Heaven and Hell

No, no, that's not a sin, either. My goodness, you must have worried yourself to death.

Heaven and hell suppose two distinct species of men, the good and the bad. But the greatest part of mankind float betwixt vice and virtue. Were one to go round the world with an intention of giving a good supper to the righteous and a sound drubbing to the wicked, he would frequently be embarrassed in his choice, and would find, that the merits and demerits of most men and women scarcely amount to the value of either…The chief source of moral ideas is the reflection on the interests of human society. Ought these interests, so short, so frivolous, to be guarded by punishments, eternal and infinite? The damnation of one man is an infinitely greater evil in the universe, than the subversion of a thousand millions of kingdoms.

David Hume
Of the Immortality of the Soul (1752)
Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary 

Cartoon by Charles Barsotti
The New Yorker, 13 September 1993

1 thought on “Heaven and Hell

  1. I find the quote odd because the whole of Christianity (where the quoted doubtless received his conception of heaven and hell) at least says the opposite, there are not two kinds, good and evil men, but only one, evil men (Jesus Christ excepted).

    Christianity is more like a clannish religion. Join God’s clan to get in, keep to his traditions to stay in, as long as he accepts your evil degenerate soul as his child you’re safe but if you tell him to fuck off because you are gonna play loud music at 3am if you want to and if he doesn’t like it he can call the cops then he will get fed up and throw you out of his house and tell you to get a damn job and make your own way in the world (and unfortunately he owns the only factory in town and all the houses…).

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