HELL as a State of Mind

Hell is an idea that when a person dies and goes to hell, he will have to face the consequence of living from the worst conditions of life and sufferings. Hell explained theologically concerns the afterlife of men wherein there are two choices of where their soul would go either heaven or hell. The more desired of which is heaven. Nobody wants to go to hell. But what does this imply? Religious doctrines has long explained this concept and provided society with a religious perspective, but how can one explain the idea of hell being socially constructed. The idea of hell can also be explained in its relevance to explain a person’s earthly life.

In terms of social context, the concept of hell may be viewed as an idea which governs society to do well. It is of knowledge that the fear of going to hell is highly attributed to its conception in religious doctrine, but as the idea progressed, it encompasses another angle it being socially constructed. To be more specific, the thesis will evaluate how the fear of hell has involved the angle of social constructivism. It is not the intention of the thesis to explain the concept of social construction but there is the need to provide a definition for it to connect to the fear of hell being socially constructed.

We intend to explore the idea that the fear of hell is socially constructed, or is dependent on other aspects of our social lives. But the fear of hell idea has its roots in its religious essence, meaning that evil equates hell. But taken into social construction perspective, we derive the analysis that social construction provides an explanation on how worldly items, such as money, heaven or hell, attribute society’s beliefs on them. To take into consideration the social constructive concept in the fear of hell, we say that the belief does not necessarily come from what we should have or might have had.

Rather the idea and the belief thrust into it had become more of just a simple idea, but implied more as a consequence shaped by social forces. Innate fear of hell comes from the idea of what has been dominant in the people’s belief for so long, that is that hell is where everything is at its worst. Hell equates whatever negative things and far worse cases we could experience. The graveness and intensity of hell having its perception of being the worst kind of condition is innate in the sense that there is the concept of fear. Fearing hell is like fearing suffering and all evil things in life.

It is innate because we have this sense of wanting the best and greater things in life. Thus the fear becomes understandable and innate in all of us. Now to understand how social construction plays in role in understanding fear of hell, we go beyond the personal realms of fear of each individual. We now take into consideration how the society executes each fear of hell and how others react and perceive it. The social context explained by this goes into the form of using hell as a form of expression, for example like to say “you go to hell”.

The implication of the society having a common knowledge about hell defines it being socially constructed. Until the elements of the endless possibility of the place called hell generates its sense being socially constructed. The fear of hell now has its role being socially constructed because the society itself realizes that everyone fears hell. The depiction of hell in society had become more terrifying, gruesome and worse. To establish a relationship between innate fear of hell and hell being social constructed can be simplified with what can be observed in the society. Each person has its own fear.

As a child, when learning begins, the idea of hell is introduced first in religious doctrines. Children as warned not to lie or fight with other children because it was reasoned as a way for them to go to hell. In connection with it being socially constructed, the idea and fear of hell had transcended into a higher form and definition because of how society will convey the idea of hell. The idea became socially constructed when people began imagining hell, the experiences of being one, stories and imagination of the place called hell- all these things constitutes the fear of hell being socially constructed.

Fear of hell ideally must motivate people to do good things towards other people because as hell is identified with evil, it should be a motivating factor for people to do good things. If the fear of hell implies positive motivation for people to do good things, then the world would be a much better place. If fear of hell is powerful and the motivation to avoid going to hell is there, then people would not kill, steal, be corrupt and other “bad” things will be eliminated from world view. But this is one crucial analysis derived from the idea of hell being socially constructed, people now think of the idea as very common.

The fear of hell no longer has the power to motivate others to do well. The fear of hell now became a common ideology people shared that does not necessary have a positive effect on people or a negative effect. It may be mentioned that one positive effect that the fear of hell may contribute is that people may be motivated to do good deeds, but it is not that evident in our society today. The fear of hell is still apparent in the world today. As history relates us, the past events regarding terrorism, poverty, world hunger, and civil disobedience has strengthened the campaign of religious sector to inform people of the concept of hell.

The fear of hell can greatly affect society in terms of its relationship with bad conditions of the world, tragedy and other form of worse surroundings. Fear of hell, considering the events that happen in the world today can be greatly flamed by the idea that there are still many societal problems to day, or that the problems society had faced is in the far worse state that before. The fear of hell can be associated with these events as it can be explained that living in hell can be compared to a worsen condition of society today.

The fear of hell may also be used by religious sector to point out that the end of the world is becoming near, as people can now attribute living in the present as living in hell.


Atwater, P. M. H. “Near-Death Experiences and the Afterlife”. 2005. Kevin Williams. March 8 2007. <http://www. near-death. com/experiences/experts05. html>. Boghossian, P. A. “What Is Social Construction? ” March 8 2007. <http://as. nyu. edu/docs/IO/1153/socialconstruction. pdf>. Kvanvig, J. “Heaven and Hell”. 2003. Stanford University. March 8 2007. <http://www. seop. leeds. ac. uk/entries/heaven-hell/>.

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