Did the Bible "originally state" that there is a place like Hell? In the Old Testament, there was no "place of eternal damnation." There was Sheol, where everybody--good or bad--went after they died.
Things got messier from there. When the Hebrew text was translated into Greek, "Sheol" was replaced by "Hades." Then, when evolving Jewish and Christian beliefs began to emphasize resurrection, Hades became a place where only the nasty folks went.
OK, so there were two different names for this place. Now let's introduce a third, Gehenna, which early Christian teaching said was a fiery hell to which the wicked would be sent after judgment. The root of the word refers to the Valley of Hinnom, a location "south of Jerusalem, where trash fires burned incessantly and where ancient human sacrifices had been offered to Canaanite gods." The Book of Revelation took this a step further by saying those evil folks would be "thrown into a lake of fire."
So far, no mention of "Hell." That changed when the Bible was translated into English. Many versions render Sheol, Hades, and Gehenna as Hell. The New Testament also refers to "weeping and gnashing of teeth" and a place where the "worm never dies and the fire is never quenched," and things like that.
Catholics and all of those who believe in the various versions of the Bible believe that we have one shot in this life and what we do in this life will determine whether we go to heaven or hell. Bishop John Shelby asserts that hell was invented by the church to control the masses of people. He argues that people are essentially terrorized from childhood into believing that if they did not follow the dictates of the church, they would go to hell. It is a means of making people dependent on the church.
This is religious dogma, and I reject it. I believe in God, but for scientific, not theological reasons. I had one Christian woman right here on Google+ try to tell me that if I didn't accept Jesus as my savior, I would go to hell. I tried to explain to her that I am Jewish, and organized Judaism existed for 3,700 years before Christ was even born. She didn't want to hear about it. Religous dogmatism can actually be dangerous to your health; it suppresses the natural human ability to use critical thinking skills.
Einstein confirmed that space and time are just as physical as matter. That's why space and time can be altered by gravity, and space produces particles. Space actually is something not nothing. Space can be stretched and manipulated. Einstein's equations show that space, mass, and time are all various forms of energy. Einstein showed that the universe couldn't be eternal. It had a beginning. Einstein believed, because of science, in the existence of God behind the origin and order of the universe. He didn't believe in a personal (theological) God, but he did believe science pointed to the existence of an all-powerful and intelligent Creator. Of course, then you get the question of who created God. But I'll leave that one be.
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