the war.


The black arts will give science the data it needs to attack

Really? All Judges 4:13-16 says is that the Lord "discomfited" Sisera and it seems it's down to his using a sword and Barak who's acting for him. Sisera's forces are destroyed on the pursuit by Barak's army —not Yahweh. That does not contradict the earlier passage in which he wasn't able to drive out the inhabitants of the valley with their iron chariots.


It doesn't say Yahweh was driving anyone out, it says Judah (or rather, the men of) was/were. He intervenes in Judges 4, but only enough to let the israelites win the day rather than do everything himself.

Somehow, I don't see a modern armoured force in Abrams MBTs getting too "discomfited" by a sword-wielding deity.


It says he made them panic and doesn't say how, just that he did it. I don't see why being in an Abrams would make you immune to panic (or being stabbed in the temple by a woman you've befriended previously).
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NecronLord
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Postby NecronLord » 2008-01-13 09:19am

Zuul...

Take a flick through this.

In basically every version, it's 'The Lord was with them, they drove out the men of the hills, but could not drive out the men of the vallies, for they had iron chariots.' Now you and I know that 'the Lord was with them' basically means 'they were lucky/they won' but in a biblical-literal sense, that means he was either physically there, or if we're a little lax, directly helping.

So why couldn't they defeat the iron chariots with his aid?

Yes. God is later able to lead his little trained (if frequently failing) minions to victory against nine hundred chariots of iron. Clearly, then, the armies of the peoples of the vallies simply fielded more than nine hundred chariots of iron, or Barak's army was more formidably able to back their idol up in battle.
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